First, let me just say I'm fine. Really. Happy, confused, the normal Julia that you all know (or some of you, some of you are total strangers. To those strangers — Hi, I'm fine.)
However, I've gotten this habit of not looking at myself. Let me explain.
My friends joke that what ever happens in Europe, stays in Europe, but I don't want that to be true. And parts of me have changed here. First, I don't feel excessively responsible. Obviously in my job I do — but even that I've gotten to where I trust my student assistants to show up, etc. But the part of me that worried about everyone all at once is kind of gone. It has to do with the knowledge that I'm at least 9 hours away. And though I don't feel alienated emotionally from you all; I do realize there is a time gap. And I want to try and emulate that feeling of not trying to control or be hyper-responsible when I get back.
Second, and this is a biggie, I don't live in my head. I go out and interact with the world. There are cycles in my life that go from introvert to extrovert and I'm in an extrovert mode. To the point where I just go in places and start talking to people. It is kind of bizarre, but also necessary. Pluck one person out of their habits, friends and family — throw them in a foreign country and see if they don't try to crawl out of the intense silence of solitude and start living in the human race. A guy stopped me on the street the other day to let me know he and his wife finally had their baby. He was speaking Italian and I only know him from the sandwich shop, but I got the idea. I think that's it. The world opens up its secrets more if you are in it. Joy, birth, cruelty, despair, doubt, love, infidelity, confusion — well all of it. I hear about, witness, and experience. It's intoxicating. Bravo world for living.
Which leads me to a third. I'm opening up. (Don't laugh Shelby.) I am. The fact I sit here and write this blog should be proof enough. Sure, I still edit and pull curtains all of the time. In no way are you getting the entire picture. No one should. But I try to share and reveal and will continue doing so. Unprecedented in my other life. Even in my outgoing phases, I've only soaked up others' lives — no need to let anyone know me other than a small few (think of counting on one hand). Yes, the truly crappy stuff will still be restricted to a small audience. The rest — hopefully light stuff, now general admission.
So why not look at myself? I don't know. I think it has something to do with chameleons, fear, happiness, insecurity, and living. And transition. Always transition. Photography is for capturing an image and moment. Mirrors should just be there to steal a glance at the here and now.