Two years ago I read an article in ESPN Magazine about a student athlete from New Jersey. Beautiful girl, soccer player, loving family, on scholarship to one of the east coast Ivy League schools.
I’m going from memory here so my facts may not be spot-on. For instance, she may have actually been from Connecticut or on scholarship for track. The one thing I do remember clearly about the story is that one day, this beautiful, intelligent young girl took a running start from the top level of a parking garage and leapt to her death.
Although no one knows for sure why she chose to end her life, the general consensus among her friends and family is that she fell into a dark place comparing and measuring herself against the airbrushed lives and Photoshopped pics of her Facebook friends … and found herself lacking.
It made me think about my own online presence. All the motivational quotes and do-gooder posts. All this sanctimonious talk of conquering self and soul evolution. All these books.
Don’t get it twisted. I’ve spent three-quarters of my life in prisons and juvenile facilities. I’ve been locked up eleven years this time. Last time I did ten. I can barely remember my brief vacation of freedom in between, because I was so faded on dope and pills. I’ve let down everyone who’s ever loved me. Most are long gone. Now, at age 42, there’s white in my beard, lines on my face, and ugly scars everywhere. No airbrushing here.
If you’re feeling imperfect, flawed, lacking, congratulations! You’re a part of the human race. We are seven billion strong. Some of us are just more adept at concealing, disguising, and revising than others.
Keep your head up.