No Filter.

Hefe. Earlybird. Lo-Fi. Rise. How am I going to pretty up my life today? If you must know, I'm a bit partial to the Valencia filter. It creates an instant brightness to my sometimes gloomy appearance. It also wipes away those nasty blemishes that continuously surface over the years, mainly due to my lack of effort in removing make-up after a night out. <Insert judgement here>

If I don't want you to see parts of my life, I can blur the lines...literally. I can flip my picture to capture the better half of me. My right side appears to be more flattering. It's also the side I swipe my bangs to to hide my enormous forehead. But, I can even crop that down a bit if I wanted to.

And let's not even talk about the caption. Okay, let's. I can string together words that will have you believing life is a big ole peach – sweet, juicy and desirable – when it actually feels like a lemon at the moment. My hashtags can take on an entire story of their own and most of the time reveal the true definition of the photo. #apictureisworthathousandwordsyouknow

I have the power to make you believe whatever I want you to believe. I control what the lens captures, even when there is a complete mask of deceit attached to the face of the photo.  Not to say that what you see is not really what you get. But, there is a chance that you will come across some form of fabrication while scrolling through your feed. Faux. Real.

For instance, take a look at this picture:

Ian and I attended his co-worker's wedding at Hotel Monaco in Baltimore, MD. It was around the same time that the Orioles were on fire and working towards a spot in the World Series. Traffic was hectic in downtown B'more; pedestrians were everywhere and the city was bleeding orange and black. Because of this excitement, the streets were flooded with more cars, people and tie-ups, causing us to run late (which isn't highly unusual AT ALL). Still, we stayed calm and cool in the car. I mean, there was nothing we could do about it. I was surprised at how we handled the situation. It felt very adult-like of us. I applied my makeup and attacked my straggly hair. I even watched a Youtube video in the car that instructed me on how to tie a tie so that Ian would have one less thing to worry about. I did a great job, too!

Ian and I made it to the wedding way after it started. Despite our delay, we did not miss all of it. We were able to witness the two families coming together as one under an umbrella of love (in the form of a cloth). The bride and groom shared a kiss, they were pronounced husband and wife, the crowd cheered...and the party started.

We worked our way upstairs to cocktail hour. They had me easily at "open bar". We feasted on delicious passed hor' dourves and sipped on endless cocktails. I met a lot of Ian's co-workers and made conversation with them effortlessly. I even talked with the guys about fantasy football. Don't tell me I can't hang. It was finally nice to put a face to a name and to know that they had heard so much about me already. Looks like Ian was doing his job.  Good job, fella.

After about an hour, the doors to the main room were opened. It was breath-taking. It looked like something out of a magazine. I was excited to see what the night would bring. Or so I thought I was.

Just minutes after snapping the picture above, Ian and I got into an argument. It was my doing and I won't disclose all the details, but it was enough to change my entire mood. No one around us knew, beside the awkward moments of silence and Ian's constant visits to the bar for beer and my frequent bathroom breaks. We still clapped, cheered, toasted and smiled like good, little wedding attendees are suppose to. But, the damage had been done. We left the wedding earlier than planned, with emotions still running high. As one couple came together as one, it felt like Ian and I were drifting apart. It was a night to remember for so many reasons.

Looking back, I over-reacted a bit (but rightfully so) and probably should have waited until we were at home as to not ruin the mood of the night. But, in some twisted, lesson-to-be-learned way I am glad that it happened. Ian and I had to work through a lot of emotion, participate in real conversation and declare our real love for each other because of this single event.

In that moment, that Instagram picture was real. But the likes and love that came after it was posted were for an image that had already dissolved. I pressed submit. There was no coming back.

I noticed that I never responded to the comments that were made on this picture. That is unusual for me. I normally reply to my comments. I probably felt like my words would be polluted with untruth. But, life has a way of making a moment just that – a stage for as little or as long as you want/need it be. 

This picture is my current Facebook profile picture and for good reason. I would later go back and add a description to it and respond to all the beautiful comments that were made. After evaluating the situation and honoring our commitment to one another, we realized that most of what we go through is trivial.

Thank goodness for endings and beginnings. We are over this hurdle now and are leaping towards more exciting adventures. I'm almost afraid to express such joy because some may try to strip it away. But, who cares? 

The same emotion that was initially captured in that picture, is truly how we feel today. No filter.

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