My Story…Face by Face

Sometimes you can just see it. It’s in the face, and that’s the beauty of it.

Recently, I posed a challenge inspired by a wonderful personal exercise shared by Pulitzer prize-winning writer Connie Schultz in last week’s PARADE Magazine that led to this week’s Kuhnspiration question: If you had to tell your story through just five images of your face, what photos would you choose and what part of the story do they tell?

Did you get a chance to work on this creative assignment? I will admit that as I looked back, there were some pictures that I was not comfortable sharing – not yet, that is. They perhaps told more than I knew at the time. And for one chapter of my life – my first attempt at marriage – I’ve since destroyed all pictures so I couldn’t even relive that time visually if I wanted to.

If you’ve mapped out your life – face by face – at Pinterest, Flickr, your own blog or website, please let me know. I’d love to check it out and share here. For now, here we go!

Age 3

Early on, I knew I wasn’t a girly girl. I also knew that I was going to be in charge and these days of being dolled up would finally be over… in about 6 years! I distinctly remember that I had been crying and having a tantrum just before taking these pictures. Though I don’t remember the exact cause of the hissy fit, I’m fairly certain it had something to do with this red dress.

Age 16

By this point, I’d always made a conscious decision of how to live my life with regard to fashion and hair couture – fast, easy and simple. And yes, I was influenced by the likes of Kristy McNichol, Dorothy Hammill and probably Lance Kerwin, too (remember James at 15?). I’ve determined that I know how to slap a few words together and people seem to like it, with poetry contests and essay competition wins, and classroom acknowledgement for my writing.  I am excelling in school, making a few close friends but far from what you would call popular and have never really figured out the social game. I have accepted the fact that I’ll be cursed as a nerd forever and you know what? I’m fine with it. I’ve found academic success, and clearly I’d found perms. By this time, I’ve become the sole editor of the school newspaper, I’m hitting it out of the park with my grades and if I can just get this damn metal off of my teeth, the sky’s the limit. Oh, and did I mention that I want to be a famous journalist someday? Lookout, Barbara Walters.

Age 21

ck - Age21

Okay, maybe the journalism thing won’t happen after all. I’m visiting from Tallahassee, back home on a weekend break. I’m finishing my fourth year of college at Florida State University and am investigating the world of radio, children’s theater, public relations – you name it. Such is the beauty and the tragedy of a vague major like Communications. Sigh. But though I’m uncertain of my future and will soon embark on a wedding just weeks after my college graduation at the tender age of 22, I feel good and I look happy and healthy, even though I’m still sporting that damn perm. But look, ma – no brace face! I have no idea of the lessons ahead of me and how the next three years of marriage, divorce and rebuilding will change my life.

Age 27

Flashforward through all of that murky territory and crap known as 1992-1993. I find my way out of an unfulfilling job (completely unrelated to my field of study) and move into a promising position with great people (though again completely unrelated to my field). I finally acknowledge that my first marriage at 22 was a complete mistake, and file for divorce. I spend a year piecing life back together again, vowing to stop dating for a while after a rebound relationship turns out to be its own learning experience. And lo and behold, I find love – on a happy hour group outing at Uno’s Pizza. Three years later, I’m whirling around a dinner cruise dance floor with the love of my life. Who knew? But I’m 27, he’s 47 – I’m headed down a fairly recent career transition into this new scary world called marketing communications and I’m a stepmom of two boys now, too. No wonder I look scared out of my mind!

Age 38

I’m at peace. I’ve gotten past the 7-year-itch, finally found my professional home after years of bouncing around from technology company to technology company. Aah, media. It took me about 13 years to finally make it through your doors and now three years later, I’ve gotten the good fortune of my first ever editor position — 20 years after graduating from high school with aspirations of working for a local newspaper. By this point, I’ve already done that in at least some capacity and now I’ll head up a local magazine. Awesome! And I’ve passed through the frightening 30 and 35-year-old milestones, so it’s smooth sailing now. (Don’t tell this hopeful still somewhat young woman that a little over a year down the road she’ll be let go from the job of her dreams amid massive cuts at her beloved media home away from home…) But this time and picture were ultimately an introduction to the next chapter – freelance life. It has been pictures such as these and blogs like the one you’re reading that allow me to stay connected with others even when I don’t formally have a place to hang up my workbag or stow my little cooler every day.

And there you have it…one woman’s story, one face at a time. What does your tale look like? Let your life unfold through the magic of pictures and please do share.

Cheers to finding your own daily spark!


1 Comment

  1. Love this!!! xoxox Andrea


  1. Blog Double-Take 2012 « Kuhn Stories - [...] My Story…Face by Face (Feb. 26) [...]

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