[A five-part series inspired by my participation in Amy Walsh’s Art of Showing Up five-day workshop]

My medium is words. I don’t aspire to become a great visual artist. And yet? This guided practice of taking selfies and playing with them made my vocation (self-acceptance through storytelling) that much richer.

Day 1: Show something about your life/mind/dreams/day, in five different ways.

In this series of photos, I go from waking up (top left), to after-shower (middle left), to hair dried (bottom left), to made-up (top right), to sitting at my desk with my muses behind me (bottom right).

Thoughts after Day 1: I tend to feel guilty for buying into patriarchal beauty norms (“pretty,” “smiling,” “sexy,” “young”) and I no longer want to feel that way. I like the way I look now, whether made up or not, coifed or not, dressed up or not, pretty or not, smiling or not, sexy or not, young or not. I enjoy seeing photos of my beautiful self…beautiful in the way *I* define it.

I spent so many years hating my body and trying to get it to conform, and feeling awkward and not knowing how to dress, do my hair, etc. I finally dieted and fashioned and makeuped myself into the closest approximation of perfection possible. For like 15 minutes. I was 45 and that was 10 years ago.

Since then it’s been a process of arriving and departing to and from the place of being whole and complete within myself. It’s been about caring about what I look like and not caring at all. Wearing makeup and not wearing makeup. Gaining weight and losing weight. Wearing clothes that are fashionable and uncomfortable and wearing clothes that are unfashionable and oh-so-comfy. Hiding flaws and showing flaws. Not calling them flaws and calling them flaws.

Finding acceptance in all of it.

[See #showingup2018 Day 2 here]
[See #showingup2018 Day 3 here]
[See #showingup2018 Days 4 + 5 here]