We think we know someone,but the truth is that we only know the version of them they have chosen to show us. We know our friend in a certain light, but we don’t know them the way their lover does. Just the way their lover will never know them the same way that you do as their friend. Their mother knows them differently than their roommate, who knows them differently than their colleague. Their secret admirer looks at them and sees an elaborate sunset of brilliant colour and dimension and spirit and pricelessness. And yet, a stranger will pass that same person and see a faceless member of the crowd, nothing more. We may hear rumours about a person and believe those things to be true. We may one day meet that person and feel foolish for believing baseless gossip.
This is the first generation that will be able to look back on their entire life story documented in pictures on the internet, and together we will all discover the after effects of that. Ultimately, we post photos online to curate what strangers think of us. But then we wake up, look in the mirror at our faces and see the cracks and scars and blemishes, and cringe. We hope someday we’ll meet someone who will see that’s same morning face and instead see their future, their partner, their forever. Someone who will still choose us even when they see all the sides of the story, all the angles of the kaleidoscope that is you.
The point being, despite our need to simplify and generalise absolutely everyone and everything in this life, humans are intrinsically impossible to simplify. We are never just good or just bad. We are mosaics of our worst selves and our best selves, our deepest secrets and our favourite stories to tell at a dinner party, existing somewhere between our well-lit profile photo and our drivers licensee shot. We are all a mixture of selfishness and generosity, loyalty and self-preservation, pragmatism and impulsiveness.
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