What did I do?

“After all of these years, I’m still wondering”


By Julia Sacco


Instagram has a new feature where you can go back and look at your very first liked posts. It’s a bittersweet experience to look back at everything I loved at thirteen. I spent so much time trying to emulate the women that I saw. Every morning meticulously styling my hair, dragging my mom to Brandy Melville despite their questionable moral practices, and taking videos of bath bombs for no reason other than social acceptance.


When going through these old posts, I noticed something. You had liked some of them too.


You. You were trying to replicate exactly what I was. You, the one who seemed to find an issue with everything that I wore, the way that I spoke, and the way that I styled my hair. So what did I do wrong? What about me was so different?


Was it the extra ten pounds that I had on you? The reason that my ringer tee fit slightly different than yours? Was it my face? Still awkwardly carrying baby fat that you somehow had shed?


What about me doing the same thing as you, trying as hard as every other middle schooler, was so repulsive to everyone?


I wish that I could go back to my younger self and tell her that I wasn’t so unlike you. But that wouldn’t make much of a difference, would it? Because after all of these years, I’m still wondering. I didn’t stop at the hair and the clothes. Yet still, I tried and tried and try.


Now, as I look at my life I still feel the vehement rejection everywhere I turn. Friendships are a rarity, nobody seems to care for me as I care for them. I obsess over unfollows, each one a sting telling me that I’m still doing it all wrong, that it doesn’t matter if I like the same things that you do. I will always be wrong.


What did I do to deserve this?