I used to take awkward selfies with a real digital 90’s/00’s camera (which was harder) and post them to my MySpace page (I’m OLD – for the tech world anyway). By the time Facebook became popular, I was pretty much over selfies. Even up to recently, I’d stopped taking photos of myself (by myself) altogether. I’d flip through other people’s Instagram pages and watch their face appear in every. single. picture. and I’d scrunch up my nose at them – and all of the people that dance around this city while holding their phones up in the air to see themselves. It was selfish. It was obsessive. I wanted no part of it. Then, I saw another selfie while scrolling, and I stopped because it had a long caption, and it was from one of my favorite authors, and this is what she wrote:
Selfies forever. You know why? Because you’re a person and you made it to this earth and someday, god willing you’ll be a pile of bones covered in soft, wrinkled cells that used to be recognizable as human skin. Your bones will be stiffer and you’ll hurt in new places and you won’t look back at all of these photos and think “hm, wish I’d taken fewer of these! Wish I’d taken more photos of my food and fewer of my face!” Won’t happen. I can almost guarantee it, EVRN if the selfie is of your ill timed summer bangs.
She’s right. My recent photo albums are full of pictures of the world around me, my already-covered-in-soft-wrinkled-cells bulldog, and yes, admittedly, food. Though, it’s mostly Rami’s food, so that has to count for something.
I vowed to take more selfies, but I haven’t really, and I’ve certainly not posted any, but I think we all should try to. There’s one selfie of my Dad – from one of those big ol’ blocky cameras with film – and that close up of his huge grin is one of my favorites, and the only thing I wish – is if there were more of them. They could have been when he got up in the morning – with his ridiculously thick glasses over his puffy eyes as he sat in his chair with his tea reading the paper. It could have been at a Red Sox game, a walk in the woods, sitting on the couch and playing with filters for chrissakes – just any pictures, I would kill for now. Especially ones where I can see the blue of his eyes and the ridiculous eyebrows that I, unfortunately (fortunately now? finally they’re in style I guess?) inherited.
Take those pictures – because I wish he did, and someday we’ll all wish we did. Since we lost film, we lost how precious photos are, but they still hold so much for so many – ourselves and everyone we love and that loves us.