Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.
Forgive me, but I’m going to cheat…again. I’ve chosen two pictures, not just one. As it turns out, this prompt was not as easy as I anticipated. I had, literally, thousands of photos to go through from my year. Out of those, there were maybe 50 with me in them. Generally, I’m the one behind the camera. I’m not photogenic in the least, and it’s very hard to find just the right angle in just the right light to get a picture where I don’t look like I have a wall-eye or suffer from Parkinson’s. Anyway. This prompt made me feel like maybe I DO suffer from multiple personalities, each one showing a drastically different side of me. I had it narrowed down to about five, each one depicting pivotal traits in character. At the close, I ended up with these two: the closest I could come to ME, in microcosm.
#1: True Grit
I took this picture myself. It was taken in the passenger seat of my girlfriend K’s Jeep right after she’d picked me up from a salon visit. The aesthetician had just finished MURDERING my eyebrows. (I remember now why I do them myself.) I happen to feel beautiful when I look at this picture. It downplays the size of my nose (which I am INCREDIBLY self-conscious about), shows off my killer tan (the first I’d had in four years!), warns people that they really shouldn’t fuck with me (look at the the jut of my jaw, the easy hang of the just-lit ciggy), and hints at a deeper humor/sadness (my eyes really are my best feature, I think).
#2: The Wanderer
This second photo was taken the day I left for the east coast for two months over the summer. That is the only bag that I took with me, aside from my purse, which you can see partially on the left side of the photo. That’s my pedicured right foot (size 6.5) in there to show scale. I took this photo too. There are a lot of things this picture show about me. Independence, wanderlust, simplicity, excitement, adventure, searching misdirection…. I LIVED out of this bag for those months. It contained everything I needed, and I was even able to discard a few things along the way.
There were other photos that contained me smiling, laughing even, but smiles don’t really come easily for me. Showing those, I’d feel like I’d lied to you, dear reader. I thought about adding photos of sweating beverage glasses on sandy beaches with backdrops of rainbow sunsets, but the sand aside, they wouldn’t have been dirty enough–though Jeebus knows how important my margaritas and vodka are to my existence! There were cutesy, impish images of me winking at the camera, but those were just mugs, and not True.
Anyhoo. No flowery prose for you today. Just two images that have come the closest to catching me as me as I get.