Candid

Location

Smile,

Wave hello,

Be friendly,

Be bold,

Be perfect.

They expect that from you,

So you give it to them.

 

“What’s wrong?”

They ask, if you only slightly frown.

What’s wrong?

I cannot tell you.

For if I do,

Everything you know about me crumbles.

What’s wrong?

I am suffocating.

I feel like a weight has been placed on my chest,

And it is slowly crushing me until I can no longer breathe.

Why?

Because I cannot show others who I am,

Who I want to be.

 

I present as a photograph of a smiling girl

Smart, pretty, happy, perfect.

Every photograph is perfect,

But it only shows a snapshot of a story,

A story that can only be known if asked about and shared.

But nobody asks for the story behind a happy photograph,

Because those stories are easily told to others.

People must ask about the story behind a hauntingly sad photograph

Because those stories are harder to tell.

Those are the stories in life no one likes to think about.

 

People like perfect, and happy.

It is what they want to see.

But I do not want to be perfect anymore,

I cannot always be that smiling face in that happy photograph.

I want to cry without being judged.

I want to laugh too loud at something that is not funny.

I want to fall just so I can get back up again.

I want to make mistakes and tell people about them

So they do not make those same mistakes.

I do not want to be perfect

Because perfect does not exist.

 

I must pretend, though.

Pretend nothing bothers me

Nothing upsets me.

Pretend that no matter what, I can always smile through it

Even if on the inside I’m screaming,

Screaming to let my emotions run free.

But I cannot,

Because if I do, I disappoint.

I disappoint those who look to me to be perfect

Those who look to me to be smiling,

So they can know it will be ok

Because if my world crumbles

So does theirs.

 

Smile,

Wave hello,

Be friendly,

Be bold,

Be perfect,

Be me?

But it is not me,

It is merely a version of the person,

I need everyone to see.

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