Digital Babe

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At its peak, Tumblr had a quote that was constantly floating around: “Are you really living or are you just existing?”  At the time, back in 2012 when the covers of our iPhones were coloured animal patterns and Alexa Chung was retiring from her 20’s, I was too young to pick a side. I couldn’t live yet, I was thirteen and I kept telling myself that the living part of my life would come later.

We’re later now and I still don’t have an answer.

I know what I want. I want to live my life and be really fucking loud about it. I want to miss moments as they’re happening because their intensity is prettier when seen from afar. I want to shoot my friends on film and honestly love them, but something got in my way.

I’m a digital baby.

I grew up watching other people living it up better than I did. Whether it was Paris Hilton club hopping or, nowadays, Kendall Jenner drinking champagne on a shore in Greece. Pretty early on, I started comparing my life to theirs, doing anything possible to enjoy my existence as much as they seemed to enjoy theirs. And I’m sort of stuck in a hologram now. I lift my skirt up and wear sunglasses for the gram. I stand pretty and tall for the gram and bear my teeth for the gram. I constantly perform for an invisible crowd, waiting for God knows what.

I want my life to be like Kendall Jenner’s Instagram feed, or Devon Lee Carlson’s.
Just anyone who manages to doll up their lives and smile real wide for the camera that always captures their best angle.

It’s childish, but it’s the truth.

I want their lean legs and their days spent at the pool seeming to hardly work at all. I want the lead singer boyfriend who swims through crowds to get to me. I want to travel the world and have amazing drunken stories to tell. Yet, I can’t do anything at all, because I’m too addicted to their lives to take a break and live mine. Instead, I work my 9 to 5 job that makes me miserable and I grasp at the tiny bits of the summer left after hours scrolling down their pages. 

I spent June, July and the better part of August trying to catch up to celebrities, comparing the nights spent in my bed doing nothing to their late dinners with endlessly interesting, beautiful people in the south of Europe. There wasn’t a second that went by where I wasn’t picturing myself amongst them.

And I know absolutely nothing about these people. I just like the vibrant colour of their grass. I should know better. I’m aware that models cry, too, no matter where they are in the world and that born-in-gold-and-fame people can feel empty inside. Yet, I still want. A taste, a glimpse, a chance to see for myself if I got fooled by their perfectly built public persona and pretty Insta feed.  

Because every time I think my life couldn’t be sweeter, perfectly buzzed at a party with the right track playing, I know that somewhere, some pretty girl is dancing barefoot on burning marble floors right by shimmering waters and I can’t help but want to be her.