THIS IS US

Behind Every Image of Success on Social Media Is… the Rest of Life

During the hardest year of my life, I only shared my two biggest accomplishments

Karla Starr
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readApr 6, 2022

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In 2018, this is what I posted on my Facebook timeline:

April 22: Victory!

“CrossFit Queens Mock Regionals 2018 — I won a sports thing yesterday!!!!! Thanks to the CFQ community for pushing me to be healthier.” All photos courtesy of the author.

May 24: Happiness!

“After a questionably long gestation period, I’d like to introduce my baby ❤️❤️❤️. Incubation ends on August 14; more pics and links to come. #blessed.”

A few months later in the summer of 2018, I got the worst possible kind of phone call: My grandmother had taken a turn for the worse. Her immune system began to falter after a simple infection, leading to a cascade of bodily failures. She was stuck in bed and couldn’t get up to walk. I went to Buffalo, New York to visit my family, and brought my grandmother an early copy of my book, which was coming out in three months.

After my mother, aunt, and grandpa cleared out of the room, I sat on the edge of her bed. She started crying. She was shaking. “You were the cutest little girl. Just the cutest. I have so many wonderful memories of when you were little, running around the house.”

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Karla Starr
Human Parts

Speaker & author x2, inc. Making Numbers Count (w/ Chip Heath). Behavioral science, cultural history, numbers.