Scrolling through an Instagram feed

#NOFILTER

Originally published in Edition 6, 2018: Unfurl.

Distinction average. ANU poster child. Article featured online. Another award ceremony. Representing Australia overseas… conference? Volunteers to make the world a better place. Secured another internship. Scholarship… maybe? Starred in a musical. President of that society. Correction, not musical, it was a revue. Of course, selected for every opportunity. Tomorrow seems brighter than today. #honours #thoughtleader #winning 100 likes…200 likes…400 likes. Follow

 

Self-doubt is a living nightmare. Not enough, because nothing is ever enough. When will it be enough? A phony. Wet eyes every night. And in the day when no one can see. Tired. Anxiety feeds hunger. ‘We regret to inform you’ that you didn’t get that opportunity, again. Be everything to everyone. Just keep going, but when will it stop? ‘Busy’ but there is no one to share it with. Tomorrow already feels like yesterday. Who is this? You just followed them, but did you miss their story?

 

 

Running another half marathon. Candid friends. Did not miss a party last O-Week. Smiles, laughter, fun. Cheers on the beach, cheers at the races, cheers from somewhere cold. Celebrating friendship for more than 5 years with everyone. Another running event. Somehow more birthday parties than friends? Travel is the spice of life. Filtered albums of a ‘wanderer’. Living in the moment. #wanderlust #tbt #legday 100 likes…200 likes…400 likes. Follow.

 

Running but getting nowhere. Lonely in a crowded room. O-Week must be fun for those who remember it. Travelling to escape, but why does it feel airless. So easy to make friends, but much harder to realise friendship. Wander to seek, but there is nothing to find. Isolated. Familiarity with this spiral staircase. Don’t go down because it is impossible to get back up. Or go, and live in the hope of tomorrow. Who is this? You just followed them, but did you miss their story?    

 

 

Dancing caramel, golden or pitch black hair. Sky blue eyes, or hazel, or maybe emerald, but they refract light in every shot. Dimples. Sculpted bone structure. Exercised muscles. Happy smile. Too pretty. Too handsome. Too perfect. Seasonal wardrobe and skin. Naturally blushed cheeks. Genetic miracle. #outfitoftheday #nofilter #nomakeupmakeuplook 100 likes…200 likes…400 likes. Follow.

 

Imperfect. Too fat or too thin, there is no happy medium. Tired, limp or frizzy hair. Forehead and ears too big. Skin scarred by self-doubt and self-hate. Make-up can only hide so much, but it makes it better. Don’t let anyone see the base. What if they tore through the pigment? What if they wet styled hair? They would be left with a genetic mistake. Who is this? You just followed them, but did you miss their story?      

 

Struggle wears different faces. When you follow the face, you may miss the story.