what i see now…
November 16, 2012
“Oh God, please tell me I am cuter than that right? right?!” …this is my standard sentence after looking at a picture of myself.
There are no full length mirrors in my house for a reason. …and I have always felt 100% more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. It’s hard to be seen, it’s difficult to allow someone else to see you, and maybe the most challenging to see yourself.
Claim vanity or blame a completely screwed up view of beauty in the world, or maybe it is just the heinous double chin…but I am getting closer to letting it go. You see, every time we are with our friends Dan and Ashley, I just want to take pictures of them- they are dear and there is a newness about them (and their love) I feel should be documented ALL THE TIME. I see their hearts and tenderness every time we are together.
And always, it never fails, Ashley always insists that she take pictures of us. …and part of me always dreads it…and yet something inside of me (maybe it just starts in a place of wanting to be polite) decides I will just let her do it. I am anticipating seeing my belly fat, my wrinkles, a full face…because my eye has been trained to see all that is wrong with me.
…but something weird and magical happens every time she takes our picture….I see all those things, they are totally still there and part of me still cringes at first… but I have started to see something else too.
eyes that have seen all of that partner, all of the darkness and light, and are still full of love
years of struggle and joy in togetherness
a super bad hair growing experiment
people that needed that break so bad and are full of relief
friends who are eating way too much buffalo chicken dip
tired faces from finding our way through
people that have a boatload of kids and need more time alone
all the reasons we dig each other
a splash of courage to not care in the moment and may have total picture regret to put it all out there in the morning
the beauty of still not knowing how it all works
…and part of me started to let go and wonder if…
maybe your worst side is actually your best side
maybe your moment of vulnerability captured is your secret power
maybe what really is IS more beautiful
maybe how we feel and love each other is the sweeter memory anyway
maybe we don’t have to wait 30 years to be kind to our 35 year old self
maybe if we all let ourselves be seen, we may all feel a helluva lot better about ourselves and the world
maybe our lives are more beautiful than we know
…and yes, my ass was inspired to go running the next day to take better care of myself and Jorge promptly cut his hair that night…and I still feel so locked up in the ways I see myself but I also feel this tiny bit of new freedom…to let it be, and that the moments of love and goodness and doubt and ugly and triumph and family should trump it all.
I want more than anything when I am old, to remember and see how we tried to love. …double chin and all.