This is one of the first photographs which I took of myself using the camera which I was given as a 2011 Christmas gift. It is also one of the self portraits I used as a profile picture when I had a Facebook. My Facebook account was also a 2011 Christmas gift. I have since deleted my Facebook. Not because of this picture, not because I re-gifted, and not because I was ungrateful for the gift, but because… well, I just found Facebook didn’t suit me. It was fun, but when it stopped being fun, I escaped the room (in-joke with myself).
Quite a few of my friends liked this image. I did at first, I look kind of sweet, harmless, I am, sometimes, but then I started to hate it because all I could see was the shadow cast by my nose. It looked like a witch’s nose. I removed it and used another picture.
My nose has always been a bit of… a nuisance. When I was a child I had a cute button nose, then one day it changed. It grew and grew, and made my face ugly. All pictures of me were a big fat nose with a bunch of other bits and pieces which were overpowered by the nose. I began to call it my Leo nose. Hogging centre stage and denying my other features the opportunity to get noticed. I did consider getting a nose job, but most of the people I know who have had nose jobs look like they have had nose jobs. And once you’ve messed with nature you usually have to keep messing with it because nothing ever looks quite right again.
I have grown fond of my nose over the years, it’s mine, so it fits me, but it still hogs the limelight in photographs. Thanks to Photoshop I can fix that… but do I want to. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
Recently I revisited this photograph… I have been tidying up my files. And it occurred to me that since I am now in my forties, and approaching the Crone phase of my life, that this is actually a very appropriate image. I am no longer a girl, haven’t been for a while, I am a woman, even though I really haven’t passed through an initiation process… those don’t really exist anymore… especially in an age when age is such a delicate and… well, frightening issue. I like being old. It has brought a sense of calm, and a sort of wisdom with it. I also look far more interesting now than I did when I was younger. Ah, vanity!
I do feel more… happy now that I am older. I guess accepting life and myself takes time. That doesn’t mean that I have given up any of the fights I have with myself and life… just that I am more carefree, and perhaps a little less defensively aggressive than I was. Can’t really explain it. Some things have to be lived to be understood… that is something that experience and age has taught me.