Whenever you threaten a friendly stranger with bodily harm, It's safe to say you've gone overboard. I did this recently in regards to a simple gesture--he took my picture. I don't know when I began to feel so self conscious about having my photo taken, however, I am familiar with the pattern.
In my youth, my mother always had the Kodak Instamatic at the ready. In fact I still have her camera with the flashbulb in it ready. I would be the first to jump in with a silly face or hand on the hip pose. I got excited when the school picture day envelopes were handed out. It meant a trip to the hair salon and a new dress! Yet whenever someone wanted to take her picture? They got the death stare. You did not take Rosa's picture. Ever.
There is evidence to suggest this was not always the case. There are many photos of my mother in her early days of marriage. Smiling, dancing, partying----happy. Did those happy moments fade from her memory and she no longer had joys to photograph? I would hate to think she felt that way about her life.
When she passed away, I designed the program for the funeral service. I could not find one recent photo of her. The final picture on the program was taken without her knowledge. It was the moment she held her first grandchild, my Asia. It is out of focus and in profile. It perfectly captures her radiant joy. I will never forget that moment of her, beaming with pride. There were no other photos except for a collage I put together on poster board. I did not want to disrespect her request of no pictures.
I feel there are breaks in her visual story. I can only show my children photos of her from a certain era. Even though she loved them dearly, pictures with my children and Mom Mom Rosa are scarce. Mom Mom was a constant figure, sharing in the joy and responsibility of raising them. They are left without the visual evidence.
So this generational dislike for photos has been realized. I hate having my picture taken. Hence the violence reactions when asked. But I think about my children, will they too scramble to put photo's together to tell my story? What message does that send about self esteem and love for life? I want documentation of my joy for my children. I want an abundance of happy moments for them to tell their children that "Mom Mom was happy, healthy and hot! She loved life and here is the proof."
So I have to get over myself. I am instituting the "forced selfie" challenge. I am forcing myself to take at least three selfie's everyday for the next ten days beginning June 5, 2014. (am-midday -pm) There will be baby steps. An eye here, an ear there, until I can do a full face selfie. Behavior modification is difficult. I'll be posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Join me if you too find it difficult to take the self pic. Have some self love and leave affirmation of a grace-filled, happy life for your family. #allabouthappy #forcedselfie