I was recently reading a friend's blog titled "Dodging Cameras a.k.a Life in your 30s", which she wrote in response to another blog titled "Avoiding Mirrors, Dodging Cameras" and like all good blogs do, it got me thinking!
Both blogs were an interesting read and I started reflecting on my life in photographs. As much as I understand where both women are coming from, I don't have the same view as them (sorry, "D"!). Quite the opposite in fact. Well, not quite opposite - I don't look for cameras and seek them out, as opposed to 'dodging' them!
So, let me explain... in my younger days, I wasn't overly confident in myself and went through that 'awkward' phase that so many teenagers do. As a Christian, I went on a lot of youth camps and loved them. I made heaps of friends and really enjoyed myself, but was always self conscious of how I looked. I've never been a 'big' girl, but I never thought I was thin, or had a nice body (I've always had a 'tummy'), so I did a really unflattering thing (that at the time I didn't realise how unflattering it actually was) and wore baggy clothes (often shopping for boy clothes that didn't look too boyish) to hide my body. I didn't have issues with being in photos, but looking back on photos, it was a bit of cringe factor, especially with my hairstyle, so the overall look just wasn't that great, in my opinion.
Fast forwarding to today, I am much more confident and comfortable in myself and don't have quite the same body issues as I used to. So, what changed? Often when you get to your 30s (as proven by the 2 blogs I referenced above), you start to get a lot more self conscious of your body and the aging process that seems to miraculously speed up at that crucial 3-0 birthday. However, I'm blessed to not be struggling with that... I'm not saying that I'm not aging - far from it - but my struggle isn't a mental/emotional one. I'm not concerned about my wrinkles or the few grey hairs that seem to have appeared (I'm not sure how long they've been around for - up until December last year, I used to get highlights in my hair on a regular basis, that could have been covering them up for I don't know how long, or they could just be a new addition in the last couple of months!). Anyhow, I digress as I tend to do! And I still haven't answered the question "what changed?" I think I can pinpoint a number of things:
1. I met and married my wonderful partner. As a teenager and in my early twenties, I had always struggled with being single. Until I met Hubby, I'd never really been in a relationship and been on very few dates, so my self confidence was very low. After meeting him, my whole outlook changed and I became confident in myself.
2. I became pregnant (after a long struggle with that too, but that's a story for another day!) and having longed for a baby for so long, I enjoyed my pregnancy body. Admittedly, I didn't get all that large and right up until Darling Daughter was born, I never look more than a few months pregnant, as opposed to the full term that I carried her. After giving birth, I still had the same tummy that I'd had 'growing up', but now I had an excuse - I'd had a baby (don't tell anyone that it was my pre-baby belly!). So, my tummy doesn't bother me anymore (I'm conscious of it, but not so worried about it!).
3. I started getting styled hair cuts and colours in my hair. In my teenage years, I never really did much with my hair, but now, getting a fresh new cut and colour, really puts a bounce in your step! I haven't had anything done to my hair since moving up to Cairns (I HATE trying to find a new, good hairdresser after having such a great one for so long!), but I know I need it and am looking forward to that fresh feeling of stepping out of a salon!
4. I've learned what clothes actually flatter me so I try and buy clothes that are best suited for my body. Funnily enough, completely opposite of what I used to wear (baggy clothes), are the more fitted clothes with the right cut that show off my body in the right way. I may not always dress the best, but now I know what clothes are right for me!
And that's "what changed!"
So, dodging cameras? Nah, I like the memories they create too much!