When the Instagram account ShubkaTomsk followed me, my life was in the gutter. I was transitioning effortlessly into my cold-weather foul mood (a funner name for seasonal depression) while going through a pretty brutal breakup. My phone's notification window was mostly comprised of ridiculously involved text fights, friends asking "U ok?" and Seamless telling me about crystal balls they deep-fried.
But when I saw this username pop up on my lock screen, it felt like a window to Narnia -- a fanciful, faraway world full of blonde women and fur. Thousands of dead-eyed smilers looked out at me, imploring me to buy floor-length mink vests for 30,000 rubles, which I think works out to "four Seamless meals." I'm not ashamed to say this account pulled me out of the darkness, gave me a reason to go on, and permanently changed my life. I am happy to share that wisdom with you in my very first column. Here is what I learned:
Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Past
Invariably, when you're in a slump, you'll run into people you knew from high school who seem to have been doing great the entire time since you saw each other last. That's gross, and you're right to be bothered. Anyway, when one of these born-and-bred winners asks you, "So, Ludmila, how's things? Did you hear I'm an astronaut now?" you might feel like you're nothing but a weirdo fur model. But don't throw your life story under the bus! Let's say you murdered Cookie Monster, a polar bear, several raccoons, and a Scottish man. While some people would make you feel ashamed for that (so much blood -- why?!?), the fact is you are who you are, and no amount of bribing town magistrates to turn a blind eye to your criminal actions is going to change that. Your life is a patchwork quilt of your experiences, and your coat is a patchwork trophy of your many kills. Have pride!