Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Trying to Love Me

I tend not to think about myself that much. I mean, my actual physical self. I don't spend much time primping or examining myself in the mirror. I do some basic grooming, put on clean clothes that fit me and head out into the world each day. As long as I feel good, I don't pay too much attention to the vehicle, you know?

Today this one librarian who has a 365 days at the library thing going on Flickr asked if she could take some pictures during my storytime. Sure, fine, go right ahead. Then after lunch I clicked the link on our homepage to see what she got...and there I was, doing storytime. It was weird though. I felt this sudden flush moving up my chest and face...I realized that I almost felt like crying...then I realized that what I was feeling were symptoms of shame. I felt embarrassed, as though I had suddenly realized I came to work naked or something. It was so odd. I tend not to love pictures of myself, but for some reason I had this really strong negative reaction to seeing myself. Well, clearly I need to lose weight. That is no secret. It wasn't exactly that though...I'm not sure what it was, but I have to say that it was an awful feeling. For the next couple of hours, while I was working on the public desk, I felt so self-conscious. I felt like apologizing to everyone who had to look at me! Shame.

The feeling has decreased and I have looked at the pictures a couple more times to sort of...innoculate myself against whatever bad feeling they are giving me. (They say you can get used to anything - haha!) Whatever it was all about, though, I am trying to remember to love me anyways...and not let myself feel shame about me!


David in DC said...

My favorite aphorism from the Jewish scholar Hillel (circa 1st century BCE - 1st century C.E.):

If I am not for myself, then who shall be for me?
But if I am for myself alone, then what am I?
And if not now, when?

I'm sorry the picture spooked you.

But I'll bet the participants in the story time saw the cool library lady who tells the great stories.

evil-e said...

I notice that this tends to happen more with women than with men...not saying guys don't feel this way too.

I guess I just always say that people should be happy with what they got and if they are not pleased do some small (not drastic) things to change it. I am never completely happy with what I see, but I just try to like me some and let other people do the rest.

MrManuel said...

We are always most critical of ourselves because we have an expectation of how we want ourselves to look. I hate every time I look at a picture of myself, but then I just shrug it and think of all the things I DO like about myself.

Churlita said...

I've had that before. I can take really scary photos sometimes. The older I get, the less I stress out about it. I really like myself and I have an amazing inner life, so the outside can look how it looks.

Tara said...

I could be feeling so good about myself until someone takes a photo of me and I see that photo. Like that photo of me in a wedding dress? I had to swallow down my distaste for that photo and post it up, because I figured I was being too hard on myself and to just deal with it. Like you, the bad feeling decreased after I looked at it the next day. But still, I've been doing push ups and taking the stairs rather than an elevator several times since that photo.

laura b. said...

DiDC: Thank you for the words of wisdom and kindness.

Evil-E: In general, women are probably more self-conscious. Of course there are things about myself I would change, but I'm still not sure this was actually an aesthetics issue.

MrManuel: Like you, I do work hard to focus on the positives in life. For some reason I just had to work a little harder this time.

Churlita: You have a wonderful clear sense of yourself and of your many, many good qualities. I'd like to be more like that.

Tara: Oh! See? To me that photo is so cute! I know we are always hardest on ourselves though...