Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 171: Who Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up? Me!

A lot of people ask me how I handle photos of myself that are taken during this project.  The quick answer: I don't look at them.  This is one of the main rules of the project.  If a friend takes a picture of me, I politely request that they hang onto it until my year is up, or - at the very least - just don't tag me on facebook!  No biggie. :)

That said, I DO like looking at photos of myself from before the project started.  Sometimes I peruse my iPhoto files just for kicks, but whenever I'm feeling blue, I look at this photo.  It was taken when I was almost 3 years old:
Me, at my best.
This photo hangs over my desk.  When I look at it I'm reminded that I was once a precocious, curious and adventurous little girl who imagined myself to be a writer.  I had loving parents, silly friends (some imaginary), and oodles of confidence.  I don't mean to suggest that life was all downhill after 3, but in my heart-of-hearts, I know that THIS is who I want to be when I grow up.  That little girl inspires me!

Do any of you remember a version of yourself you still admire?  How can we hang onto these precious selves while still growing into our best selves?

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  1. I love this! I also wanted to be a writer, and my sister and I would spend hours "writing" together. But it usually didn't amount to much more than coming up with titles and drawing the book covers. I still have the classic "Passages Leading to DEATH" book cover--we were a little dramatic back then. :)

  2. So stinkin' cute! I have an old home video of me sitting on the couch when I was 4. My brother and sister are dancing like crazy all around me, and my mom shoots the camera over and asks me why I'm not dancing. "Mom, quiet please! (enter 80s political figure here) is on the news!"

    Politics has always been a passion but one I haven't pursued. That little girl reminds me that I may never hold public office or play an important role in any specific cause, but my passion matters.

    Thanks for the opportunity to reflect on her! Great post!

  3. Despite being one of your rules, I think not looking at photos of yourself will be a reward at the end of your project. What a great gift! You will have a year of photos from all sorts of events, not to mention YOUR WEDDING, and get to relive them again, probably more vividly than your memory. That's another thing that will be fun, especially from nights like your bachelorette party, how often will you be saying, "When did THAT happen?" Regardless, I imagine smiles and laughs. It's going to be really fun!

  4. I miss my 16 year old self. The one that was on top of the world, determined to run away to New York City with her best friend and star on Broadway. The girl with DREAMS still left in her. Some days I don't know what it is to have dreams - I feel old and used up. Then some days I want to dye red stripes in my hair and take off on a road trip while sleeping in my car. Such provocative questions you ask - now I must submit to strange urges to dig out the yearbooks and old photos in a sad effort to recapture my wild youth. Sigh. Maybe I'll go by some hair dye.... :)

  5. You've inspired me to dig up an old photo of myself. I'm amazed that you are topless too. I had not realized that this project also excluded photos.

  6. Your post made me think about the fact that each day (and each minute) in our lives is connected - to the one before it and the one after it. You are still that little girl at the typewriter! Like others have said in their comments, I'm going to look for a photo of myself as a kid. And, like you, I might hang it at my work station as a reminder that the little girl still exists. She's in there somewhere! It might be fun to get reacquainted. What can she teach me?

  7. I really like the idea of looking at past selves for examples of better (if not best) selves. It lends itself well to asking what environmental/attitudinal differences allowed you to be a better person - I think your themes of confidence and curiosity will resonate with a lot people. Same with the comment about dreams, too. Funny how a time when you are totally dependent and bound by rules (childhood) is a time when you feel most expansive in terms of your abilities!

  8. My parents once told me a story about when I was young and Mom had to make a quick trip to the market. She had to leave 3y/o me with my infant baby sister at home. She left with strict instructions for me to never talk and open the door for strangers. When she got home, they said she caught me peeking through our window. When I saw her, they said I excitedly and proudly told them about how my baby sister made a poop and I cleaned it up. Surely, Mom saw the soiled diapers already set aside and my sister's behind already (somewhat) wiped clean by me. They also told me other somewhat similar stories of me being a resilient child. I was surprised to hear those stories. I can hardly believe I had been that kind of little girl. I sometimes can't help wondering whatever happened to her and if she's still the same person she is now. A part of me feels she lost her spunk.

  9. I think these are my favorite set of comments yet. :)

  10. The blog of had a great post in august related to this topic. Great website.. I can't do a description justice but it's for parents of girls and related to media and girls and body image etc. Good blog to read with this one.

    The post starts...

    "there was a time when you were five years old
    And you woke up full of awesome
    And you knew you were awesome!"

    Read the whole post (with most excellent photo of a young girl full of awesome!)

  11. off topic. The picture of hands in the background hung in my parents room when I was born and I still have the matching comforter so i can recreate the monthly photos my mom took of me and my brother on their bed with my own kids. Just crazy to see it in someone elses home.

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