I'll Never Write a Novel

The Memoir of a Personal Essayist OR Confessions of a Theatre Widow

Monday, June 05, 2006

Take a Picture, It'll Last Longer

So, I was just on a favorite blog that I read regularly and saw a post that started, "Don't you hate it when a blog you read doesn't change for a week!" And, I thought to myself, I don't think I have changed my blog in a month. That's not a good way to reel in readers. Yikes.

In any case, I'll be better about blogging. It's a brand new commitment I am making in my 29th year. I turned 29 last week, and I have chosen to embrace it. And, it helps that my new driver's license is way better than my last one.

I actually kept telling people that I was turning 28 again this year. I haven't been overwhelmingly pleased with how 28 went the first time, so I thought I might declare do-over. When I woke up on my big birthday morning I decided I am ready to be 29. Maybe 28 sucks all over the place, in it's traditional timeslot, and in reruns. So, 29 it is.

One discovery I made was that I looked back a little more closely at last the old driver's license as I went in to renew it. It was somewhat enlightening. As enlightening as such a trivial thing can be. On the morning of the birthday, I took exceptional time in styling my 'do and applying a good bit more make-up than is standard for me (truth be told, make-up is less standard for me than it should be). I thought, I need to slog this picture around everywhere I go. It's the picture people are most likely to see of me, especially strangers. If I am going to make an effort, it should be here. So, I made an effort. That's not the startling part of the story. What's more surprising to me than caring about what my ID looks like, is how little I have cared before about what my ID looked like.

I thought back over where I was in my life five years ago, when I got my last license photo taken. It was 2001 and everything sort of sucked. It's no wonder that I could have given a rip what I looked like. My hair is lazily pulled back, I have no make-up on, and I look all-in-all pretty miserable. And, I WAS! I don't think about it that often, but that license is from a realy low-point in my life: my brother-in-law was in the hospital pretty regularly battling a life-threatening illness, I was recovering from mono, a college mentor had just been shot on my college campus, my husband was a miserable wreck, and I was barely keeping the pieces together. This isn't a personal pity party, just the way it was. As I recall, I was trying to keep it together for everyone with a grip that drives fingernails into palms. I may have thought that I was holding it together really well. As it turns out, for the first time in facing that photo everyday for five years, I realized how awful I was doing. For all the pretending it's clear I was a wreck. I don't know why I have never thought about this until it came time to get the new photo.

I spent all this time thinking I just had a crummy ID photo. In actuality, I am still coming to terms with garbage I have been trying to take out for years. Only, I think I may not have gotten it quite out the door. Like the photo, I looked at it everyday, not realizing what I was really looking at it. I'm not a good faker, but maybe I have a gift for looking past or around the junk. But sometimes, you really just have to look at things. So, that's what the blog is about, really looking at things, and it's a big part of the realization of what 29 is supposed to be for me. Maybe I need to get a camera.

If nothing else, I now have a much nicer driver's license picture to look at.

2 Comments:

Blogger Kate said...

1. Thank you for the Pee-wee headline.
2. You've got your, um, "garbage" together better than you think you do.
3. The new driver's license photo is HOT. You look younger than your old photo. Wow.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Hi Noreen!

Excellent post! It is funny to think about where we were when we got that picture taken. My last one was taken when I came home to visit from England. I am smiling like crazy, so glad to be home, even the DMV was a happy place. But really, I was MISerable.

I will be happy to get a new one in '09. There are weird shadows on this one, too.

3:41 PM  

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