I have been going through some old photographs. Something I have been putting off for a while as there were a couple of large boxes of them that had been in storage. They had gone into storage from my father’s house at the time I cleared it following his death some ten years ago.
Some of the photos were fascinating finding some of my parents when they were first married, before they were married, photos of my mother’s parents both of whom had died before I was born. Then there were the photos of me from birth right through my growing up certainly up until my mid-twenties. I found these strangely disturbing. I could recall the events and occasions at which these were taken. I knew who was in the photographs yet they were not of me.
There was one particular photograph of my best friend Tessa and me when I was aged about four. I had remembered this photograph several times in the last few years but had not actually seen it. Tessa and I were best friends at the Kindergarten school I attended and witnessed my only compete tantrum about my gender first hand. The principal of the school, Miss Bailey, segregated the sexes for some reason, probably for a game or something and I completely lost it telling her I was a girl the same as Tessa. The derision I received both from the teacher and my father was sufficient to ensure I never did that again. Looking back at that picture brought back how clearly I was convinced I was and knew without any doubt about my gender at that age.
Following through the pictures it was interesting to see how that cheerful young person disappeared into what was acceptable. It was palpable to see the changes the cheeky face becoming more expressionless as puberty arrived.
So moving through the years the school prefect, the engagement pictures, the wedding photos. I remember them yet they do not resonate with me. They are not me. I had not expected to feel like this since I do not disown my past. It does resonate with my acceptance that my life had been one great artifice which thankfully I have been able to let go and live in my truth. I suppose saying I let go is perhaps not correct. My being, my core essence was not going to be shut down and hidden away. As I have said before, it pushed its way to the surface like a runaway train there was no stopping it, for which I am so grateful.
So curiously, I feel really disassociated with the photos of my previous existence, a record of where I was and what I was doing at a given time, just not me.