I am a natural procrastinator; I inherited it from my mom. Sometimes that procrastination pays off. At least my mom’s does.
Last October we went to Gulf Shores with my parents. We had a great time, relaxed on the beach, did some sightseeing, annoyed each other- typical family fun.
There were, of course, lots of snapshots taken. For years I avoided the camera and basically erased myself from family memories but on this particular trip I made more of an effort to be in front of the camera from time to time as part of my journey to self acceptance. But, I’m still the one carrying the camera around most of the time so there just aren’t as many opportunities for me to be in pictures.
Which brings me to my mom’s procrastination. She had some cheap, disposable, water cameras that she didn’t get developed until a couple of weeks ago. 9 months later we were excitedly digging into the pics of us actually in the water, not just on the beach. 9 months since we were soaking up the sun and 9 months further along in my journey. And because they were Mom’s cameras I managed to be in a few shots.
When these pictures were taken I was somewhere along the path of “fake it ’til you make it”. I wasn’t all the way there with body love and self acceptance but I knew I was on my way. And I knew that genuinely smiling for the camera instead of worrying about how I look, hiding, or protesting was a step in the right direction.
I’m actually still on that path because I still have moments of self criticism and doubt that I have to push through. But I’m definitely further down it than I was when these pictures were snapped. Day to day I don’t really feel a lot different but when I look back so much has changed.
At that time I was beyond forcing myself to smile and be in pictures but I was still cajoling myself into it. My internal dialogue was coaching, reassuring. And that’s a far cry from where I am now.
When my mom picked up these pictures I didn’t need to reassure myself. In fact, it didn’t even occur me to obsess about my body in them. I am so far removed from that mindset that it didn’t even occur to me that there was a time when I would have obsessed about it until nearly 24 hours after I’d first seen them. Apparently I’ve been faking it long enough to have actually made some progress.
Because all I see when I look at this are the smiles on our faces.