Every year on May 8th, I celebrate a vanity-soaked personal holiday by having my picture taken. This is always inconvenient, but I absolutely adore the photographic record of my life ticking past.
Care to watch me grow up?
2000 – One week away from turning fifteen. Madly in love, wildly unglamorous. Note the massive homemade corduroys.
2001 – This was my finest polyester shirt, the gold standard against which all future tacky polyester shirts would be measured.
2002 – The end of sweet sixteen
2003 – My freshman year in college. Lots of hair, lots of polyester. This is a rare photo of the guitar
2004 – Summer in Bloomington, Indiana, standing onstage in the IU student union. Yet another polyester shirt. Remember when people wore wristwatches?
2005 – A college student in New Mexico, standing in then-boyfriend Grackle’s yard. Did he use a digital camera, or were we still suffering through the delayed gratification of actual film.?
2006 – A quick snap in the music center’s bathroom between final exams— next time I invent a holiday, I’ll take academic calendars into consideration. Self-made necklace. During this period, I often took photos of myself in mirrors. Why? Was I attempting to more closely control the outcome of the images? To distance myself from the vulnerability of staring directly into a camera?
2007 – When one lops off her hair, she is forced to come to terms with her actual face. Another day of final exams. At this point, I was on a self-imposed dating hiatus. In a few months, meeting Ian would blow that plan to smithereens.
2008 – Depressed out of my skull, but magically maintaining a sense of humor— even about my own looks, rarely a lighthearted subject.
2009 – Ah, the famous top hat!
This was my first year as an ex-Mormon (Edited on 11-6-11: I didn’t formally leave the Mormons until November of 2009, but I’d been an “inactive” non-believer for some time), in case the bare shoulders didn’t give me away. New Mexico was far, far too hot for my old polyester ways.
2010 – Wonder of wonders— my long, long-awaited graduation day.
2011 – Older, wiser, working, restless
Eleven years since my first love? Wowie shazaam, do I feel old.