If You Take a Picture of a Groundhog, You Get a Picture of a Groundhog.
So, as a lot of you may know, today is Groundhog Day. But, as some of you may not know, it is also my birthday! That's right, this groundhog is now thirty years of age...
I wanted to do something really cool and exciting for today's post as a means of celebrating (or as an attempt to make "thirty" feel more exciting to me), so I spent most of yesterday trying to do just that. I thought I could do some fun self-portraits (you know, work on the whole taking/showing pictures of myself thing), but I couldn't find my chalk board talk bubbles, and I couldn't find a good place to pictures... I even just tried some simple phone pictures, but nothing was working! After admitting defeat I was at a total loss of what to post. I couldn't not post something. "Don't I have some picture somewhere of me at least close to being thirty?"
Then it dawned on me that there was a picture taken of me last weekend while I was in NYC celebrating an early birthday. Now, my first reaction to looking at the above photo (which was taken with my Canon Rebel T3 and the Holga Wheel of Filters that I got from my sister- super fun!) is "ICK! That greasy, messy pulled back hair... I'm not even showered yet! No one can see that!" You know what I hear in my head next? It's something that I remember my grandfather saying...
"If you take a picture of a monkey, you get a picture of a monkey!" True. It is what it is; I am what I am. Then I remembered my friend Sandra's lovely post on choosing what you see, and realized I wasn't seeing that picture properly. Now I see myself completely happy, and living in the moment. (I'm going to bet that I wouldn't have been able to recreate anything close to that in self-portraits yesterday... that's just not me. I'm a poor actor/liar.) And this also makes me rethink how I "see" thirty as well.
While in NYC I bought a graphic novel version (eek, my geek is showing!) of one of my favorite books, The Little Prince. Reading it on the bus ride back home from the city, I was reminded of why thirty, and getting older in general, always scares me. I'm scared of becoming one of the grown-ups that Antoine de Saint-Exupery talks about: grown ups that are only concerned with numbers and figures and have nothing interesting or important to say. Here's a little excerpt from the book if you've never read it before:
"Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: 'What does his voice sound like?' 'What games does he like best?' 'Does he collect butterflies?'. They ask: 'How old is he?' 'How many brothers does he have?' 'How much does he weigh?' 'How much money does his father make?' Only then do they think they know him."
Anyways, for my thirtieth year, instead of worrying about what could be, I am going to take advice from my picture above, and just be. If I'm happily living in the moment there's no time to be needlessly worrying about getting old and losing my child-like wonder and curiosity! No time to be worrying about numbers! 30 is just a number, and it's not the number that really matters. What's essential is being able to answer much more important and interesting questions than "how old are you?"