This is The Mama's senior picture from high school. Doesn't she look like a normal teenage girl in 1984? There are a lot of things you can't see in this picture. Although the photographer can see her fine, she cannot see him or even his camera for that matter. Lasik was still 16 years away when this was taken and normally her face would be hidden by very large, very thick plastic-framed glasses. You remember the frames where the ear pieces attached to the bottom of the frames and not the middle? Yeah, those. They were great for peripheral vision, if you weren't too nearsighted to have peripheral vision. Let's talk about the hair. I want to reach into the photo and change her hair. It looks like she slept on it wrong and then curled it the best she could. She has these ears that stick out and spent countless hours trying to cover them up with her hair. I find it quite shocking that I see this girl of 17 so much differently today. I hated this picture when it was taken, and it was the best pose. When I look at it now, I see such a young face with no scars or wrinkles. Her neck isn't really that fat. It was insane for her to worry about it so much. Her eyes haven't bulged out yet. That won't happen for another 7 years with the Graves Disease. I want to tell her that she has the most beautiful eyes.
If I could go back in time and talk to her for just a few minutes, I would tell her a lot of things. I'd start off by telling her how beautiful she is. I know she wouldn't believe me though. She'd think I saw her differently than the rest of the world. She had a big wall up around her heart when it came to a lot of things, including her self-image. I'd tell her that she was about to face one of the toughest years of her life. A year full of choices to be made by a girl who is out of her comfort zone and has no tools in her arsenal to help her make better choices. I'd tell her that she will survive, as she always has, but this time the price for that survival will be high. I'd tell her that she will meet another young girl this year, when she goes off into that big scary world, and this girl will be a life long friend. I'd tell her that one day the two of them will hold each other's children and feel pure joy. I'd tell her not to push her roommate up against the wall by her throat. I'd tell her that although she will feel alone at times, she really is not alone at all.
I would like to shake her out of the obsessive behaviors and feelings. She is so infactuated with that 17 year old boy though, she can't see anything else. She will sing to him on his doorstep for christsake! She has this loyalty, for lack of a better word, for anyone she loves. Loyalty is an admirable quality, but not when given when it's not wanted or deserved. When her love isn't returned by this boy her heart will break. She will do what she did when it happened the first time someone she loved let her down. She will pretend. She will live in fantasy and not reality. She will make excuses for him. She will spend every waking minute trying to figure out what she can do to make it right; to make her right, so she will be loved in return.
I'd tell her that he will turn out to be someone she doesn't even like or respect one day. I'd tell her that one day she will thank God for unanswered prayers.
I'd tell her to put herself first. I'd tell her to love herself first.
If I could make her listen, could I really change the course of her life? Would I want to?