the words we hear.
|c/o: Sabrina Kellerman Photography|
I’m guilty of painting pretty pictures. Pictures of how I want my life to be viewed. I want crisp edges and smooth lines, not a defect in sight. A clear and in-focus image that everyone can praise, and my mother can be proud of. A picture that can garner Facebook “likes” and Twitter “retweets”; an image that attains the coveted “Life Goals” hash tag. Because who doesn’t want a life that can be applauded and placed front-and-center on the mantel of self-esteem?
As a side effect of this deceptive exhibit of life, is the mass of people that assume they know exactly how you feel simply based off the carefully edited Instagram post. They surmise that the smile means happiness and contentment, and the success equals satisfaction and self-fulfillment. They believe the best, because the best is all that they can see. They view the performance from the front row, completely oblivious to the stress backstage behind the curtain.
My frustration stems from those that won’t take the time to listen. Cries for help are shushed with the retort “You’re doing great” but that sentiment, although well intentioned, isn’t the buoy that’ll save the drowning. It’s a pat on the head that doesn’t ease the burden of treading water.
And once the façade of “perfection” is in place, it’s terribly hard to break the mold of expectation being fueled by an eager audience. They await more successes, more happiness, and more triumphs that are shallowly procured all for the smiles from the peanut gallery.
They claim the desire to hear your voice, but they only long to hear of the good. To them the “bad” is nonexistent and just unimaginable. They claim to listen, but your words fall on deaf ears. The so-called voice that raised you up to admiration is the same voice that is being ignored. They crave brave tales of exceptionality with extraordinary outcomes, the polished picture. But aren’t fond of the raw and grainy truth, unedited and full of blemishes.
The time comes where those compliments are the only things of worth. You choose to settle for the insubstantial commendations that are easily available and attainable, because that’s better than nothing, right? You realize your voice doesn’t carry the weight you hoped it would and resolve yourself to life with a voice that’s met with indifference.
But despite the reoccurring results, you continue to write and paint the picture. You dream to, one day, be brave enough for full transparency. But for now you write with the blind hope that someone is listening.