Saturday, October 1, 2016

Not every selfie is about ego, sometimes they're about something else entirely

Before I talk about this page, I need to bring you up to speed.

I had a brain aneurysm rupture on May 17, 2016 (4 months ago).
I had 3 brain surgeries, I was in the hospital ICU for 2 weeks. Even once I came home it's been a long recovery, a road that I am still traveling. I am only beginning to feel like things are getting close to normal. My doctor told me it will probably take a year for me to get back to where I was, before.

My head was shaved for the surgeries. As my hair began to grow back I was faced with a new challenge, what would my look be? Even if I grow my hair back out, it will take probably a year to get it long like it was before. I have always found that I don't "feel like me" if I trim my hair even an inch or two shorter than a certain length. I knew I couldn't spend a year not feeling like me, so it was time to re-define who I am. I decided to take control of the situation, and to make it fun.  It's been exciting. I've moved my boundaries, I'm re-writing myself.  The reason I share this here, is that I look very different now than I did in the photos on this page. I anticipate that someday soon I will be making another page with the selfies I've been taking of how I look now in my recovery. I am so glad I came to peace with self-photos years ago, I think it has made it much easier to accept and even celebrate how I look, now.

The photos are from 9 days after the aneurysm, 10th day after aneurysm which was also the day after the final surgery, and 4 months after the aneurysm.

5/25/16  9 days after the aneurysm at this point I've had 2 brain surgeries & was wondering what on earth I could do with my hair. 5/27/16 the day after I had the final surgery to put in a shunt. I got moved out of ICU and went home the next day. 9/17/16 four months ago today I was rushed to the hospital with a burst brain aneurysm.
This is another of my favorite pages, it's about one of my soapbox subjects... mothers who don't appear in any of their family photos. This is a page from last year's October Layout A Day we had a pirate theme.  The prompt was to make a page about something that you do that others think is annoying and explain why it's not. I thought to myself "Well I'll never do THAT one."  And then IMMEDIATELY I thought "Here is my chance to talk about Selfies!" I find that LOAD is like that. Sometimes the prompts that you don't like at first, end up making the best pages!

Pirate LOAD 2015
Day 13 Parrot - Tell us something that you think others find annoying about you and why they are wrong.

I adapted the journaling on this page from a Facebook post I had written on May 31, 2015 in response to an article which denounced the selfie as everything that is wrong with the world. I often turn social media posts or blog posts into journaling for scrapbook pages. I struggle with writer's block when I sit down to write for a scrapbook page, I have less difficulty writing for other forums so I pull from those.

Not Narcissistic
Not every selfie is about ego.
Sometimes they're about something else entirely.

Although I am a scrapbooker I was absent from the family albums I created. As the family photographer I spent most of my time behind the camera instead of in front of it. When I did end up in a photo, I often felt so bad about how I looked that I deleted it.

I began taking selfies as a conscious effort to leave images of me behind for my child to cherish and remember me by, the way I cherish photos of my mother. In the beginning it was a HUGE struggle not to delete them all. It was an exercise in self acceptance. I was teaching MYSELF to love things about how I look. It was not easy.

It took about 2 years of taking selfies for my family to to get in the picture with me. We live across the country from our families of origin, for all three of us to be in a photo together required a tripod or a benevolent stranger. Now not only do I have images of myself to include when I tell my family’s stories, I have pictures of the 3 of us together, laughing, being silly, living our lives.

No, I don’t always look the way I do on Instagram and we have plenty of moments I wouldn’t share on Facebook. But the photos I share are moments I want celebrate. What I post isn't about who wants to see it. It’s the record I’m keeping of my life, memories I want to hold on to.

Digital elements are from Limitless by Amber Shaw for Sweet Shoppe Designs part of The Digi Files from The Daily Digi (Oct 2014?)
PSD template Everyday Template 1 by Cindy Schneider for Sweet Shoppe Designs part of The Daily Digi Everyday Life Collection which is a membership bonus kit.
Page created in Photoshop Elements 12


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