Wednesday April 5, 2006

We all play different roles in our life. For example, I’m a daughter, a sister, an employee, a friend. Each person in our life sees us how they know us, if that makes sense. It’s hard to see a person outside the unintentional box we place them in. Kinda like when we were kids and were amazed that our teachers could be married and have kids! 

I don’t know what is more confusing: the fact that so many people see me different ways, or that I’m changing even how I see myself. It’s natural yet frustrating.

I’ve changed so much in the process of this surgery. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the physical operation itself that has changed me as a person. It’s the effects of the surgery and just having the confidence to change my life this much that has made the difference. I’ve become a lot more confident and self-protective in the last year. I can really be the type to let people take advantage of me but I’ve worked on that this year and that has really changed in my life. It’s weird though, because I feel like the people who criticize me the most for being that way also criticize me the most when I stick up for myself against the things they say that hurt me.

The key thing for me in all of this process has been to change not for the sake of change, and definitely not to please other people. I want to be a more confident, independent but compassionate me.

Another way I really notice that people see me in different ways is when they see images of me. For example, I have a friend who does sketches of his online friends using their Web cams. He is in Australia most of the time. When he sent me his first sketch (posted below), people who know me from online recognized me immediately.

My family thought it was a decent sketch of me. Other people who only know me from places like work, however, were like, “who is that and why do you have their sketch?” I was really puzzled by this but I realize now that my facial expressions and demeanor are very different when I’m in different situations.

Another example is a set of photos my friend Bruce Arnold. He took the photos at our mutual friend Valerie’s house. Some of them were taken with my sweater on, others were taken with me draped in a sheet. He Photoshopped the photos to either enhance or change the look to be different things. I thought most that he took were awesome and they showed a range of my emotions. There were some that were soft, others that were happy, others were confident (and some say sexy). The reactions to these were interesting. Some people looked at some of my favorite ones and said “this doesn’t even look like you”! Other people who know me took those same “not me” pictures and thought they were some of the best ones. I’ve included a few of my favorites below. My absolute favorite is the photo over to the far left of the overall page that I chose as my Xanga photo. It’s the one where I’m looking right at the camera with this confident little smile.

I know I’ve kinda rambled here but I hope people have seen my point. Well OK, I hope I’ve made my point, which is this: People see us different ways based on their experiences with us and where they know us from. Does the fact that people see me different ways mean I’m two-faced or a different person? Maybe that’s true to some degree. But I think for the most part, the roles people see me in are what make up the person who is me. I’m all the things: confident, compassionate, moody, timid, etc. All of it. I can’t wait to see what side of me develops next.

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hey Jamie! I absolutely love those pics! I told Val I love the way Bruce seems to capture your personality in the pictures they aren’t just portraits. He’s going to do mine when he comes to town next. I am so excited I can’t wait! I used to hate having my picture taken now I love it! It is helping me to see myself as skinny. That has been really hard to get used to. It’s like I forget how good I look then I see myself and I’m like wow that’s me! I can’t wait to see what he can do for me. If they are half as good as yours and Val I’ll be thrilled. Val’s were awesome too! Love ya girl!

  2. Really getting to know and love yourself is a vulnerable thing. It can be really disappointing if people don’t recognize the most important and best parts of ourselves…especially when we are just starting to recognize them ourselves.

    Jamie, I see you and believe that you are an incredible, sensitive, beautiful woman. You have depth and intensity and passion. What a great time to really be yourself.

  3. I just ran across your place here in the xanga world and I totally relate to what you posted about. It’s strange when you’re coming out of the surgery process and you first begin to notice you’re not the same person who cried when they’re surgery was approved and new hope was restored. It’s fascinating how people in your life see you and what they see vs what you see.

  4. Great pictures! Youre very pretty 🙂 I like the one in color with the sheet the best 🙂

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