Thursday, June 17, 2021

Self-Delusion

Last night I rode my motorcycle to dinner with friends, one of whom snapped a photo of me when I wasn't looking. I didn't see the picture until this morning. Honestly I'm shocked -- who's that old guy?!

It's sad to realize there's a wide gulf between our mental image of ourselves and empirical reality. The first picture is what I thought I look like (42 and hale). The second, taken yesterday, is reality (63 and creaky).

At least I don't ride any slower than I used to.  :)





24 comments:

  1. Either way, you look like a badass, Ally! That's a great picture of you! I love seeing your younger self - look at those flowing locks! I see you trimmed your pandemic length off, aw!

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    1. Thanks. The first picture was taken during a challenging 500-mile run I made IN THE RAIN. (I'm wearing my rain-suit.) P.S., I'll re-grow my hair.

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  2. Oh I know the feeling! It’s such a shock to be confronted with reality in this way. Ha! Well done on your riding skills! Do you plan to ride for the rest of your life or are you like my friend’s husband who has an agreement to stop at a certain age? xo JJ

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    1. I'll never stop riding unless my health prevents me. It's too much fun.

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  3. I agree with Sheila - badass at any age.

    But I also get the lack of mental versus reality continuity. I still "see" myself as thinner/younger/shorter hair. Even though I'm aware of reality (those creaky bones sneak up!) It's still a small shock to pass by a mirror and see my mother in my own appearance or see a selfie not match up with what I see in my head.

    However you have the right mindset - ride fast! Lol. Or skate fast in my case. We got back to it after several weeks of time off and my knees are feeling it today!

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  4. I agree with Sheila and Megan: that really is a stellar picture of you!. I'm relieve to read in your reply to Sheila's comment that you'll be regrowing your hair, as it looked really fantastic! xxx

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  5. Love the candid, in the moment spirit of the second image. I feel like it lets us see and better know you in a way that a more directly centered image might not always convey.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

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  6. Hi Ally, long time no speak. I can totally relate to your post. What happened to your hair???? I almost had my hair cut yesterday but I held out, what prompted your haircut?

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    1. Hey, pal. Good to hear from you.

      I cut my hair on the spur of the moment. Its length, while desirable to look at, was starting to annoy me with increased maintenance. I'll re-grow it again. I learned from the experience and will use that knowledge in the future.

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  7. Well, I like both photographs and I think you look like a cool biker in both. I think I can understand what you mean. I think our mental age stops at some point. For me personally, first signs of aging were a relief. I looked the same for the longest time so I was relieved to see some signs of ageing. I'm sure, however, that I might not feel as confident with ageing once it progresses. It's one thing to look forward to your face being longer in your thirties and less rounded then in your teens and twenties, but it is another to look forward to everything aging brings. I'm sure there are always some things that catch us by surprise. I think there is nothing odd with being shocked with how we change with time. Anyhow, I'm glad to hear you're regrowing your hair (I read in the comments) . I think long hair is fabulous.

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    1. Thanks. You'll understand this more when you get older. People under 40 usually look the way they feel.

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  8. It's weird.... most days, I still don't feel old enough to make any adult decisions. I feel like a total imposter, like I should still be in my sophomore English class.

    But my body is so achy, somedays it feels older than my nearly 38 years!

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  9. I totally understand this- the picture we have of ourselves in our mind is often from a different era than we are currently living. But that's okay! I'm totally of the mind that you're only as old as you feel! And that's a great motorcycle jacket you've got, so your style is on point! :)

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  10. I so understand this! I'm 56 and yeah... lol

    Having said that, when I look at other people - like your pictures here - I think you look great! And even better that when you were younger.

    I see this with my friends, there's a confidence in your own skin and knowing what works for you that you don't have before.

    But I don't see it in myself lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  11. Oh goodness, I totally get This! I suddenly look so old in pictures and part of my gloom about the cliqueymess at school was the fact that the younger teachers in school just don't wantvto to have anything to do with older, slightly awkward me and that's not helping me feel any younger!

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  12. Aw, you look great in both! Most importantly, you still look like YOU, just a little older. I'm aging poorly in that I don't look anything like myself.

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    1. I'm sorry. If not yourself, who are you turning into?

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