I know you like to take photos because you don’t like being on camera yourself, Mama. But in hindsight, is it all that pleasurable to be missing from literally years of your own life history? I say that because our photos of holidays and past visits could often leave something to be desired.
Don’t Be On The Sidelines Of Your Own Story
You know I’m sort of the opposite in that regard, right? I like to be in photos with people, not only because I like (admittedly) my face, but also because it’s the proof that I spend time with people and that people admit they know me. I know we never really talk about it because we both don’t like to dwell, but there was a long stretch of time when I was…decidedly unpopular. Not on purpose, mind you. But getting past that meant more than a change of scenery – it meant (as I learned over another long period of time) a change of Jillian-ery.
I took very few photos in my past, because I knew what they would show: (imagine I’m pointing right now) here is where the fun happened…..and here is my seat across the room. Plus, I was barely able to recognize fun was happening, to be honest. There was class, and then there was home, and between those two destinations were a jungle of social dangers. Call it PTSD if you will (and I will), but the road to being a congenial collegiate was rocky. Eventually the sparkling personality and stunning wit you know today emerged.
Eventually, I said.
Getting back to seriousness, I think it’s important to have photos of your everyday life. Looking tired, looking excited, looking both. But it’s also important to include yourself in photos of big occasions, like birthday parties, holidays and family reunions. Isn’t it cool to look back over your year and say “Jalika tore that wrapping paper like that was her whole present!” instead of “I wonder why Jakey wasn’t there?”
Include Your Face. It’s Lovely Next To Mine
I take numerous photos that include me and one to two guests. People laugh at me but it’s my signature shot. I love doing that because you can’t look serious in a photo like that; you just have to laugh at me doing this silly camera shot instead of handing it off to someone for a better angle. Why don’t people have more fun in their get-togethers? It’s going down in your own life history!
I hate looking at photos of an occasion and seeing nothing that includes me, when I know all the fun I had. I’ll forget it. For me, memories are wrapped up in those photos. I sat by [person x], [person y] told the most hilarious joke, [person z] pulled a story out of their past that coincides with The History Of The World. I want to record memories of my involvement in people’s lives.
And when I look at photos you took, I want you to be there, too. I want photos to reflect how awesome it was that you were present. I don’t like looking at photos that could double as annual school pictures. “You! Sit up straight! Smile! Alright, we’re done for another year.” Blech *shiver* that’s boring. It’s why I often take photos during boring moments when people are just talking, or when we’re playing a game, or when someone’s getting out of the car. That’s life. That’s that part where memories happen.
I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t hide from your own life. If you can let people see you, you can smile for the camera, right? Since I’m always up for a photo (even when I’m not), you can rest assured that things are okay.