I was able to slide into a last minute headshot slot last month at the Allume conference. I had just cut bangs, and my last headshot was over a year old, so in general I thought it would be worth a $20 update. Today the photos were made available for download, and I feel as though I am seeing myself for the first time truly as I am now.

A lens of ten+ years ago serves as my filter, making the tiny lines at the corners of my eyes surprise me, my not-quite-perfectly white teeth take me back, the size of my jeans receiving a cringe. Ten years ago I was a smooth-faced, bright smiling size 8. That girl had already lived thru things, good and not-so-good things, and was happy.

But that girl? She wasn’t married to an incredible man. She didn’t have a sweet toddler calling her mommy. She didn’t have a loyal and boon companion in a golden retriever. She didn’t own a home, each item in it carefully selected with love. She wasn’t living her vocational call, serving and learning and growing and teaching and speaking. Was she happy? You bet. But she had no idea what was coming down the pike.

Today as I blew up my headshot, really looking at it, I saw myself. In my own skin. I saw the little lines, earned from my big smile that crinkles my eyes shut when I belly laugh. I saw a hair color new to the last few years, un-highlighted and changed darker solely from the hormones of four pregnancies & two births. I saw an old cozy sweater that wraps in comfort, un-trendy but made just for me. I saw the permanent dark circles under my eyes, brought on by 23 months of interrupted sleep (and let’s be honest, I hadn’t slept much while at Allume!) I saw the need for lip gloss and blush, left behind in my purse as I hurried to make my appointment time and honestly? It didn’t even occur to me to touch up my makeup before the shoot.

In all that is in these photos, I just see me. Gently and genuinely smiling, untouched up face with the ‘beautiful imperfections’ that make me just that. And dark circles and all… I liked what I saw. There was no rush to hide the photos – no, I changed all my avatars to these photos. The interrupted nights, the lack of trendy, the giant baby bump that comes from so many pregnancies… I earned them all. I love them all.

And I wear them proudly.
Headshot Collage - #girlwithbabyHeadshot from Allume
I don’t know what you wear secretly – weight, infertility, jobs, just life stuff – but tonight I prayed for you. I prayed that we would be bearers of our journeys, that our marks would be visible and we would let them simply be so that we may encourage one another along the way! In sharing our beautiful imperfections, we allow others to share theirs, and isn’t that what we hope for in community? I prayed that we could shatter our ten-year old lenses and see the women we are today, just as we stand today, and that we would love that woman. That we would look at ourselves the way we want our daughters & sons to look at themselves, truly, in love and in kindness and in peace.

I pray you see yourself today and that when you do, you smile and pat your back and wear it proudly.

{girl with blog}

Photos by Kim DeLoach Photo.

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