Hoping for a Different Face

One of the things that held me back the longest in setting up this website was the lack of a photo of me. I’d spent so long hiding behind the camera, my ski helmet, a cat – there were no photos of my face.

I was putting it off, for all sorts of reasons. Like:

  • I need to lose weight first;
  • I’ll have to find a good photographer;
  • I’m growing my hair for a charity wig and it’s a mess right now.

They were all just excuses, though. A way of avoiding a simple photo. And I was using them as a reason to not go ahead with something I really wanted to do.

Finally, I realised I was hoping for a different face.

That doesn’t even make sense. I’ve got this face, it does all the things a face is meant to do. The world copes with my face on a daily basis without major incident.

As Erin McKean said: “… You don’t owe prettiness to anyone… Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space…”

Maybe I was hoping for a different me. A slimmer, less wrinkly, less untidy me. A braver, more socialable me. A cleverer, nicer me. A kinder, less bossy me.

Then I went to the graduation for the people finishing training just ahead of me. We talked of coffee and cake, of families and friends, of new ideas and rediscovered passions.

I came home, took the camera and the remote control out into the garden. Hey presto, a photo. It looks like me. You could recognise me in a crowded room from it. I’m smiling; my hair is shining in the afternoon sun; I’ve managed to get the background suitably blurry. It’s a decent picture. I look like the kind of person I might quite like to meet – open, friendly, interested, engaged.

All the ideas I had about what I look like and who I am, blown out of the water. Those ideas were stopping me getting on with my website, with work and with life. When I put those ideas aside for a moment, turns out my face is just fine the way it is (wrinkles and all). I’m just fine the way I am.

Syd Banks said, “Ego is only what you think you are and what you think of life, nothing more, nothing less.” Turned out all those excuses were nothing more than ego, taking a trip.

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