essays

Congratulations! You Failed!

I’m back on Tinder and my profile now reads, “Half-naked on the ‘gram, athleisure IRL.” Social media has given us a plethora of tools to perform every corner of our identity. I mean, Solange on Instagram is not the same as Solange on Black Planet. On Instagram… Just kidding, that comparison doesn’t even begin to hold up because Solange is a Black goddess who is too good for mere mortals on any media platform.

Think about how Kylie Jenner is a robot in reality TV confessionals, a homebody who loves her friends and attends occasional house parties on Snapchat, a thirst-trap-wielding makeup mogul on Instagram, a semi-interesting person with a decent ghostwriter on her short-lived app, and still a constant culture vulture on all aforementioned platforms. And that’s code-switching for a rich white woman. People of Color are doing twice as much code-switching!!! WOW, no wonder we’re fucking exhausted!

(In case you were wondering, I’m half-naked on the ‘gram, intersectional loudmouth on the other ig account, athleisure IRL, button-up joutfit (jean outfit) on LinkedIn, intellectual thirst thirst trap god on Tinder, and Anne Hathaway in Les Mis at the bank.)

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Q1 2019’s mantra was to literally stay in bed for as long as possible. Q2 2019, on the other hand, will receive a much-needed boost of fiery energy, thanks to Aries season. This time is all about making sure that every single person I interact with, whether IRL or online, will feel the full ferocity of my being. We are DONE pretending!!! We are well-rested. We are confident that we have our shit together. We are having daily orgasms and yelling about it on our IG stories. We are unapologetically stating our needs!!! We are calling people out no matter how long we’ve already put up with their bullshit. We are relishing in our freedom to fuck shit up!!!

The weight of potential public failure is literally crushing me. One day, a little Stoner Tinkerbell flew casually into my sight and whispered gently, “Remember who you are. A bitch who gives absolutely zero fucks.”  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ If failure looks like accruing off-brand photos on my perfectly curated insta feed, I’m not afraid of that shit!! If failure looks like ruining your credit score so that you can keep having unlimited time to process your trauma, BRING. IT. ON, BITCHES!!! In the words of intellectual hypeman Audre Lorde, “I AM DELIBERATE AND AFRAID OF NOTHING!!”

*gently puts pitchfork down*

*eats one more square of weed chocolate*

*screams and ululates*

*waves pitchfork angrily in the air again*

(a sneaky shoutout to my roommate and best bud Allison Theresa Hellmo, whose energy I am channeling in this rant)

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Because I’m constantly trying to look like I’m hustling, laying naked in clouds with plates of chicken nuggets, going on magical gay-cations, and taking fire selfies, I’m denying all of you, my dear friends, the full ferocity of my spirit. A legitimate question that may or may not be directed at fire signs: Why don’t we celebrate our losses with the same enthusiasm as our wins?

Oh, right. Because white people will capitalize off that shit but still demonize People of Color healthily expressing a negative emotion. (Shit, I really tried to get through this without talking shit about yt people!)

But seriously, y’all, I have failed more times than I’ve succeeded in the last six months. I ended a strenuous, whirlwind relationship, and it’s still messy as hell. My credit score is trash. Some days, I stay in bed and pretend I’m being productive by rewatching all the episodes of Sex and the City for **inspo** when I’m truly just feeling lazy as fuck! I’ve missed deadlines, backed out of projects, turned down job offers even though I’m living off of ramen, spent too much money on weed, and so much more.

Showing y’all the full ferocity of my being includes admitting that I need to be held, encouraged and supported. It includes demanding your attention and happily receiving your compliments. It includes showing up half-naked on the internet.

Kill that little voice in your head that’s telling you your engagement will drop if you unapologetically ask for attention and affirmation from your online friends. Share your failures, seek attention and ask for affirmations. Replace that voice in your head with Stoner Tinkerbell.

beatriz kaye