It has been months now since my last post. When we returned from Sicily, I hit the ground running and I haven’t slowed down since. But that hasn’t stopped me from taking pictures. I have been playing with the camera on my cell. It is surprising how good the pictures from an iPhone 4s can be. And in doing this, I have discovered the world of selfies.
Selfies are the pictures that people love to hate, yet almost everybody takes them. I found an article recently that claimed the following:
“For a generation that is overwhelmingly narcissistic, we are pretty ignorant to what we’re really saying with our ”selfies.” Worse yet, we’re not even paying much attention to how selfies are damaging our relationships.
No really, they are.”
“This is because people, other than very close friends and relatives, don’t seem to relate well to those who constantly share photos of themselves,” says Dr. David Houghton.
I would like to suggest that there other reasons for taking selfies than narcissism. I believe that selfies can be a celebration.
For years I hated having my picture taken. From my late 20s I started gaining weight. The heavier I got the more my desire to have my picture taken diminished. In this picture, I weighed about 273 lbs. If you look closely in my face, you can see the discomfort that lies just below the surface. At that weight, there was not a moment that I wasn’t aware of my obesity and how I appeared (or thought I appeared) to other people.
Over the past few years, I have worked hard and lost just over 100 lbs. But, I didn’t just work on the weight – in fact, the weight was almost incidental. Instead, I focused my efforts on the issues behind the weight gain… so many issues that had created an eating addiction in me. Slowly, the cravings to eat passed, my self esteem and self worth rose and, pound by pound the weight began to drop.
Today, I enjoy having my picture taken and taking my own picture. This is not vanity, this is gratitude for the new me – in a person who is happy and who is finding joy in her ability to me more active.
For the first time in my life I own hiking boots; I own them and I use them. My husband, Nick, and I, are planning to walk the Camino Portuges once we retire. We are walking now, and working out at the gym so that when we hit 58 and 60 we will be ready to backpack 350 kilometres from Porto, Portugal to Santiago di Campostella in Spain.
I had always wanted to wear a little black dress. For most of my adult life there was nothing “little” in my wardrobe.
I recently travelled to London and Paris with a group of teenagers. We walked 12 kilometres a day and I matched those kids, step for step. I could not have done this even one year ago – maybe not even 6 months ago. These selfies mark the wonderful time I had travelling with my students.
So, I have invested some time and joy in selfies – and they will continue to document the life I have happily embraced!