‘I’d cash my check for thousands, cry-jerk alone in bed, hop in my Rolls-Royce, and pretend it never happened.’: 26-year-old woman ditches deceivingly ‘glamorous’ lifestyle, now living life ‘truly, unapologetically’

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“In 2018, I had it all.

I was making 6 figures doing Lord knows what, literally 26 years old and making more money than both my parents combined from. my. cell. phone (most days). I had 3 cars (who the HECK needs 3 cars?!), and a big, glamorous house with guest bedrooms. I had crisp, designer clothing, not a speck of fuzz or dust in sight. I made sure of that.

My hair was always perfectly blown out, and I’d leave the house for the morning commute at 6:30 a.m. dolled up to high heavens like I was freakin’ Beyoncé or something. Lashes, foundation, contour and highlight, red lip, blush, primer, powder, lotion…concealer, eyeliner, self-tanner, mascara…shall I go on?

I was THAT girl you would compare yourself to on Instagram with the tropical island, beach, restaurant in the background, tiny waist and martini in the foreground. To most people, I’m sure I looked perfect. That I had everything and more. And I guess I did, at least physically.

But no one saw the real me.

I know what you’re thinking already. But you’re rich! I’d rather cry in a Ferrari than a subway station! How spoiled! I wish I was this girl! But..hear me out.

So, what is it exactly then that my friends, family, and followers were missing?

Well, I’ll tell you.

That 6-figure job? It felt shallow and meaningless. I felt like I had no purpose in life. And, honestly, I got the job out of sheer luck. I didn’t work for it, or feel I earned it. There was no ladder climbing or working up. It felt like a handout. In fact, I’ll never remember being specifically told ‘you’re hot and you’re hired,’ on my job acceptance message. Here I was, living in luxury while people were actually working, and HARD. The guilt was eating me alive.

Those 3 cars? I’d drive them home from work, alternating my cars every 3 days because I couldn’t be caught ‘double fisting’ (Jesus). So, yeah, I’d drive home, cash my check with literal thousands of dollars every week, get home, and cry my eyes out until I was cry-jerking in bed. Then, I’d get up, get a glass of water, hop in my Rolls-Royce, and act like nothing ever happened. Repression at its finest.

That big house? All of that space only made me feel more alone. That guest bedroom? It was always empty. And even when my house was filled with ‘friends’ and co-workers, I felt entirely alone. Everyone felt fake. After all, they only came around for the parties and left when the night called. And that one, or two, or three times I got too drunk, there was suddenly no ‘friends’ in sight. I blacked out in the bathroom until morning, wiped my own vomit off, and went back to work. Not a single soul noticed, or even cared enough to ask where I was. In my OWN house. On my lunch break, I painfully scrolled through photos of me and friends side by side, looking perfect, shots in hand with captions like ‘best friends forever’ and ‘my ride or dies.’ It made me sick. I can tell you, firsthand, this is one of the most painful feelings in the world. I literally wanted to die.

Those designer clothes? I starved myself to fit into a size 4. Looking back, I’m not really even sure they were my style. I mean, really ME. But it was what everyone else was wearing, so I went along with it. I mean, how DISGUSTING of me to even think to wear last season’s designer, right? Yep, you guessed it. These are the kind of comments I’d hear my peers saying. So, yeah. I hated my body and I hated my clothes (though I’ll admit some were cute). I felt nothing, no rush, no adrenaline, no satisfaction when I swiped my card. It was equivalent to washing my hands after the bathroom. Just something you do.

That perfect hair and makeup? I HATED putting it on. Do you know how many times I’ve had to re-apply my foundation to cover up tear tracks? Neither do I. I can’t count. But at least my lipstick matched my pumps and I was serenaded in phrases like ‘sooooo cute’ and ‘LOVE them hun!’

After a massive mental breakdown, like HUGE, I heard words like ‘crazy’ and ‘pyscho’ being passed around about me. Not one person offered a helping hand or kind words, though they did ask for selfies and to even borrow one of my designer blazers I’d gotten at Fashion Week.

But today, I’m different.

Today, I focus on me.

Today, I am me.

I live in a little apartment in Brooklyn (which is probably still too expensive, but hey, that’s New York for ya). I dress like ME. I deactivated my social media (though I peer at it from time to time on a secret account). I still wear makeup most days and am still working on self-confidence, but this time around I don’t feel like I NEED all of this junk. I sold one of my cars, and I’m working a mediocre job for now. But this mediocre job? I LOVE IT! And chicken. OH MY GOD, chicken nuggets! I can eat you again!!! Say goodbye size 4! Oh, and while we’re at it. I’M GAY! Woohoo!

I’m still working on the whole finding ‘true friends’ thing, but trust me, it’s not easy to find friends in your late 20s when all groups have been established and solidified. But I know that I will eventually now that I’m being truly and unapologetically ME.

And you should be, too.”

Courtesy of Bryan Spencer Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Sally M. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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