how to succeed in sickness without really trying


Oh man, the past few dullish winter days and my first (and hopefully only) cold of the season is turning out to be a truly horrid combination. And I am turning to a completely self-indulgent post to deal with it.

Earlier in today I downloaded Picasa for the macbook (I just wanted to use the quick and easy collage features) and I noticed that the program was automatically set up to do a face recognition scan. Not having used Picasa in a few years I was curious to see how that feature worked, but when I clicked to see what the program had come up with, I was dismayed to see a close up of every terrible and unflattering images of me taken over the Christmas break. And just like that my self-esteem was instantly crushed. I know it's extremely vain of me to felt that way, but it's not as if those bad photos of me made me feel less intelligent. I did, however, feel rather unsettled by the photographs, as if my outside image did not quite match up with how I perceived myself. Should I feel somehow guilty about being image conscious? It's not as if I let it direct my life. But am I less of a person to admit that seeing bad photos of myself made me feel a bit unsure about myself?

Bad photographs make me question whether or not I have a realistic impression of myself. What is a truer representation of how others see me - my self portraits or ugly and unflattering snapshots?

heavy lids


because you must learn to love yourself first

I was sort of obsessed with self portraits this summer. I took photos of myself regularly, all from the same basic vantage point - at arm's length in front of one of my apartment windows. The photos varied slightly from day-to-day, but I recognized myself in all the photos. Maybe it was because I was more aware of the photos being taken, I was trying to present outwardly how I felt inside. Maybe that's what the photos that I dislike so much are lacking - I'm not connecting with the camera in the same way. But that's sort of frightening, do I really come across as slovenly and haggard when I'm not trying to be hyper-conscious of my appearance? I certainly hope not.

I realize this post must seem totally self-absorbed. I should have my mind of higher things, but it's hard to when one is still battling a bout of the blues brought on by below zero temperatures and a barely present sun.

I should probably just go to sleep, most of this melancholy chatter is probably just the result of being up too late. I had started to feel better earlier tonight, throat was less phlegmy, sinus pressure was less intense (oh, how ladylike of me to reveal my secrets of my sickness), but I think the temporary disappearance of those symptoms had more to do with the power of positive thinking and the opportunity to serve as cook and nursemaid for the gentleman who stopped by earlier this evening for a visit (this gentleman being much more worse off than I am in the sickness department). It must have been my maternal instinct kicking in, ignoring my own sickness for a chance to look after someone else. I'm such a caregiver. In sickness and in health, it's just a part of me that I can't turn off.

But I must take care of myself right now, so off to bed I go. I'll try not to think of the ugly photos of myself that frightened me so, and instead recall the nice feeling I got today when I received some messages from a few lovely people who took the time to check up/in with me. Perhaps these messages are evidence of my inner beauty outshining a few unfortunate photographs.


  1. Lately I've noticed I can't just smile normally for the camera without the photos coming out blotchy and tired looking. Before, I could always do this "cute" smile face and it worked fine. I think I need to only be photographed in very forgiving light, or by people who know what they're doing.

    We'll have a photo session and you can teach me how to better capture your visage. Also, I think you look very pretty in the photos I've publicly circulated. The most beautiful part is you looking happy!

    Or putting food in your mouth. YUM.

  2. I think look terrible in almost all photos. So much so that I've given considerable thought to taking photos of myself before leaving the house to ensure I "look the way others see me".

    However, I think you are absolutely stunning, and could not agree more with Sarah's post!