Instastalking was my guiltiest pleasure before college. Before I even had an Instagram, I religiously would scroll through endless accounts of people who I wanted to be like. In middle school, it was all the cool kids who either did recreational cheerleading or played football. In high school, it expanded to the best all-star cheerleaders and fitness YouTubers. I always convinced myself that I would peruse through social media accounts to try and understand the lives of everyone who I saw. Social media was always a competition in my eyes; everyone posted about their greatest accomplishments and most significant moments. It felt like a bragging race to see who had the most interesting life–something that I thought I did not have at the time. I constantly thought that my life was inferior to these profiles; I wouldn’t spend the weekends at parties or hanging out with friends like everyone else seemed to be doing. I would stay at home, walk my dog, and hang out with my mom. My life was the exception; I was the one person who just didn’t have the social bug and couldn’t even fathom an Instagram post to act like my life was something it’s not. I desperately wanted to see how I was like everyone who seemed to have the things I didn’t. I honestly wanted my life to feel like an Instagram Story.
But that was the person I used to be. I don’t know when I changed and severed my obsession with social media. But going back to the “old me”, looking through all these accounts of people I used to obsess over, I feel like I’m missing something. The person who I was just a couple of years ago seems to be a very nuanced version of angsty high school Troutman. Right now, I have begun to feel certified in who I am; I’m starting to understand my morals, work towards my goals, and live unapologetically. And even though I am this “new and improved” version of myself, I still feel that I left who I was in the dust. Coming to college, I knew that it would be some sort of restart. But, I didn’t want my restart to be a complete memory clear. Leaving high school, there were a lot of doors left open, a lot of things I never addressed, a lot of fears I never faced. And now, as I am stalking on social media, remembering the person who I was in high school, I feel as if I owe it to myself to finally close those doors and face those fears.
I think it’s dangerous to just start anew and try to brute force the person who you once were. Even during our darkest times, when we want to shove our monsters into the corner, the constant suppression will eventually result in a massive relapse. I want to have continuity within my life, a story that progresses gradually or at least has cohesive transitions. I’m not even sure of what I am saying anymore. It’s 4:30 AM on my dad’s birthday. I’m just going to leave this unwritten