The Other Side of the Lens

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I love you, he tells me and I wonder what he is expecting me to say in return. I pretend not to hear him and keep scrolling through my Instagram. I wonder if the people who follow me think I’m narcissistic from all of the selfies I take but they don’t understand that I’m trying to capture something in those photos.

I look through each one and analyze the look in my eyes. Do I look happy? Fulfilled? Genuine? Sincere? Because most times I feel like a fraud.

I am not that person in my pictures, yet the smile is so convincing. I am on the verge of shattering and I try to blink the reality into focus yet my pictures are so deceiving. What emotion have I captured here? Was it the light, the angle, the filter? Why do I look so complete?

The picture sets my mind off track and then I start to question myself- my motives, my personality, my credibility, my everything. What do my words mean? Am I only filling the silence in my head? Or am I trying to silence the chaos?

I scroll through picture after picture and suddenly I’m staring at a stranger. It’s frightening and disheartening and makes me want to smash my phone into a thousand tiny pieces.

I try to find something in each of these pictures that will help me to understand what it is about me that he loves. I try to believe that he is being truthful when he says that I’m beautiful. But I do not, because it’s not how I feel on the inside and what is on the outside means very little to me.

I snap picture after picture and try to convince myself until I feel myself on the verge of breaking down. Picture after picture after picture and yet in all of them I still look so complete.

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