Thanks to Shutterfly, I can tell you I now enjoy ordering those photos in various fashions to have displayed. Sometimes I order a print. Other times, I'll order fun stuff, like a magnet or a wall collage. I really enjoy doing this not only for myself, but for others in my life, too.
I recently received in the mail 50 photos from Shutterfly. Of course this time around, I chose photos from Colombia. In picking up this small orange package, I smiled immediately. As I tore it open, I said to my friend, "I could not choose what pictures to get,I had too many favorites!"
That statement was returned with a laugh, "How many pictures did you take in Colombia?"
Me, thinking with a very serious face, "Ummm.. I don't know. Like 600 or so."
That brought on an analytical discussion as to how many photos were taken a day and how that would break down into how many I took in an hour. Now, the truth of the matter is, I'd snap many in a short time period, capturing an activity or a group of people. I didn't even think a thing of it. I just was capturing moments the whole time I was there.
This applies to more than just Colombia. I take ridiculous photos at all of my races to document what I'm doing. I don't need to put them out there for everyone to see, but I really enjoy having them to look back at on a semi-regular basis.
I would take more pictures of my kids, but they are in the "pictures are not cool" phase, so it's a losing battle I choose not to fight. I just take ridiculous selfies to fill in that gap.
I was not being criticized for the amount of photos I took, but as it goes with many conversations in my life, I have a tendancy to ponder statements that are made to me, wanting to understand myself a little more. This morning as I was on my run, I thought about this crazy conversation about the amount of photos I took (Okay, take, not took !) . And I realized something new about myself:
I take photos to document what I am doing because typically they represent happy moments in time in life. Most people's photos do, right? No one takes photos at funerals or when they are lost in a pool of tears over hurtful words said or actions done. Photos represent happy.
And I take a ridiculous amount because when I am struggling, when I am having a worse bout of depression, looking at those photos represents my furiously happy self. The one that exists in me, but at times depression covers.
Those photos make me smile, even on the worst of days.
Those photos help me remember who I am at the core. Yes, I am a woman who struggles with depression and that is a part of me, but I also am joyful and full of laughter. And the photos help me remember that. They give me an enjoyable moment on which to reflect, as well as help keep me going.
Those photos often represent dreams that live in me that I am allowing myself to explore.
I do not like the way I look in all my race gear- I am not out on a half marathon course to be winning a beauty contest. I just put on my running clothes and go. But I take photos of all of the races because they represent the determined side of me- the one that fights, the one that pushes through the bad days and keeps going, the one who really believes in herself.
As much as I tell my kids that one day they will be glad I have taken all these photos, in my heart I am learning that I am glad I take all these photos. I do not love my selfies- I'm not a fan of how I look in photos. But it's the moments that matter, and therefore, that is what I see. I see the smile. And I remember what the moment meant. And the bad hair day or the zit or whatever... that's not what I see...
While some may view it as crazy, for me, it represents happy.
Here are a few silly selfies from Colombia and from running.