Remove the Filter, Reveal the Truth

I could tell you anything about me, I can be who I want to be

I can make up a story and get you to believe it

I can create a perfectly crafted persona

But that’s not me


I can put on a filter, I can throw on a mask

I can tell you a lie for whatever you ask

But that’s not me


I can get on the internet and make a fake profile

A perfect life and a plethora of “friends”

I can show you all the dream me

But that’s not not the real me


With a filter I can be whatever I want to be

I am popular, I am smart

I am funny, I am kind

I am rich

I am better than everyone else

But it is a lie


And this lie is destroying me

It corrodes my thoughts like acid burning through my brain

And every time I choose the lie, I am throwing a rag on the mess

Pretending everything is okay

When my “life” is killing me


And this lie is destroying my relationships

If I refuse to tell the truth nobody can really know me

This lie is like a wrecking ball knocking down everything that might help me

This lie is like is taking acceptance and throwing it off a cliff, never to return

This filter removes all hope and replaces it with denial

But denial can only last so long until reality comes crashing in, shattering a fake identity and leaving shards of expectations to pierce my tender heart and let my life bleed out until there is nothing left, not even a memory


And I must remember who I am

It’s easier to be who I want to be

But I can’t

I can’t just throw away my real life


Because whatever else it may be, my life is real

And no lie can ever compete with that

It’s like I’m in a library and I pick up a biography and I hurl it off the shelf because I don’t like the story

Then replace it with a novel because I want a happy ever after

But I don’t get to pick the book


I am who I am and I must be myself or I deny my own existence and I vanish into the stratosphere

I need to be grounded

It’s time to come back to Earth and face the cold hard truth


I am a socially awkward teenager

With a few friends who know who I really am

I am an A/B student

An overachiever who gets swallowed up in a sea of perfectionism and as I am drowning I cry “I’ll never get it right!”

I am not a comedy queen - I can barely come up with more than puns that will only get a laugh out of my dad (and everyone knows how bad dad jokes are)

I am more selfish than I’d like to admit and I get jealous just like anybody else

I tell myself not to get attached to material possessions but I still find myself hungering for money to spend on my own enjoyment

I am surrounded by people who are better than me and I can’t help but compare myself to them even though I know that I am wonderful in my own right

I am a notorious procrastinator

I’ll leave off the truth until tomorrow

Tomorrow I will tell you who I really am


But every day I tell the lie is a day I don’t get to live

I am stealing from myself year after year until I have no years left and I am lying on my deathbed thinking “who am I and where did my life go and why is there nobody who truly understands me and why is my life wasted and stuffed with unfulfilled promises and vanished hopes and why-- why am I nothing?”

Every day I tell the lie is a day is a day I ruin for someone else

People see my perfect life and think they must be put together

So they stop eating so they can conform to standards of “beauty” and they study all night so they won’t be called stupid and they work for the “best” jobs so they will look good and they earn money so they can show off their great life-- all while they have a great emptiness in their life

Because the lie is a black hole, sucking in everything and everyone in its path, leaving no trace of the people it destroyed, leaving no light in its wake but a dull, empty void


And so I cannot lie

I take the truth and I wrap it around myself like a wonderful blanket of warmth--

But even that is a lie


The truth is not a warm blanket that makes everything comfortable

The truth is a prickly cactus, poking into things that I’d rather ignore and puncturing my sensitive spots

And the truth is ugly

It sticks out like zits on my face

But I’d rather show those zits than keep putting on concealer and acting like nothing’s wrong


It’s time to take the filter off forever

Remove the option to alter your perception of me


I am full of imperfections and I must take them from the dark corner of my conscience and throw them into the light so that you can know I am not what you might think

I am stubborn, I am impatient, I am lazy, I am greedy, I am angry, I am arrogant, I am defensive, I am disobedient, I am a liar-- but I tell you the truth when I say that I am not perfect

Nobody is


You can be a perfect lie, a data ghost with no tie to reality

Or you can live the thrilling, terrifying, electrifying truth--

Your choice

This poem is about: 
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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