Changing Leaves: Fake it ‘till you make it

Over the last two years, I’ve been told that I “seem really put together,” and the truth is, I’m not. I have moments where I fall apart and episodes where I close my door at night and sob. I have impulses to delete my existence on social media and move to a country where no one knows me. Sometimes, I want to stop time or fast-forward. And sometimes, I don’t care for my present or my future. 

My mental health fluctuates, like it does for many other people. I try really hard to avoid showing that I’m not doing well—at times hating myself for not keeping my largest smile. It gets so bad that I start being upset with myself for responding with “I’m okay,” instead of “I’m doing great,” when someone asks me how I am. My social media presence is filled with friends and happiness, but my private stories occasionally catch a tear streaming down my flushed face. I feel like a nuisance—an annoying loose thread that you can’t seem to tug off your shirt. 

I like to remind myself that happy moments are guaranteed, and that those smiles and laughs you have every once in a while are sufficient to get you to the next gleeful instance where you find yourself grinning like an idiot and twirling like you are the most graceful ballerina. But sometimes, they’re not. And you might spend every day or every night wishing for better, crying for permanent change, and hoping someone will hear your pleas and provide you with the love and support you need. 

Last winter wasn’t so great for me, and I feel myself falling back into that hole. But I knew that good times were coming, and they arrived and filled me with gratitude and happiness. I still have hope for happier times. The bad, the good, the heartbreak, the love, the adventure, the failure—they’re all guaranteed in life.

I don’t feel shame for my sadness, despite my efforts to hide it. But if you ever wish to reach out and chat about your highs, your lows, and the in-betweens, email and know a friend is on the other end of the monitor.

Changing Leaves Columnist (Volume 49); Managing Editor (May–November, Volume 49) — Aia is a fourth-year student studying Psychology and completing a double minor in French and Philosophy. She became a Staff Writer for The Medium in the 2021-2022 publishing year and was determined the team couldn’t get rid of her so soon. In her spare time, she can be found café hopping in the hopes to find the best iced chai in the GTA, writing her weirdly complex thoughts down in her notes app, or taking a million pictures a day of her friends. Aia hopes that students find The Medium and feel the sense of belonging she has felt. You can connect with Aia on Linkedin.


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