Since my last post, I’ve waiting for the moment when that feeling of ‘it’s all good’ would go ‘pop’, or indeed ‘bang’ and blow up in my face. It happened this afternoon, in the most unexpected way.
This morning, I submitted a short piece of writing for consideration in a magazine piece on kindness. Nothing huge, just a snippet in response to a request for reader contributions. This afternoon, I received a reply: yes they liked it and could I send them (and I quote) ‘a recent headshot of yourself. Eyes to camera, preferably colour, minimum size 2mb’. Well, I cannot be the only person in the country to not be able to respond to such a request instantly. In fact, I struggled to even meet the basic requirement – finding a photo of myself was hard enough. I have three photos of myself in 2011. One is a group shot, so that was out. Two were cropped down (thank you Alice, if you’re reading this) to be headshots but neither meet the minimum size required. I sent them anyway, as that’s the best I can do.
The whole experience left me quite shaken, with the whole ‘I feel like crying’ feeling. I know this is an over-reaction. Bewilderment as to why they require a photograph is probably justified, but feeling like an inadequate and useless failure is not. I don’t know why it’s rattled me so. Maybe it’s because I feel weird for not having loads of photos of myself (when I was still on Facebook, I used to wonder how some of my friends managed to amass several hundred photos of themselves on their profiles or how they were able to change their profile pic every week). Maybe it’s because I feel unprofessional not having a studio style publicity shot to hand (even though this was for a reader submission, not a professional piece of writing). Maybe it’s because having so few photographs of myself reflects how much I dislike having my photo taken, which in turn says a lot about how I feel about how I look. Maybe I have to admit that I’ve everything I’ve ever wanted except a reasonable sense of self-esteem.