Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The years teach much which the days never knew. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is a self-portrait I took of myself recently for a Photo-A-Day challenge I've been doing with a niece of mine.  My hair is not short...I have it skinned back in a pony tail.  I also don't have my glasses on, which is highly unusual because I can hardly see without them, but I had just come upstairs from spending 45 minutes riding on the exercise bike my family gave me for my birthday at the end of December. I had forgotten them and left them down in the basement near the bike.

Once upon a time I would never have posted this picture of me.  I would have scrutinized it without mercy, found a million flaws, and cast it into the Recycle Bin.  Now I am contemplating using it for the dust cover photo on my book if, by some miracle, my book ever gets published.  I like it.  I like the glow of the light reflecting off the snow that was outside the window that morning.  I like how it highlights the silver in my hair.  And I see some of the lines that are permanently etched and growing deeper every day in my face.  I see a woman who is overall very content with her life, and I see the peace in her face. 

I have come to realize as I'm getting older that because of my aversion to having my picture taken I have robbed my family of my pictorial history, so to speak.  There are not very many photos of me in the thousands we have stored in various albums and boxes and storage bins.  If one were to go thru them all you'd find abbreviated bits of me...and in most of them I'm expressionless or scowling.  I was told early on in life that I 'took' horrible pictures, that I was ugly, and it's taken me 59 years to finally relax with it and figure, "Whatever!"  I never thought I'd see that day.  When I am the photographer, tho, I exercise editing rights...I took about 10 photos before I was satisfied with this one. I am happy with it because, in looking at it, I see me and I'm realizing I'm not unhappy with the person in the pictureAnd I never thought I'd see that day, either.  But how I look at life approaching 60 is a lot different from how I viewed it approaching 50.  Or 40.  Or 30.  Or even 20.  We become much kinder to ourselves, we do.  And with that comes a relaxation of spirit within us.  We are who we are and, at least in my life, I've become content with that.


Meryl Baer said...

I hear ya! I hated having my picture taken as a teenager, I was so self-conscious. I think your picture is wonderful.

Unknown said...

You are so beautiful. I like your realizations. With age comes beauty.

Unknown said...

Your photo uses the best camera trick...sitting by a window for the softer light. Good job. Yes, I am slowly getting more accepting of myself too. The alternative is just so exhausting! and it doesn't seem to change anything. I've faced 60 and am now looking at 65 in another year. I can't even print out what comes after that!!!! How did that happen, that I have become a grandmother with grey hair and getting to be ancient?
Well, I did say "slowly getting more accepting".

Anonymous said...

This post really speaks to my heart. I have come to the same realization..there are very few photographs of myself in our family photos. I scrutinize over every little flaw. I am inspired to accecpt myself as I am, because I think our "flaws" is what makes us each beautiful and unique.

A thought just hit me, your message is something I am promoting in my new blog. I was wondering if I could borrow your article and pic with credit to you and a link back to you naturally.
my blog is Let me know if you are interested. Thank you, Elle

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