Posted by Tobi-Dawne
On Friday, I received my new drivers license in the mail. A lot has changed since I had taken my previous DL photo. Not just in my life, but procedurally as well.
Now they require a new photo every five years. I think it used to be every seven (but don’t quote me on that). It used to be you could wear glasses, smile, act and be natural in your photo. Now, even if you wear glasses full time they have to be off, and not only are you not allowed to crack a toothy grin, you aren’t allowed to smile at all. But, as you’ll note from my new license, a wry smirk is perfect acceptable.
I have to admit… when I received my new license and pulled the old one from my wallet, I stopped and stared at the photos for a while. What a difference roughly half a decade makes. The first photo was before I was married, before Lily-Ann was even a vague idea. It was before I’d changed focus from my work as an expert in Canine Communication to Professional Photographer. I voted Green back then, but wasn’t a member of the party, and would never dream I would run the provincial party and run for office during a provincial election, a national election, and a provincial by-election. It was before I returned to my roots and realized how much I missed working with youth. I hadn’t outed myself as a former victim of sexual assault, and was ashamed of the fact that I had FMS and IBS. It was a very different me – who was plagued by social anxiety disorder and had a specially trained Service Dog because I couldn’t leave the house alone.
Now? Wow. There really isn’t much of that girl left.
I chose my wording carefully, the use of “girl” wasn’t an accident. I was a girl. I was a nervous, scared, girl. I hid it pretty well from most folk… but I really did live my life scared that I’d be found out, that someone would realize I wasn’t actually good enough to be worthwhile.
I said it once already, but for emphasis, I’ll say it again: What a difference roughly half a decade makes.
Now? I’m probably a little too self-assured… I’m actually downright cocky. LOL I know that who I am matters, and what I do makes a difference. I’m a proud woman. Confident and ready to tackle pretty much anything that comes my way. I live out loud, and tend to over share. Want to know something about me? Ask. I’m not afraid and will happily talk to anyone about anything. I’m doing some pretty amazing things.
Someone asked me if I felt old now that I’ve turned 35, and you know what? I totally don’t. I feel like life is just beginning. I’ve just hit my stride.
Tags: 35, anxiety, awesome, canine, changing, decade, dog, drivers license, drivers license photo, drivers license picture, expert, family, feminism, five years, FMS, growing, ibs, photo, photographer, photography, picture, PRIDE, professional, proud, pure awesomeness, social anxiety disorder, victim, youth