I peeled myself off my living room floor for the first time in 72 hours. My hair was matted to my head, and my gray sweatshirt was stained with pizza grease. I looked in the mirror, and was horrified at what I saw. I was depression personified. But after three days of doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and feeling sorry for myself, I was ready to start attempting to find my new normal.
The second I hopped into the shower, I felt good. When I did my hair, I felt better. And when I put my makeup on, I felt like — at least I looked like myself again on the outside, even though I was missing him desperately on the inside. Breakups are never easy. I knew this. But on my first day out in the world, it hit me harder than it ever had.
I decided to go for a walk down a pretty scenic street with lots of pretty graffiti walls. Somehow, walking around always made me feel like I’d accomplished something, even though it didn’t. It just felt good to show my face to the world. So I put on a cute outfit, as one does, and headed out to window shop, see, and be seen.
About halfway through my walk, I saw a gorgeous pink wall, and whipped out my phone to take a photo for Snapchat. I sent it to my story, and was ready for my Instagram photoshoot, when suddenly it hit me. I was all alone.
Normally, Matt and I would take these walks together. And when I saw a good photo op, he was there to crouch down, and take several 38-photo bursts of me until I found just the right one to broadcast to my friends, haters, and random aunts who tried to get into social media. I looked at my cute outfit and back up at the wall, and went into a panic. I looked around at people enjoying their days, and considered asking for help. But I couldn’t, in the city I lived in, bring myself to be that openly vain with a stranger. Not like they would get it right anyway.
I walked home, dejected. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 Instagram likes.
From there, things only got worse. I found myself, several days later, at lunch with a girl who only had 250 Instagram followers. It was a scenic restaurant, with beautiful Christmas lights lit all around us, and really pretty trees. I just needed a photo of me taking a sip of my wine in this picturesque environment. But could I ask Christina to help me out? Would she do it? Would she even know how? Or would this be the beginning to severing our friendship.
We left the restaurant after asking our waitress to take a photo of the two of us standing and smiling. Christina had her hand on her hip. I reluctantly posted it. 162 likes. Barely broke 150.
A few nights later, I went out again at night with a group of girlfriends. I wore a fur coat, false lashes, and new booties. You could say I was feeling myself. I HAD to get a picture tonight. I would stop at nothing. We discussed it at the pregame. “We look so cute. We need pics.” Everyone was in agreement. “But first let’s take some shots.” Doomed before we started.
I mentioned it several times before we left the pregame. “We still need pictures!”
“Yes, soon!” everyone cried.
But before I knew it, Ubers were called, and we were on our way to the land of bad lighting. We got to the bar and took a photo with a FLASH because everyone was too embarrassed when I tried to whip out my LuMee duo. The result, as you can imagine, was red eyes, shiny skin, and an overall grainy quality. I did my best in Facetune and Afterlight. It was postable, but not up to par.
This trend continued. I tried and tried to get my friends to care about taking solo shots of me, but as it turns out, my efforts were fruitless. Weeks went by, and I saw my entire aesthetic devolve from something people aspired to, to something you’d see…well, everywhere. I went from averaging 235 likes to a mere 185. Sure, I missed Matt as a person, but what I didn’t consider is how much I’d miss having not only a boyfriend, but an Instagram boyfriend.
Solo shots always win, and ironically, when you’re living the solo life, you have no one to take solo photos of you for the ‘gram. I’ve recovered from the breakup, but I’m not sure my social media game ever will..