It’s almost 1am and I got 5 hours of sleep last night. I had to finish up some freelance work that of course I put off really working on until Sunday night.
I just couldn’t leave that last post up another day as the main entry. It’s a bit heavy, I guess. I enjoyed the comments a lot, though. I was surprised at how much people wanted to say; about what it brought up in each of you.
The reason I got only 5 hours of sleep last night is because Pete and I were binging out on the 4th season of Six Feet Under and then were joking and laughing, among other things, until 4am. Then Cecily phoned at 9am to ask me to meet her in the ER near her house to help out with the baby while Charlie had tests done. Thankfully, they were able to rule out the really bad things they were worried about, but of course still left him with a “we don’t really know what the problem was.” He’s going to his primary doc tomorrow and the kiddo and I will go watch Tori while he is there.
So I joined this Flickr group called 365 Days—everyone is doing it, yo—and I’m fascinated with it already. I resisted joining at first because it was such a commitment to make: taking a self-portrait every day for a year. I’ve only done three days so far, and I am already enthralled. I love looking at how others choose to show themselves and the creative ways in which they make it interesting.
The most meat of the fascination is this: Why do we hate seeing images of ourselves so much? How do we change that?
Part of what is disturbing—or maybe just unsettling—is that we go through life almost exclusively looking at our faces in mirrors. We see the reverse of what everyone else sees. When we look at a photograph of ourselves (unless taken in a mirror, of course) we see what everyone else sees, and it is startling. It is very much like hearing one’s own voice on an answering machine. Don’t you cringe when you hear it, thinking “Is that what I sound like?” We all do! Just like we all make negative comments about photos of ourselves—and while women are often more ‘vocal’ about it, I think that inner voice of criticism is in all of us.
In thinking about the idea of 365 days, I have been thinking about getting used to seeing myself, about learning to see me as others might, and loving what I see. And by ‘loving’ I don’t mean to imply total narcissism. I do mean to imply acceptance. But mostly? Love.
Want to join me?