In August, I have a photo shoot planned. I booked it back in March. I’ve met the photographer and she is wonderful. I am hella nervous anytime I think about it. Why? What I’m having done is called “intimate portraiture” or boudoir photography. It’s the CRAVE experience from R2 Studios, located in Flagstaff, AZ. They’re a great group of women and I honestly am excited about the experience. Now, this experience can be tailored to whatever the client wants and if getting pictures in your skivvies is not what you want, you don’t have to. I still don’t know what I am going to wear or who I want to be for this shoot. I was thinking about clothes and kicking around ideas the other day. I’m getting a new tattoo (something I do when I’m sad) and I’m thinking of ways to show that off as well as the older ones I have. I honestly don’t know if I’ll do many in my undies but I definitely want to find a cropped black leather biker jacket and probably some tall boots. Their style consultant will call me next month and we’ll discuss ideas so maybe I’ll have a better vision at that point. I’ve been hesitant to tell people I have this shoot coming up. My reasons behind booking it are pretty personal and the last thing I want is to hear ridicule or be classed as that pathetic, middle aged woman who needs to feel young again. My reasons are a bit more deeply seeded that just needing to feel young again. I need to feel “worth” something again because I haven’t felt valued in a long time. I want to have a day where it’s all about me and people actually care, and not just because they’re being polite or it’s their job and they’re being paid to care.
I booked this as a way to bet me out of my self-hate cycle. I’ve been struggling with liking myself physically and mentally. I’ have never felt like one of the “pretty girls” and I certainly have never been one of the cool kids. I’m a little awkward sometimes and I get very excited around cool people. That feeling may not always be reciprocated though and then I feel very embarrassed for reaching out in the first place. I feel like I can be a massive annoyance to everyone around me much of the time, especially when I’m in a funk and need to talk. When I’m not doing well mentally, this feeling of being an absolute bother is magnified by about 50%. From this bad place, I often feel like I need to apologize for just being myself. Like, it’s not OK to be me, “why am I here?” and maybe I should just go away…. When new people follow me on social media, I feel like I need to add this disclaimer to my account: “I post lots of random nonsense from my life but mostly pictures of my dog. You’ve been warned”. But seriously though, what’s wrong with loads of dog pictures?? He’s freaking awesome and quite a handsome boy!
Other steps towards getting out of the self-hate cycle have included doing nice things for myself. I got my hair cut last week. This week I’m getting my eyebrows tinted this Thursday (so it looks like I actually have some!) and next month, I’m getting my hair colored professionally. I would do a facial but I have a difficult time when people touch my face and I hate using products on my face. I hardly use any makeup and I struggle to put on sunscreen because it feels very yucky for the first 2 minutes. In my interview with the photographer, the first thing I told her was, “I kinda suck at being a girl”, and that statement still rings true! I’m trying to make little steps towards doing taking care of myself better, for the long haul.
On a side note, I’ve been able to go 3 days without washing my hair. I’ve tried to do this in the past and have failed, due to my hypersensitivity to filth, smells, and sensations. However, with a bit of guidance from my stylist, I managed to do it. I’m on day 4 and my hair doesn’t feel disgusting, much to my surprise. I think I’ve turned a corner and I’m pretty happy about that. As a kid, I hated having sticky hands. I hated having my hair touched or played with (which my mom would do during church, “because it’s so soft!”. It drove me nuts.). I realize these little victories may seem pretty insignificant or ridiculous to someone who doesn’t understand or have the same tenancies.
Better hair care, skin care, increasing exercise, having a better diet and actually getting massages are the things I’m striving to do for myself. If I don’t take care of myself and treat myself with disregard, others will follow suit. My physical health, mental health and overall well-being starts with me.