Sunday, April 7, 2013

ID Photo


I got my new license and the photo will come to signify this period of my life probably more than I would ever like.  My writing to is, intentionally or no, a rosy depiction of my life in snippets.  I wish I could be more level about my pitfalls, trials, tribulations, but I rarely am.

But my license photo captured it far too accurately. As with my last photo, I see too much into it.

The Nevada license I carry--with a hole punched in it to indicate its invalid status--is me at twenty. I am young and tan and smiling naturally.  Confident that everything in my life is not just manageable but fun too.

The new temporary license is a grayscale depiction of uncertainty.  I wear a sweater with my button down collar popping through, my attempt at looking professional. My hair is clean but needs a cut, my smile is forced and awkward. It is the photo of someone who has had his confidence shattered by an immersion into the professional world.  It is the face of a young man still. This time though youth feels like a weight, a burden because it reflects inexperience.

And because every old person reading this instinctively recoils and says, you don't know, and your life is easy, and you will want this time back.  And because that is just as rosy a depiction of life as my blog posts I reject that assertion.

When every bill is a dreaded moment, when you aren't allowed to make meaningful decisions at work, when you feel powerless purely because of your age and how others perceive you, there is nothing fair.

I know too how easy my life is. I know how easy all of our lives in the first world are. I know too that I live in a world where things seem increasingly out of my control.  Maybe old people have reconciled that with themselves, have decided that resignation to tragedy is wisdom or experience.

I look forward to discovering that my license photo--in its awkwardness--does not match me anymore.  And the things I thought, in my most cynical moments, were untrue and unwise.