The theme from Tara for The Gallery this week is: A younger me.
The temptation to plead all my old photographs are in my attic in Edinburgh was high for this one!
But nowadays Facebook catalogues everything, and if we want an embarrassing photograph of our younger selves it’s a fairly safe bet that there will be one on there somewhere!
In my case, one of my cousins kindly finds suitably toe curling photos and happily tags me in them :)
I particularly like this one (apologies for the quality, it’s a photo of a photo!). I’m the blonde on the right, my younger sister is on the left and my cousin in the middle.
It is so of its time, which is circa 1980 (at my best guess).
The dungarees, the blouses with bows :) Even the colours scream late seventies/dawn of the eighties.
And, oh, the hair!
I wonder what made the bowl cut so popular – it can’t have been for it’s looks; I smile when I see that my hair is kinked out on one side (it always did that, even hairdressers couldn’t tame it!); I remember how I longed for perfectly straight hair like my sisters; I wish that my hair was still that colour without assistance :)
But, I also realise that I have a tendency to blank out my younger self.
To wish away the shy child, the awkward teen with the braces, the eighties perm and the tendency to wear pink.
To fast forward to my more confident self (the one with straighter teeth and straighter hair and better dress sense!).
But looking at this girl makes me think about those formative years, for although I remember little about her, she became me.
She survived being the shy child and became stronger; she made it through her teenage years relatively unscathed and became confident; she had a blast living, working and partying her way through her twenties in London and became successful; she relished her thirties, getting married and having kids, and became happy; she is throwing herself into her forties and is becoming comfortable in her own skin.
She will help me guide my children through the trials of their school years; being teased and falling out with friends; first crushes, first dates and first broken hearts; through bad hair days and questionable fashion choices; through study and career choices, interviews, rejections, first jobs; relationships, marriage and children; through failure and success and everything in between.
Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.
Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional
Do you remember your seven year old self?