November 14, 2007

Who I Am

Lisa at the Coastal Nest has challenged everyone to post a picture of themselves. I thought I would take it a step further and really show you who I am. Inside and out. I had no idea how hard it would be to try to take a picture of myself and obviously I'm incapable of taking a photo that is straight and in focus. It was a silly undertaking but freeing at the same time.


This is me with all my bumps and bruises. I'm not perfect. I'm just me. I think part of the joy of being 36, is being okay with that. I just got about 6 inches cut off my hair and it was just the pick me up I needed. I think it was somehow symbolic for me as I just feel lighter in spirit since I did it. I think my best features are my thick hair, my mismatched eyes, my sparkly personality and my rather umm, well-rounded backside.



In the interest of full disclosure I will tell you that I am starting to see the effects of time marching across my face, I have stretch marks, I'm finding hair in places a woman ought not find hair, my arms seem to keep moving long after I have finished clapping and the grey has staged a cou d'etat on my head.


I'm smart as a whip but I don't have a college degree, choosing instead to graduate from the school of hard knocks. That used to bother me, but I now realize it just makes me who I am and I can still hold an intelligent conversation with my physics major husband. No shame in that.


I think as women we have such a habit of tearing each other down instead of lifting each other up. I think this is learned at a very early age and is done to make us feel better about our own inadequacies. I think I am finally starting to outgrow it. When I look around at you women, I see beautiful, smart, creative, loving, loyal, special individuals. We each have our positives. None of us is perfect. Lets focus on and embrace that.

This is who I am. Now show me who you are.

48 comments:

  1. A wonderful post! You are so darn cute :) I agree that we do tend to be so terribly critical of both ourselves and others. I try very hard to think positively about others but I admit that I am very hard on myself in all things. Maybe my new years resolution this coming year will be to learn to appreciate myself more. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

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  2. I KNEW you'd have dark hair! All my friends I have are brunettes- wierd, I think.

    Well, 36 looks great on you! Jenn.

    I also have posted a few candids-yes it is not easy to take a photo of youself, I agree.

    Take care girly,
    Lisa
    coastalnest

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  3. I'm a 22 year old guy, I feel a bit out of my depth here, but a really sweet post. Do you think the same goes for guys as they age...anyway, despite having a blogger account I've never actually posted anything, maybe my first post will be inspired by this one...A little exposé of myself! Thanks for being so honest! Nice hair cut!

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  4. Jen, who you are is so beautiful. I would be proud to be half that darling ten years from now when I am 36. :)

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  5. It's hard to take a picture of yourself. I finally tried and ended up with the picture of me in my blog. I stood at the window in my son's room and aimed the camera at myself. There is an unmade bed behind me and a Nacho Libre poster in the wall...real life. I know that you won't believe me now but someday you will...36 is VERY young!

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  6. Dear Jen,
    You ARE PERFECT! Just as perfect as can be - adorable, loving, smart, articulate, warm, compassionate, nurturing, giving..
    a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul!

    ((hugs))
    Kim

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  7. You are so pretty! I agree we tend to be hard onourselves, much harder than we are on other people. And if you think it's hard to accept the "bumps & bruises" and imperfections at 36 (Iwant to be 36 again!) wait until you are 49! I don't think this post can happen often enough though, we need to be reminded a lot to love who we are:>)

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  8. Cute! What a nice picture of you, and I LOVE your hair. I have been waiting to have mine cut because I can't figure out what to tell them at the salon so it'll look decent! Wonderful post.
    ~Angela :-)

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  9. You are adorable. Love your haircut!
    It's so fun to see people we talk to all of the time.
    Thanks for the great post.
    Rosemary

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  10. Hi Jen! This is a GREAT idea! I will try to do it over the week-endand link to you! By the way I wanted to tell you the redwork pillows I made are not by hand but on my embroidery machine! A Janome 10,000 ~ great thing to ask for for Christmas!!!

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  11. You are just adorable! Your post has inspired me to do one of the same. I loved reading your thoughts.

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  12. I am pretty new to your blog and so far I am enjoying it very much! I too am 36 (wow, I really cannot believe that!) and can totally relate to EVERYTHING you just said! Kinda made me chuckle too!

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  13. Jenn, I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed your post! I love what you wrote...and you my dear, are gorgeous and have nothing to worry about in the looks department. You make 36 look great! I do think the gift of age is being comfortable in your own skin. You are radiant!

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  14. PS--Not that 36 is old! (I'm older than 36 myself!) I think you know what I meant! :-)

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  15. Thanks for the post. And thanks for the reminder to not be so critical of others and ourselves. Great cut!!

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  16. I think you look beautiful and that your wonderful personality shines through. I agree, we tend to put ourselves down and it really is so silly. Anyway, fabulous pictures and thank you for sharing them.

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  17. Jenn...you're a doll!!!...you're a smart young women & you've got your priorities straight!!!...& I'm totally jealous of your hair!!...ha...really enjoy reading your blog!!...thanks for sharing...Lacy

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  18. Aren't you just cute!
    10 years and 50lbs abo I might have taken a picture of myself to put up but these days I try to stay away from the front side of any camera.
    Love the haircut!

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  19. Jen,
    Beautiful post ( and pic) and very thought provoking. I am fine with who I am most of the time until the dreaded 3-way mirror or camera show those extra 30+ pounds. Guess that is the cost of good living and being a "mature" 56 year old.
    Janet

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  20. You are ADORABLE! I already knew that you are adorable on the inside, now I know that you are adorable on the outside as well.

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  21. You're so cute... but it makes sense that a person's appearance should match what's inside! The older I get, the more I realize that it's what's inside, what drives us, that makes us the people we are SO much more than appearances. I'm kind of excited about moving farther away from being young/single, I'm certainly WAY less stressed about the unimportant stuff. My questions used to be "Purple eyeshadow or just liner" and now it's more like "Should I take a shower or sleep in for 10 more minutes." :)

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  22. Jen, I'm pretty sure I've seen a pic or 2 of you at some point..you're a doll. And yes, time does have a way of taking a toll on us. Looking in that mirror now is not at all the same as it was 20 years ago (or 10 for that matter), but we just have to keep embracing the changes, don't we? I've already got pics of me all over my blog, so no surprises to anyone. These days, it's the good, the bad, & the ugly at times.

    Rhoda

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  23. Jen, you are so cute! I can see your personality, in your sparkly "mismatched" eyes! This is a fabulous post and a pick me up, for myself!!

    Love the new hairstyle!

    Happy weekend!
    Pat

    PS: You are the same age as my youngest daughter, Gabi and Drew's mommy!

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  24. You are lovely Jen, and I'm not just talking about the pictures. Your sweet spirit and gentle heart show through your writing. Thank you for sharing yourself with us, and for being an inspiration!

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  25. What a great post and what a wonderful idea. I love all the things that you told us about you. We are all perfect even with all of our inperfections, that's what makes us all so unique and different. You are also really cute. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself.

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  26. Great hair cut! Being comfortable in one's own skin is very important. I agree that women need to suppport one another instead of ripping on each other. Great post!

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  27. You are adorable Jen, and your new haircut is just darling. This is such a wonderful post. You have got it figured out girlfriend!

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  28. Jen, I loved your post and I really love the pictures. You are so pretty and your hair looks fantastic. And you're so right, you are smart as a whip and I completely agree about outgrowing the stage of talking about people. It isn't fun to me at all and I always think about how I would feel if people were talking negatively about me, and how they would feel knowing I was talking about them. You look fantastic Jen and I'm so privileged to know you. You asked me where I found the Simply Shabby Chic fabric bin. It was at Target in the section that has storage containers (not the plastic bins area, but they have an isle that is for closet storage items). That is the isle where they also have the hanging shoe and sweater holders. Don't know if that helps. It was about $16.00 for the bin and about 1' x 1.5' approximately. Again, you are so pretty, inside and out!!

    allie
    www.mycozyhome.typepad.com

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  29. I just got tagged and am passing it on to you. If you want to participate go to my blog's Nov 15 post entitled "tagged"--I don't usually do these things--but I am passing it on!!

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  30. beautiful post jen!
    beautiful you jen!!
    xo

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  31. Such a lovely post Jen. You look great. I also had a lot cut off my hair a couple of months ago and I know how you feel about making you feel more free. I'm also 36 and can really relate to some of the things you talk about. But honestly, you do not look 36 at all. I think it's so important to be so positive about ourselves and others. As women we should definitely all be supporting each other rather than bringing each other down. Now I have to decide if I'm daring enough to do this challenge myself. Given that I've just posted pictures on a couple of dating sights to total strangers, it should be easy posting pictures that all my kind and supportive blogging friends will see.

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  32. Now THAT, my friend, is a great haircut! Very sassy!!
    Love you and love your blog!

    xoxo,
    Martha

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  33. Great photos (and haircut) Jen!

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  34. Well hello! You are cute! Glad to finally see you! And you are just a baby, I am getting close to 41! I relate to all the same things you do, and I am less and less stressed about them all the time! Turning 40 changed a lot for me, now I really feel older and wiser and less worried about flaws. :-)

    I have to do my post on myself this weekend, I've been too swamped. Thanks for the motivation!

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  35. very cute post...you are adorable. I can remember the first time I spotted my crows feet...I was like, "WOW, when did those get there?"It was quite the shocker. Now...there is a ton of gray....I'm in a bad need of a haircut and coloring. I told myself I was never going to color my hair until I got gray...well...I need to color it a lot these days. Age is funny thing....lots of people are afraid to grow older...losing their youth but we get wiser and if we were stagnant then we really wouldn't grow as individuals now would we? But you have inspired me to do an instospective post on myself...

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  36. I love this post! Normally, I only lurk, but I had to join in the fun. I my days as a professional photographer I heard a theory of why we don't like photos of ourselves. Since we see ourselves in mirrors (and backwards because of it) photos look 'off' to us.

    True or not, its something to think about as you brush your teeth in the mornings.

    I have posted a photo of myself on my blog just this week....maybe something in the air?

    Drop by and we'll compare wrinkles. (I'll win since I'm older than you.)

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  37. Jen -- I have been reading your blog for a while & just love it!

    Thanks for being so painfully honest about yourself--altho, I must say, I think you look quite wonderful!!

    I, too, graduated from the school of "hands on learning" & have found along life's way, that I am just as brilliant as those with the papers to prove it!! Kuddos to you. Sometimes "life smart" is much deeper and longer lasting, don't you think--although I did stress to my children the importance of a degree in today's market!

    Have a great day!

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  38. One more comment...I referenced your post in my latest post. :0)

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  39. I haven't had much time to look at blogs the last month, sadly my father in law poassed away but i knew just coming back to your blog felt like coming home and it sure did. You always touch my heart through your words and photos. Thanks for a great blog you are a true inspiration in this world. Meri PS you are just beautiful in your phots!!!

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  40. Jen...what a great idea! I won't play along since my blog is full of photos of me with friends and family, etc. I loved your photos too. You're quite a beauty, which doesn't surprise me a bit. I knew your heart was pretty and now I see your outside is too :-)

    Hugs!
    Kat

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  41. Jen ~ your blog is so inspiring, in so many ways. This is such a great post. I have the same "degree" as you, and I've never regretted it. Not even for a moment.

    We need more posts like this to remind us about the importance of liking ourselves, imperfections and all! Thanks for posting this!

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  42. I so enjoyed this post! You are a precious lady and very wise for your age! and, by the way, you do 36 VERY well, indeed.
    Thanks for reminding us to be who we are and be proud.
    bj

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  43. Good for you! Great post! We are way to critcal of ourselves. I just hit 35 this year and I hear everything you say!
    Jen R

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  44. You made us really think about ourselves in this great post Jen.

    We cannot stop time and each year is so precious. When my Mum was my age (64) I thought she was an old woman - I don't feel that way about myself. I'm told I don't look my age - luckily I also don't feel my age. We must grasp each day and make the most of it. A new haircut, a new friend, some time to be alone and just enjoy one's own company - all these things matter and keep us vibrant and smart.

    You look wonderful and bless you for being so open and honest. Way to go girl!

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  45. what a wonderful and inspiring post! i wish more women would feel and think as you do. it would be a much nicer, kinder, happier world... keep up the beautiful blog!

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  46. What a wonderful post! It's so great to meet women that are truely comfortable and happy with who they are. Happy Blogging! I just started my own this year.

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.