Was I Even There?

Being seriously overweight for so long I learned the art of pictures.

1. Take the pictures! The best way to avoid being IN the pictures is to be the photographer. 

2. Stand in the back! Always opt for the group picture and try to get as many “body shielders” as possible. You can always find me in a group picture way in the back. Always.

3. Selfies! Look up and get close. The art of the selfie is managing your angles, lighting and a smile in your eyes (Tyra had that so right). I could always take a good selfie.

4. Find someone of similar size! I would always try to find another bigger person to stand near so I didn’t feel so alone. Oftentimes, I was the largest person in the room so it never really worked out.

5. Avoid! If possible, just always be on the other side of the room from the camera. This was my finest trick. I was always very successful with this.

Successful? 

Thanks to Facebook memories, I get a look at my past everyday from 2008. In looking at all of these days, all of these memories, and all of these moments I was struck by how I was rarely in them. I remember the events clearly yet if you only looked at the pictures was I even there?

This was made abundantly clear the other day when I got the On This Day notification for a family reunion that was thrown for my mother in laws side of the family. It was such a nice day. My husbands grandmother was in her 90s and she was just tickled to be there. My father in law was there and he passed away a couple short years later. It was such a beautiful day and I remember it well. 

The notification was from a picture that my husband took of me and I remember feeling mortified when it was posted. Tagged photos on Facebook are the enemy of anyone who has any anxiety about how they look in photos. This was 4 years ago and I was close to 400lbs. I was so upset about that picture four years ago. Not anymore. If that picture wasn’t posted there would be no other record that I was even there. 

In looking back I wished I took some pictures with Grandma Dot because she was so happy that day. There are no photos with my husband and me or his father! I came to this realization on a Facebook post the other day: Don’t let your self imposed inadequacies prevent you from participating in moments with the people you love.

Amen.  

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