Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Appreciate your NOW

“It's been a bad day, please don't take my picture,
It's been a bad day, please
It's been a bad day, please don't take my picture,
It's been a bad day, please”
REM, song PSA (aka “Bad Day”)

To piggyback my last post, I have to write about this. I have always loathed cameras. I hate to have my picture taken to this day. As soon as I see a camera come out, I freeze. I feel my blood pressure go up. I don’t want to move; yet, I want to run! I know this has to do with self-esteem as it relates to my appearance. Early on, I was told I was ugly, not up to par; I was lucky to be smart because that is all I had. Oh gee…. Thanks!

I have tried so hard to get over this “mind tape” as it runs over and over in my mind for years and years. All I have heard for decades via the voice in my head are really stupid, repetitive mantras. “You are so ugly!” “You are so fat.” “You are so unattractive!” “Thank goodness you have your art, because you don’t have looks to get you anywhere.” You get the idea. This scenario is getting even more humorous now that I am aging. I am really getting wrinkly and weathered, to say the least. I am trying still to allow myself to love the me that is NOW.

I have tried so hard to rid myself of all this B.S. I have tried and tried. I have made a bit of progress. I remember telling a coworker that she shouldn’t be so upset about current photos. I am twenty years her senior. I told her “No matter how bad a picture of yourself appears to you, twenty years from now, you will WISH you looked like that!!!!!” I told her this because I have lived it. I look back on photos of myself ten, twenty, whatever years ago. I think, “How could I think I was such a monster?” “How could I think I was obese?” “How could I put myself down so much and why did you do this to yourself?”

The irony of this line of thinking is as I shuffle through photos of my past, I am AMAZED at how much I have accomplished in my life. I have done very well and I am proud! I could die today and know for sure I made a difference. I can say this for ABSOLUTE sure and know this is the truth. So, I can say with confidence, I will never have plastic surgery or Botox and any other kind of age remedy. I am going to get old and wrinkled and just be me. I just can't see the point. Even if you get a face lift or Botox, you still look old, but it is obvious you had "work" done. I looked a photo of the elder Georgia O’Keefe today. I thought about how she was so busy with her work, she didn’t care about all this “looks” junk. Well, I think the same way. I am going to get old and love every minute of it. I love my wrinkles because it is far better than the alternative!

Sheree and Cristen Rensel standing in front of Willis Gallery, 1984
23 years goes by so fast.
I look at this pic and see the beauty of our life back then
Now, I know to enjoy each minute regardless of where you are at in your life.
Also, I am learning to appreciate my NOW.
Can you do that?

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