38 years old

 my dress is actually midnight blue…

i remember being a little, little kid, sitting in front of a mirror & drawing. it was fascinating to me that one side of my face was slightly different than the other. after observing the same thing in other people i wondered if everyone was actually two different people. 

it’s funny how we choose a side we deem the most attractive, and call it our “good side”. “get my good side!” we cry because our photographic image goes out via the internet to the world, our electronic totem.

it’s amazing how a “bad picture” can destroy our peace of mind. i’ve been slowly but steadily losing the weight i gained while pregnant, a frustrating process, but one i’m pretty close to being done with. except… a few weeks ago we went to the park & in one of our photos i looked unnaturally wide. thanks to a bad angle my peace of mind was destroyed for the rest of the week. 

had all my hard work been in vain? i eventually shrugged it off. my clothes were fitting nicely & i felt good. and honestly, i’m not the kind of person to let a few photos run my life~ i’m not not a perfect person or a particularly enlightened one. i don’t have it all figured out & i’m often disappointed with the limitations i can perceive while i wonder at the no doubt many that are beyond my comprehension. 

i come from an extremely image conscious family. i wonder if that’s one of the things that lead to me being a figurative artist? as an ugly teenager i was a diappointment to my beautiful, fashionable mother. i was a brown tabby to her black and green eyed panther.   

my family was terrified of growing older. when all you are is how you look, what are you when you no longer live up to your criticisms of others? early on i developed an interior world in defiance against their exaltation of everything exterior. 

it’s sounds pedestrian, and it is. it’s certainly not a great battle when compared to the rest of the world. but my own small existence is constantly bombarded by images, enticements, & threats to meld into the great first world jello of conformity. 

i’m not afraid to get old. i describe myself as middle-aged because i am. i hate how anything other than young is some sort of insult. i hated that kind of attitude as a teen, in my 20s, and now. 

i’ve always taken photos and videos of myself for art reference. it’s cheaper than hiring a model and then i don’t have to worry about losing the model release forms, which i have, multiple times. i watch the aging process with interest. up until about 6 years ago i had full cheeks and dimples. 

i’ve lost them, but i see them in the face of my son. 

i can’t help but think how lucky i am.  

life is short. enjoy every part of it, especially the parts society tries to tell you are bad.  

growing older is wonderful if you’re more than just how you look, who you date, and what you buy. truly beautiful people are kind & helpful. my mother would have rolled her eyes at the sentiment, but i believed that as a child & i believe it now.

{okay, i am shallow, but i can’t help but think my shoes are adorable }


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Denise Lomax says:

    So True Betty!! I really enjoyed reading this, and seeing all the many angles of you :)! Also, your son is ADDDDORRRRABBBBLLLEEEE!!!! So Stinking cute :D!

  2. Sarah says:

    Truly well said. ❤

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