A few years back, I began to notice how positively I respond to seeing someone’s face in association with their online writing. I love it when friends post a photo in their articles – it always speaks to me as much as do the words.
So I began to post selfies to go with what I wrote here. It was, I suppose, a way of showing up; of being here so it might feel the most like a real encounter it could be.
I never gave much thought to what the result of this could be. But of course, over time, what happened was that an unnervingly large array of photos of me accumulated on the internet, looking disconcertingly different as I got thinner, fatter, more well, less well, happier, sadder, cut my hair, grew my hair . . .
In aggregate ~ strange. I didn’t like it. So I went through the blog getting rid of the pictures of me.
And I have been doing the long, patient trek of growing back my hair. So the photos I have kept in the places where photos are (like my Amazon author central profile, for example, and my profile on here), I’ve chosen a photo from four years ago when I had long hair, and put that on any profiles needing a picture. Because that’s what I’m travelling back to, and I thought if I have that photo for the time being then eventually I’ll catch up with it and become who I am.
Of course, I don’t have control over all photos of me online – some are from interviews or articles about me by other people, and they have whatever photo I gave them at the time – because I never had a studio pic for professional purposes, I’d take a selfie of wherever and however I happened to be just then and send in that. So there’s still a random collection of all these different-looking people that are, oddly, me. But not as many. And some of them will ebb away in time as they fall out of Google’s mind.
I also deleted the post I had about getting rid of xanthelasma, because I have had soooo many responses to that. People write in asking what to do and how to do it, telling me the problems they are encountering in treatment and asking what to do next. Which I don’t mind in itself, but I feel acutely aware that I – who am no kind of health professional – cannot possibly advise someone I don’t know, on the other side of the world, about a condition or reaction I cannot even see. I began to feel uneasy about it, as if this could be irresponsible. So, even though I know it helped a lot of people, I deleted it.
I’m not quite sure why I’m explaining this – maybe in case you ever looked at the photo on my profile and wondered in startlement if I’d managed to wind out my hair like a Tressy doll. Well, I am, but slowly.
And I do think about more sober and profound and spiritual matters than how long my hair is and what pictures of me there are online – but I hope you know that.