Last year, between the months of October and December, I occasionally recorded small clips of myself and other objects that fascinated me. I was at home, a home that I no longer live in or call home, and I was alone. The song “Myth” by Beach House happened to be playing on repeat throughout that first evening of recording.
Turns out, creating an entire sequence of video centered around myself is a little bit arbitrary. Let me tell you though, I spent a lot of time thinking about the intention of this video.
Two years ago, I was sitting through one of my Nutrition classes and the topic of discussion was aging. My professor had written down a quote on one of her power point slides with the intention of leading the class in a “discussion” about it (She always had the last and final word). I don’t know who the first person to utter these words actually was, but there is a universal bet on either George Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde. But to be honest, I don’t really care who it was because honestly, his words really bothered me:
“Youth is wasted on the young.”
Not that I don’t understand where he’s coming from— I get it. There are a bunch of teens and twenty-somethings out there complaining about their skin, hair, noses, lips, legs, asses, breasts, voices, lack of thigh gaps, teeth…i mean really, the self-pity goes on! And in the meantime, there are 50, 60, 70, however olds, critiquing these youthful souls, shaking their heads, and saying: they don’t understand gray hair, false teeth, wrinkles from head to toe, bones losing density, hip replacements, walkers, and going to bingo on Monday nights for fun. (Actually, I have gone to and love, Bingo on a Monday night. I think I subconsciously wrote that in there so more of my friends would request to play Bingo with me.)
The point is, as a young person, it’s easy to get sucked into thinking that we are never matching up to set standards, but in all reality, this is probably the best our physical bodies will ever feel. Even without the physical, we have the privilege of carrying limited responsibilities and living a life full of possibilities. Our friends are falling in love and getting married. Creating babies together. We are finding new jobs and buying houses or not buying houses and living in a house with 5 other roommates, biking to every destination, and working as a restaurant server. But that is acceptable because as a young member of society, we are allowed time to figure out what our vocation is…or often, what it is not.
So the quote makes sense in that way. But then again, what exactly is young?
I will always find someone who is “older” than me and I will always find someone who is “younger” than me. Even when I am 60, there will still be someone out there that I run into who is 75 and complaining that if only she were 60 again, she might have a shot at a date with that 55 year old. And then there are children of ages that I definitely consider to be young, age 12 for example, who are creating babies and giving birth to them. I regard raising a child as a very adult thing to do. However, I recently interacted with a mom of this age (12) and was completely baffled as to whether I should treat her like a child or like an adult. I have never given birth and therefore I felt more like a naive child than her in that sense.
Also, how is it even possible for age not to be wasted? Time is always moving and we are forced to move with it. How do I begin to stop wasting my youth? Really, how does one begin to comprehend the number of years they have spent here on earth and maintain a sense of what youth really is? Where is the guide book instructing us on how to revel in our periods of youth?
This is my challenge and was the inspiration for this short selfie movie. (The word selfie actually makes me cringe, but if I’m being honest with myself…) I wanted to create something that reflected the perception I have of myself at a certain point in time. What parts of me did I find interesting at 22 years old? I usually allow photos, videos, and recordings from the angle and perspective of another individual but what moments are significant to me? What shapes can my body make? How does it feel to take a photo of myself? What are the right angles and all the moments in between? What are the moments in between still photos that I choose not to share on Facebook or Instagram?
What are my ugly moments?
And because this is my blog, I am allowed to share these moments on here.
My perspective of myself in the fall of 2013: