My first ever selfie

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This photo has been on my mind a lot lately. It was stashed in a square black box where I kept other photos I’d collected over the years, mostly ones that I had printed with an old disposable film camera. Yeah. A disposable film camera. I’ve actually kept a film camera in the hopes that one day I can sell it as an antique for lots and lots of money. A girl can dream, right?!

It’s not so much the selfie-ness of the photograph that makes me want to look at it. It’s the person in the picture, and the memory it entails. Josh and I had gone up to Wyndham, a small town about an hour away from home, to help a couple run a kids’ club for a week. They were a really fun, wise couple who travelled around Australia in a big bus painted like Noah’s Ark, ran kids’ clubs and spoke in schools, and they invited Josh and I to go help them for a week.

Those weeks (we did it twice in two years) were kind of strange for me. It was a new environment, without my parents, one year I was sick, I was around kids I didn’t know, and I was just… scared! I think I was often out of my comfort zone. I really didn’t like eating my weetbix with apple juice because we had run out of milk and for whatever reason couldn’t go to the shops to get more. Haha. However, I also don’t remember being so outside my comfort zone I threw a tantrum or crying until my Mum could pick me up, either. I’m kind of proud of myself there!  I had a lot of good memories and experiences.

One moment I do remember being a little weirded out for though, was this photo. A selfie. Before they were called selfies. I wanted a photo of myself with Mrs B before I went home, and we were out for dinner. She suggested she turn the camera around to take the photo herself.

My response was less enthusiasm and more like, “umm, noooo, it’ll ruin the photo; you can’t take self-portraits of yourself like that! It’s just not what’s done!”

Smile Jess!
Click! Done!

Today, this photo hangs on my wall as a reminder of my strange week in Wyndham and that I survived my extraction of most things normal with good memories intact. I learned about life, making do, standing up for what’s right, getting to know new people, boundaries in helping others, making wise choices, and bringing fun to the room. I felt safe and loved despite being in a new environment, and that says a lot about the people I was with.

It’s a special photo of myself with a passionate, strong, caring woman who invested in my life by way of friendship and fun, and the example her and her husband set in living with integrity.

And it reminds me that sometimes we just gotta roll with the punches because that can make the best memories if we just overlook protocol or society’s norms. So look that disposable film camera staring at you head on, and smile!

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