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Crush, Mirror, Sister (2023)

How do we cope with grieving false versions of ourselves? Are there alternatives to only in-person conversations or only digital interactions when we crave human connection during sensitive life transitions? How do writers share different versions of their perspectives of their lives, while protecting the identities of the people they write about?


In February 2023, my personal life was turned upside down when I accepted myself as a queer person and my three-year marriage to my husband ended.


I decided to take one year off from my personal Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok accounts so that I could focus on building my identity without the influence of the social media presence I’ve had since age 12. I thought of my "self-appointed social media sabbatical" as an artist residency in the real world. I signed out of my personal accounts the same week that I signed into the government accounts for my new full-time job in social media for public health.

In March, I began writing a memoir about my journey to discovering my queerness. This made sense to me because I had four years’ worth of unpublished poetry sitting in my Google Drive, beginning the day after I got engaged: “February 24, 2019 - i need to get this out of my system”. I began writing a memoir in prose, reflecting how my entire life had happened the way it did and weaving in excerpts from my poetry to further illustrate specific memories.

As early as April, I felt a strong pull toward sharing excerpts of my writing with close friends, family, and former mentors in my life. In the absence of connecting with these people on social media platforms, connecting with them through personally curated writing made me feel like I was building richer relationships than I had ever felt prior to 2023.

Crush, Mirror, Sister is part memoir, part art project. It is not about reaching one version of a truth for traditional printed publication that is shared with everyone. It is about asking ourselves who we trust with different versions of our truths, and asking what is we’re looking for when we let people into vulnerable moments our lives.

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