Studies show that you have roughly three seconds before someone decides what they think of you.
That’s three seconds.
Three seconds to smile
three seconds to say hello,
three seconds to make the best impression possible.
Those three seconds can change everything.
Society pushes humans to act and look a certain way.
We must be dressed in expensive clothing, our hair clean and fresh, our smiles big and wide.
They always tell you to be yourself,
they always tell you that you can be no one else except for yourself.
But when we have the courage to act upon it, the very people who told us those exact words, judge us.
They may tell me to be myself, but in today's world, myself is just not enough.
So I've created this character,
this perfect girl that can conquer the world, one that is never afraid of what lies ahead.
I create the illusion that she doesn’t care what anyone thinks,
but that is really the only reason for her existing.
And because my hair is brushed, my nails are painted an irritating perky shade of pink, and my eyes wide and awake, you see this character I've created, and you assume she is real.
That all of my demons lie right on the expression on my face, that you can take one look at me, and suddenly, you know me.
But all you’ve gotten to know is that girl, not me.
I hide all my pain away under layers of skin and bones, and because you can't see it, you believe that I am not hurting.
You assume that every pain comes from physical injury, and if we cannot see it, it must not be there.
But I wake up every morning, my toes could be bleeding, my muscles sore, but all that physical pain is nothing compared to the pain I cannot see.
I'm a logical person.
I need reason to understand, but these thoughts have none.
It's not like grammar where the answer lies in the lines of a few simple guidelines, or science where there is clearly stated evidence, or math where I can just carry the one and divide the product by two to find the answer to the problem, because most often
there is no problem.
There is just feelings,
cold menacing feelings,
and I'm feeling them all at once.
They seem to never stop,
like a broken noise machine on repeat.
At some point, I can't bear the confusion anymore, so I let my act drop,
and after peeling away the layers of insecurity, you can reveal the real me, the one I don’t want anyone to see.
The one that fears the world.
It never makes sense.
I have Anxiety.
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary anxiety is "an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear, often marked by physiological signs such as sweating, increased pulse, by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self doubt of one's ability to cope with it,"
but according to me, that definition is just a combination of 26 letters,
just a series of sounds and syllables that usually come together to mean something,
but in this case, I see nothing.
For me, it feels like the universe is constantly trying to consume me,
that even though I am walking at a normal pace it feels like moving faster than physics have ever allowed.
It's like my heart is working overtime and beating one thousand times a minute, pushing blood through my veins so fast I think they might burst.
It's like time is unlimited, and although I’m running as fast as I can
everything around me is still.
I don't ever realize I am constantly rubbing my thumb against the bottom of my palm, or that I am cracking my knuckles so much they are on the verge of breaking.
It's like fire burning my lungs.
It's like frostbite finally hitting my toes cold.
It's like drowning in fear and breathing in negativity.
On the inside, it's everything.
But on the outside, nothing.
I won't let you see me sweat, or cry or resist.
I won't let you break my wall,
because I can't show weakness.
So I show this girl,
this fictional character,
so that I can spare you the effort of even trying.
But everything is still happening inside,
no matter how hard I try to convince myself that I am this person,
that voice in the back of my head still knows the truth.
It still knows that I’m hiding
It's not easy to keep running from these problems that don’t seem to exist to anyone else but me.
There is no reason.
There is no life or death situation.
There is just me and my thoughts, all of which are telling me to flee.
So I run.
Maybe not physically, but emotionally.
And I run from problems and I run from questions, and I run from my family.
But sometimes, you run out of breath.
And you stay
and fight it.