This is an old headshot, taken to promote the one hit I managed to produce in documentary film, “Waco: The Rules of Engagement” [I still swear the other films were as good, by the way]. I’m using it still because;
1. I’m lazy and cheap; time and expense for another headshot? Nope.
2. I don’t look this good anymore.
3. And because I didn’t enjoy the looks pictured here when I had ’em.
My skin was pretty damned flawless even before Photoshop did its magic and back then I’d discount the compliments about it. Dumb! That forehead, as smooth in person as in the photograph, before thoughts of Botox filled it – why didn’t I enjoy it? One of the flaws that I accurately acknowledged before the photo and now – where most of the Photoshop artist spent her time — are the very dark circles under my eyes – ‘allergic shiners’ as doctors call them. So, ten plus years later I look at this photograph and try to justify the stupidity of not enjoying the face that was mine when I had it.
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent,” is one of Eleanor Roosevelt’s oft quoted phrases. Why did I consent to my insecurities reign? Media influences? Youthful ignorance? Nope, just my own damned shortcoming. Learn from my mistake (I’m only focusing on one of ‘em here – there are so many more from which to choose) and try to look at yourself in the mirror the way you would look at a loved one.
I should’ve enjoyed those compliments I received back then instead of discounting them then staring at the mirror in search of yet more flaws. Now, I’m using this headshot to attest to the fact that I did have that visage back in the early part of this century… before the 20 pounds I’ve gained, the children and lines I’m suppose to justify by saying I’ve earned them. So, as I write about my neurosis remember, don’t look at old photographs and think of what might’ve been because, “For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.” Take the words of John Greenleaf Whittier to heart –enjoy the you, you are right now. Perfection may be an ideal but … and this life is full of them … excellence is achievable so strive for it and enjoy the you, you are right now!
Stop wasting time looking for flaws in the mirror, don’t discount the looks you have or the accomplishments you achieve and enjoy this moment and all the others you are in now. Don’t wait to appreciate what you have or who you are through the often-melancholy lens of nostalgia. Enjoy the present – and who you are in it.