With my new job comes representation on the Company’s web site. Wonderful.
I have lived the last ten years of my life attempting to remain as anonymous as possible. My self esteem, badly battered after my first marriage then no more healed after the second one, has been in a panic for the past week over the threshold that I need to step over today.
The photo studio.
I tend to avoid mirrors these days… As I head closer to the second half of my life, no closer to my place of peace in this life, my impression in my mind is of youthful opportunities yet encountered.
I dress, and do my hair and make up in habitual manner.
When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I see a stranger, somehow older and more “lived in” than the “me” in my mind. I see fast flashes of my mom… but long gone are the youthful girl who attacked life with gusto and high expectations. Where is the world did she go? I remember liking her.
Today, I need to face who I have become. It’s time to stop typing, and shower and dress.
A head shot… how difficult is it to prepare for a head shot….. well, 7 shirts later, 4 pairs of earrings, and 3 necklaces later and more time than I took applying my make up for my second wedding, I was ready.
I will be back to finish this later. It’s time to be re-introduced to me, and the “me” I am now.
Arriving 5 minutes early at the photo studio, with my company pre-paid certificate in hand, I walked into my own personal brand of HELL. Families covering almost every available surface area, awaiting their turns to take family shots, or just baby shots, filled with love and hope, so they could send these out to all the family members who would frame them on the mantle, or simply stick them under a magnet on the fridge.
I bit my tongue as I tried not to cry and ruin my carefully applied make up. Now how would that look? A professional photo with me crying… streaks of make up pouring down my cheeks, as I strike a professional pose, letting the potential customer know that they might be better off seeking assistance from my competitor, because I am nothing more than a crying mess.
Nope, I will bite my tongue, literally, until it bleeds, if necessary to avoid crying. I will look at these beautiful families, and wish them well. I will hope that their marriages last far beyond the mailing of these photos.
I will resist the snippy comments in my mind… I will focus on what I am here to do; I am here to complete preparation for my new job. I am here to make myself self reliant and successful. I am a career girl. I am alone by choice, loving my freedom, and proud of it.
Convincing myself has pretty much failed, but I have managed not to cry. After 90 minutes, they call my name.
I stare at the carefully arranged stool, and arrange myself and the hair that I hide behind. She challenges my comfort position, and pushes my hair away from my face and lets me know in her authoritative way, that this is her domain and I am to follow. This is no fashion shoot; this is no family picture with multiple children to arrange. This is a professional photo that is to elicit a certain response from the customers who see it. Her powerful control of the experience can only be compared to the skilled mother who raises one eyebrow when looking at her child to convey the necessary discipline of the moment. No words are necessary. Very effective, but in this case I played the role of the child, not the parent.
Lots of snaps, and multiple commands to tell me to get my hair out of my face later, I was done. I was told to take a seat and await my turn to view the digital proof that I am not the me in my mind.
When it was finally my turn, I met with the photographer at her computer to choose the one that would be used. We immediately dismissed a couple of them… but she was pretty clear and complementary on the two that she liked. This one shows your smile.. this one a little more serious, a good photo. I look like a professional, though not someone that I easily recognize. I selected the serious one as I felt the smile wasn’t genuine.
I didn’t quite see the train wreck I was expecting to see… a few extra pounds for sure… some signs of age, though earned for sure. Someone else, not me. I cried a bit on the way home; I don’t often feel jealousy, and it is never a new purse that gets me. It is always the same damn thing. It is always that tugging that I have lost something that I am just too old to get back.
Task accomplished. It isn’t the me that I remember, I guess that its the new me that I need to get to know a little better. Hello Victoria… Meet Victoria. You two should get to know each other.