When Comes the After?

I feel like I need to apologize to all my Facebook friends. But I’m also very aware that as a people-pleasing codependent, my favorite two words are “I’m sorry”. For most of my life they have been a magic combination to make all that was stressful in a relationship go away. Often, as is the case with my current Facebook world, the stress comes from totally imagined offenses. So I will resist the urge to actually apologize.

The imagined offense: excessive selfies.

I became aware of this trend in my digital life when I was cleaning out my iPhone (note to self: next iPhone needs more memory to hold all the selfies). I’ve taken more than just a few pictures of myself in recent months. I dare say I would even rival the most self-assured or insecure of middle schoolers on this particular measure! I’ve come up with two reasons for this photo self-centric trend. I’m not claiming either are good reasons, just somewhat reasonable explanations: 1) I live alone and, except when the kids are with me for the weekends, there is no one else here to take pictures of, and 2) I am finally at a place where I really don’t mind seeing pictures of me.

Granted, I’ve never been exactly camera shy, but the picture never matched the “me” I saw in my head. My new book (click to see how you can help get it published!) goes into detail about the masks that I have worn most of my life. As the masks have come off and a more authentic me has emerged, I have been more and more content with my physical appearance. I’m not headed for the runways of Milan, but I like me – and that is a major, major step forward.

One of the more iconic self portraits is the “before and after”. I was encouraged by many to take before and after photos of my transition. The more I thought about that, I realized it wasn’t necessarily a possibility for one simple reason: I have no idea when to take an “after”. Being enamored with the symbol of the semicolon – the awareness that there is still more of my story to come – I’ve made my own version of the “before and after”. Hope you can appreciate it!

(And in the meantime, I will slow down on the selfies…….SORRY, FACEBOOK!! – <sigh> that feels so much better.)

before 10-23

4 thoughts on “When Comes the After?

  1. I *so get this* Sophia!!

    So why do I take so many selfies? It’s actually a relatively new thing with me: for most of my life, I hated my body (to the point of self-harming it), and it was only as I began to affirm my female gender that I began to care about it. Early in this affirmation (we call “transition”), it was still difficult to see myself in the mirror and in pictures, but I started doing both as a way to see my body in a new way and come to terms with it…

    …Of course, it has also helped that female hormones have been re-shaping my body over the last (approaching) four years. And I see these changes, and marvel as my body becomes more what I have seen of me in my mind’s eye…

    …I don’t want to look like some stunningly beautiful woman I might see in some media somewhere, rather I just want to be who I have always known myself to be: I will let the genes my parents gave me, under the influence of (more) estrogen, show me what my body should have been. I am not perfectly congruent (body, soul & spirit 100% matching), and on this side of God’s eternity, I won’t be, but I am *so much closer*…

    …AND these pictures help me celebrate my body’s *becoming* and wash-away the years of doubt, frustration and sadness, where my body competed against me, and continually told me (and everyone else) that I am not who I really am…

    …And I think if you ask other transgender people why they take so many selfies, you may find that something similar is happening with them.

    Come celebrate with me?

    OH!! AND I’m still in puberty, and this is expected behavior for teenage girls (even 53 year old ones)!! Don’t worry, I’ll grow out of it!!

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