You know a version of me.
The girl who wears that old Elvis Costello shirt
or the first year who gets toast at 1:00 PM in the afternoon; grape jelly on one slice and butter on the other.
The blonde hair who sits in the second row
or the young woman who has a blog.
The girl whose mother died in 8th grade
or the alum who played Jordan Baker or the tree frog in high school theater.
The girl who smiled at you in passing
or the one who didn’t because she was too caught up in whatever music was coming through her headphones.
You don’t know the whole of who I am,
and you won’t,
not unless I let you
not unless you are willing
but our world is so caught up in picture-perfect moments and pixalized personalities that it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s falsified anymore.
It gets hard to even find that line within ourselves at some point.
How do you really begin to define yourself?
By witty Instagram captions that took three hours to come up with and a photo that took two hours to edit?
By music that you only half-believe in and artists you wouldn’t recognize until they played some overplayed radio single?
By the exclusivity of your university and the “thrift store” brand you paid $80 for?
Why do we feel our entire personas revolve around what people see rather than the things that have molded us into who we are?
We are products of failed dreams and the personal revolution coming after, the rising and rebirth.
We are 2:00 A.M. road trips to Waffle House and playlists designed specifically to be blasted with the windows down.
We are composed of the people we’ve loved and the people we’ve lost, the people we never got to know but hold their hearts as dearly as we do our own.
We are the awkward conversations echoing through our minds while middle school dances run through our veins and our shoes are tied with memories of 7th birthdays and those who never showed up.
We are made of the times we’ve collapsed within on ourselves, fragments of broken bodies laid along the grass and the sun reflecting on and illuminating the world around us thereafter.
We are more than comprehensible,
constructed of more complexities than can be counted
and more wonder than a definition can be stuck to.
We are human beings;
not statistics or billboard advertisements.
It gets easy to forget that in this cut and paste world,