This past weekend I took a much needed break from social media. let's be honest, these platforms give me anxiety. It's that constant feeling and thought process of how to look good on the Internet, and I'm quite tired of it. Here's the truth, we like to paint very different pictures online than our actual reality. We perfectly style birds-eye-view snapshots of our brunches, and carefully manipulate the filters on our pictures to saturate sunsets. We've gotten so good at staging photos, that sometimes we forget to actually  look up from the screen and experience the scene as it is.

I am completely guilty of posting, deleting and reposting images because they weren't getting as much likes as I had hoped. I have this thing with counting my followers and deleting Facebook status' that seem "uncool".  I am probably not the first to admit that my life is far from baked vegan cookie perfection or perfectly cropped square photos, and that's okay. It's scary and uncomfortable at times to admit life isn't as glorious as it is on the screen, but I'm learning to be okay with it. I'm also learning that it's okay to talk about it. 

I moved 5,000 miles away from what I know family, my friends, my dog, all to experience something even bigger than myself. I chose New York because a part of me wanted the tv-drama life I had seen in Sex And The City, but as the years pass by here, I can't help but feel less Carrie and more...lonely. Even with a partner there are days where I feel incredibly disconnected from this place, where I just want to hug my mother, hold my dog, and sit in the sand and watch the ocean.

A perfect vignette of a newly decorated apartment, or a new pair of shoes, or even, a perfectly lit selfie can not trump the feeling of belonging and having a community.  In truth what you may never see is the sadness or loneliness happening behind the scenes.  In this city made up of millions of people, loneliness is probably one of the biggest things that takes up my time - even more so than fiddling with my images on the VSCO app.   And I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. 

We've been conditioned to achieve the idyllic New York City lifestyle and to also make it look good on Instagram along the way.  Life is not all avocado toast and weekend getaways with complimenting hashtags, a lot of it is spent in solitude, quite often with my insecurities.

I think we slip too far into what the picture perfect life should look like and we get anxious about being vulnerable and connecting on a basic level. I've decided that loneliness is part of the process, being unsure is only a feeling in passing, and being open to being judged or disliked or unfollowed does not define me but allows me the freedom to speak my truth.  And with that, I am declaring this: I promise from now on to do my best to be my most real, vulnerable, authentic, empathetic, creative, loving, open, trusting and honest self.  and I invite you to indulge in the same.

Blog post originally created on August 19, 2015