Here is another Twyla Tharp exercise from The Creative Habit. Take a family photo and study it. "What do you see in it that is...similar to your life today, to the person you've become? What is vaguely similar? What bears no resemblance or suggests nothing memorable? What ended up the opposite of what you see? " The idea is to look at the photo of your young self and connect with it in terms of who you are today.
I see a girl who loves to wear knock-about clothes, jeans and T-shirts. The same is true today. I see the future yogini, knees bent, hands on knees. I see someone who loves to laugh and who, for the most part, is an optimist. Someone who is playful, as I still am today especially in my creative flair. The chair behind me is very much a chair I would have in my house today. I love hardwood floors and oriental carpets and dining rooms too. I see someone who likes to bend down and peer at things, observe and respond. If someone is sitting in a chair I usually bend down to be on their eye level when talking.
Here I see a side of me that likes to look neat and tidy. Today, though, I rarely dress up. I look like I am holding back at the same time as I am moving forward. One shoulder back, the other forward. I often feel that way as an adult. In fact, there is a part of me that holds the adventuresome me back.
Here I see the "ham" in me, on stage up front and center. I love to be the focus of attention and maybe I am doing a monologue? Again I am smiling, my eyes look bright and shiny. Even today, when I talk I know I become animated and sparkly. I am inquisitive and interested in the world around me, especially in other people. I am wearing a hat and as an adult I am often seen wearing a beret. In the photo my right hand seems clenched. Perhaps I was holding something. As an adult, I often walk around with my hands folded in like that. In fact I have made it a "task" of sorts to try to keep my hands open and toes uncurled and jaw unclenched.
I wish there were more of this aspect of me in myself today. She looks like she can take on the world in a very accomplished and sure way. A future CEO or something. That would be the opposite of how I am today. Maybe these two photos represent the two paths of my life, the one taken and the one not taken. Or the one waiting to be taken. :)
How about you? Do you have a photo of your younger self that you might reflect upon? If so, post it on your blog, let me know about the post in the comments to this post and I'll link to it here.
Some bloggers who have posted childhood photos. You may have to scroll down a couple of posts as I can't seem to make the link work when I put in the correct day of the post. :)