Weekly Photo Challenge: Self-portrait

Me And The Man Behind Mask

There's a part of me that is good and a part that is bad. Mostly the bad doesn't surface because I guess my good side beats it most of the time. It's a constant battle between light and darkness, between the sinner and the saint, between the righteous angel and the relentless, guy with a red fork. Yes, I'm so human. Behind the mask is just another guy trying to find the light, who constantly had to face his worst nightmares, not when he sleeps but when he's awake with the world glaring and pounding before him.

Among the themes of the Weekly Photo Challenge, this week proves to be the most challenging. I dread the thought of showing my face with all its vulnerabilities. I was planning to skip it until I remembered that my family went to the Mall last week to buy masks for the New Year Masquerade Ball.

I took a few shots and my son was my final test trial if I’m recognizable or not. So, last night after dinner, I showed him this photo. He asked me, “Who is that dad?” I kind of lied and said, “It’s the new superhero. The one on the left is the good guy and the one on the right is the bad guy.” Now he got intrigued. He smiled and said, “So, who is it really dad?” Smiling mischievously, I told him “Go ask your mom.” He hurriedly went to the kitchen and showed my wife the iPhone photo and asked her, “Mom, who’s this weird guy in the picture?” My wife told him excitedly, “That’s your dad!” We all laughed so hard I thought he’s going to drop the iPhone. My test passed with flying colors.

There are days when I'm surrounded by gloom, of grey clouds choking my heart, even competing with the very air I breath. On other days, I feel so much joy I feel I'm soaring and that I can just do anything. Thus this two exact photos. One dark, the other bright symbolizing optimism, hope, happiness, of a heart that loves and cares despite of. Sometimes that heart gets broken by loving and trusting too much. But what can it do, it seems to have a mind of its own. It's a mystery I can't even explain.

The Side I keep To Myself

I’m usually a happy, humorous even goofy person. I knew this person since my high school days. I would get in trouble for laughing and joking so much. I didn’t care. I made others feel good about themselves. I was for most of the time care free yet responsible, calm, adventurous, friendly, talkative and persistent to achieve my very best.

The sociable, “happy-go-lucky” exterior covers up for the boy who grew up shy with a lot of insecurities. When I tell my closest friends that I’m actually shy they would laugh and say, “Are you kidding me? Seriously, you…shy?” This usually gets followed by more laughter till we’re blue on our face which by this time I’m part of. I guess the shyness gets covered up as well by my determination to overcome my weakness by challenging myself to pursue my potentials.

How did I get to be so shy? I was a sickly kid, too sick I missed 2 years of schooling. There was a time the hospital felt like home. So there goes my social skills and confidence. It was during this childhood isolation that I filled the void with writing and art. Years later I get to realize that I was book smart but not street smart. Same reason I suppose. But heaven balances everything. I’m married to a street smart woman whose love and confidence in me is unwavering. She believes I can move mountains. Maybe I can in my own little way because of her and my son.

A Part Of Ourselves In Our Children

When I look at my son, I seen so much of myself, the good ones at least. His physical features are strongly mine as well. Except for the eyes which I'm glad she got from my wife . She has beautiful and soulful eyes.

There was a time I was so scared of getting old. I was afraid that I’m slowly losing the youth I used to know and enjoy. But now I see so much of myself in my son that I feel gratitude that God gave him to me and my wife. I see the optimism, the bright and happy kid, the dreamer, the achiever, the boy who embraced life with so much zest and adventure, the boy who loved with a pure heart and believed that all people are good through my son. He is my youth. He is the better version of me. I was not really great in sports but my son can run like the wind. His passion for Soccer when he plays inspires me  and makes me so proud as a father. Do I still worry of getting old? Perhaps a little but it’s more about health and loss of autonomy. Okay, one thing he didn’t he get from me is that he is not a worrier like me. Thank heavens he is not!

So now you know why I’m not into sharing my full face. That mystery part of myself I wish to keep. Acknowledging the dark and weak part of ourselves can be scary but you are not alone.  In everyone, there’s a man and a woman behind the mask waiting to come out, speak and express himself or herself. To those whom people shared themselves, listen to them with an open, none judgmental and kind heart. One day, it could be any of us.

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About Island Traveler

A father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, a traveler, an optimist hoping to create something good & meaningful to every person he shares his world, his home, his dreams, his hope & heart with.
This entry was posted in 31 Days Of Christmas, Life, Love, Personal, photography, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

107 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Self-portrait

  1. ceceliafutch says:

    A great post! I resonate with a lot of what you say here. I was painfully shy growing up, and even today I hae my moments. But like you saw, we are each multi-faceted. Thanks for being the deep thinker and writer that you are.

    and I love the self-portrait.. 🙂

    Like

  2. Madman says:

    Great mascarade with yourself. I enjoyed reading your lines. Thanks for the share.
    All my best wishes to you and your family,
    – Pierre

    Like

    • Thanks Pierre. A week or two from now, I’m inviting you to a Masquerade ball through my future post. We all need to have some fun as we greet the incoming year, even just in cyberspace. Wishing you and your family all blessings as well.

      Like

  3. mysterycoach says:

    “Applause” … 🙂 oh hell… now I need a tissue. sniff… (insert soft smile)

    Like

    • Thank you. Can I share those tear tissues with you? Whenever I re-read my post, it gets more emotional for me.It feel good that someone understands the ups and downs of our lives. Stay blessed always.

      Like

  4. wow that was a very good post….

    Like

  5. amira says:

    one of the best posts on “self portrait” i should say.
    i guess quite a few of us have a phobia in coming out – right out 🙂

    Like

  6. I could be President of the Worry Club. And you, my friend, never rest. Read munchow’s “Never Rest.” (Just click on your blogroll.) I think it’s good to never rest creatively as you do, because then you/we turn that worry energy into creative energy, i.e. blogging.

    Like

    • Worry energy to creative energy? I love that. That is one great way to challenge something negative to positive and productive. Thank you. I will check it out. I did notice that when I write and blog, my tension seems to drift away, similar when I used to paint. Like being a world of solitude. Again I appreciate the advise. God bless to you and your family.

      Like

  7. aawwa says:

    Interesting post! Thanks for pinging my blog 🙂

    cheers
    Lorraine

    Like

  8. cocomino says:

    I also don’t show my face on my blog. It’s scary for me. 🙂

    Like

  9. Stepping My Way to Bliss says:

    Nice post! I wasn’t enthused about this week’s theme either. I have shown myself on my blog but I don’t really want to do it too often. I picked obscure photos this week too. ~Bliss

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  10. jhirzel88 says:

    Isn’t a “Self-Portrait” supposed to resemble your own self, rather than a disguise? I mean, it just doesn’t make sense at first. At one point, I didn’t want to show my face when I started doing YouTube. Several months later, when I made my first v-log, I realized that I look no different than a lot of the other computer nerds out there. They all look the same to me. I mean, I might be the only nerd that has a jhirzel88 account, but at least I have that comfort zone that makes me feel that no one is really stalking me or anything like that. I feel secluded as I always am.

    This post is appropriate because it makes everyone feel that there is a mystery in all of us. Some mystery that is! Just make sure you don’t shine the light too bright.

    Like

    • Advise taken. I did notice that when I brighten the light, the photo becomes more obvious. I think I just chose the right amount particularly the first one. It took me awhile to get the right photo since I just did it with my iPhone, with my right hand stretching out. Keep doing what you love the most. the rest will follow. Have a Merry Christmas.

      Like

  11. tmso says:

    Very interesting. Sometimes a mask is all we got.

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  12. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Self-Portrait « life is a bowl of kibble

  13. Northern Narratives says:

    Nice post. Merry Christmas.

    Like

  14. wordsfallfrommyeyes says:

    Your photo challenges are ALWAYS interesting, but dang! I would have liked to see what you look like! Just curious. That one where your nose is slightly upward – “these are the days I’m surrounded by gloom” – I don’t know, I somehow like that one. It holds something in it.

    Great photos, & words.

    Like

    • Gloom can be good, as long as I’m off work and I’m at home trying to reflect while bumming in front of the T.V. or computer. Thanks for the appreciative comments. I wish I was brave to show my face. For now I think that’s the most revealing I can get. My life is a bit complicated( whose not , huh?). I work in a field that web exposure may not be a good thing. Bummer! Happy holidays to you and your little angel!

      Like

  15. MOL says:

    Interesting post. I believe you’re too hard on yourself. Not everything has to be good or bad. Life is peppered with lots of grays, really. I have always thought that people who wear masks have to because behind the mask, they are so tender and vulnerable. Also, they are not sure that people will like what’s behind the mask, not realizing that the true self is where the soul truly shines. Please take caution that you do not become your mask. That would be tragic.

    Like

    • From past experiences, that tenderness and vulnerability had been taken advantage of not just once but several times and everyday I’m still recovering from it. A lot of pain and bitterness that needed healing. Till today, I’m still paying for trusting too much and my family is in a way affected by it. It’s never a good thing to be so naive and innocent in today’s world. Even your very family can take advantage of you when you least expect it. That’s a true story I’d seen happen among my circle of family relatives and friends. Sad but true. I will try though not to become my mask. Thank you for the advise and shared thoughts.

      Like

  16. jeanne says:

    We all wear masks, physical and emotional…I am trying to be the best me I can be without hiding behind my self imposed masquerade.

    Like

    • Me too. I think sometimes we have to so we can protect ourselves and our families. I guess it depends on why we do it. And I think for most of us, our intention are good. As I’m getting older, I realized more that people wear not just one mask but multiple and we really need to be careful who we give our heart to or share our trust with. I wish things could have been more simple like in the past. And yes, the most we can do for now is try to be the best “me” without hiding behind our self imposed masquerade. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  17. I totally understand being shy. I’m shy at times and usually it’s covered up by something else. I am learning to come out my shell more and I hope you do too :). I love a Masquerade Ball and your mask looks amazing

    Like

    • This is my first masquerade ball. My wife and son got one for themselves too. I’m excited how the party would turn out. I’ll keep you posted. I do try to overcome the shyness more that my work requires me to be assertive. As for the mask itself, I may need to wear them while blogging for personal identity purposes. It’s a way to protect my family and still be able to do that one thing I’m passionate about…writing. Happy Holidays. Thank you.

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  18. This was such a compelling post IT! I now know that you are truly a creative genius! This was a wonderful way to give your fellow bloggers (as in me) some insight into your human psyche while keeping your anonymity. After all, there is no law that says you need to share everything about yourself with the entire world! I respect your desire to remain a bit mysterious. A little mystique can be a positive thing. That being said, it is obvious that you are a kindhearted person that cares very deeply about his family and friends. There is no mystery in that. And that is what matters the most my friend. So, thanks for sharing your heartfelt emotions. I wish you and your family love, peace and happiness this Christmas and throughout the New Year. 🙂

    Like

    • From a friend who shares one of the most beautiful and inspiring comments, Thank you. In a way despite of past negative experience, I can’t give up on kindness and trusting others. I’m more cautious now but the are still a lot of good and honest people out there . So, I can not totally shut my world and heart because one person screwed it up. And now that it’s Christmas season, all the more we need to open our hearts that there is good and hope in people. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you and your family love, good health, peace and joy this Holiday season and everyday. Stay blessed my friend.

      Like

  19. thirdhandart says:

    Even though you’re wearing a mask in the photo, I see who you are through your written words. A very good self-portrait post IT. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you my friend. Those kind words sounded so warm to the heart. And it came on a perfect timing when I needed to hear them. Wishing you and your family all the bountiful blessings of this season and everyday thereafter. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as well.

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  20. Fergiemoto says:

    A moving story. Thanks for sharing. There is no need to share your full face if it doesn’t feel comfortable doing so.

    Like

    • Thank you. So kind and understanding. We all have reasons for doing certain things and I respect each blogger’s decision to be who they want to be . It’s what makes all of us unique yet connected to each other. We are all here to freely express ourselves that includes how we reveal that personal part of us. Happy Holidays and wishing you and your family the best….

      Like

  21. Jenny says:

    I always enjoy your photo challenges. You write about the topic so well and I am always curious to what your perspective will be when i see the title. I am never disappointed!

    Like

    • Thank you. Sometimes I can’t help myself from thinking and feeling the way I do. There are times when I’m reluctant to share personal things that I don’t normally tell people. But this is the beauty of being anonymous. We can be ourselves because we know that we will not be judge and we are accepted by the blogger family for who we are. That may not be the same when you tell someone in person unless he/she is truly close to you. Wishing you and your family all the blessings of the Holidays….

      Like

  22. Arindam says:

    You did wonder with this challenge bro. Simply awesome!
    I can some how relate to this one. I am also very shy, i can’t get along with people too well, unless they want me to do. I never good at sharing my deepest emotion nor the feeling for someone else. Somehow, that helps me in writing. I may not be a wonderful writer, but i let those words come out which go through my heart and mind. And I am also scared of getting old, as i do not want the job for which i am born to be half done. And i also have a bad side in me like every other human being. But i am happy that my bad side is not going to hurt anyone except me. So if i can’t change it, then i will not mind living with it.
    Thanks a lot for such a thought provoking post. It’s really a great post.

    Like

    • I can see a lot of myself in your comment. Honestly, I never thought I could write other than the “love letters” I used to make for my wife. I did some writing in high school but they are play stuff. Nothing deep, nothing personal. Now we talk about our lives, our deepest thoughts, about what our heart’s sentiments, good or bad, about the world we live in. Amazing yet scary, uncertain yet liberating. In my opinion, you write so well. And yes, with so much heart and sincerity. Not everyone has that and thus you are blessed, Bro. live your dreams and live it large with lots of lasting impressions. Thanks for sharing.

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  23. john tugano says:

    Even from the start I have anticipated seeing your face since its always hidden,hidden in terms of mystery as if your chasing us to catch and get more of you as a person.Actually I already rummaged and ransacked all your photos in your post but I failed to visualize how you really look-like and that keeps the excitement glowing keeping me more curious as time goes by.I bet you’re a good looking man,from the contours of your face,theres really no doubt about it.

    I believe there’s a reason behind on why you keep your physical self private as you have said you’re shy and we do really understand it.Good thing that from the experiences of yours,still you have drawn a positive outlook towards it.I knew how it feels to be sickly and I’m sad about to learn that you’ve been in this phase..Your family is always there by the way,they’ll love you unconditionally..

    I love your stories bro as always..

    Like

    • If I’m to pick comments that made my heart swell with inspiration and happiness, you are on my top list. I told my wife one day, “You need to read the comments in my blog. Never have I read heartfelt and generous comments in my life other than the ones I get from my immediate family.” I told her further, “not even my Facebook friends share the way my blogroll friends does.” In a world where a lot of people are too busy to find time for anything or anyone, that is very impressive and inspirational. And so I wish to thank you and all that has been a part of this blog. This year had been memorable for me, both because of the joys and the trials that went with it. One of the joys is having this blog that I can myself. Bro, wishing you and your family a life filled with wonderful blessings…thanks again.

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  24. I did one video on utube just to say “I DID IT” because of my insecurity of it all. I also wanted others to see ME the real me. I am not a big fan of it yet, but hope to one day. I admire your thought provoking posts each day and hope that in 2012 we all stay connected as friends. It’s been a great 12 months with tons of learning and making friends. I hope you enjoy the holidays of 2011 and the 2012 NEW YEAR! Blessings sent and Hi to you son. ♥ Jackie

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    • As I said before, you were one of the first to inspire me with your beautiful thoughts and posts that helps a beginner in his blogging path. I started from scratch and somehow I made it till the end of 2011. Thank you. Yes, I do look forward to a 2012 of amazing friendship and posts that continues to touch others. A toast to friendships that yearns to last and make a difference!!!

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  25. aRVee says:

    I agree with you my friend. I was surprised to learn though that you were shy when you were young (well, I am too). I guess everyone was, haha (passing on to others as well, is it good? haha)…

    Like you, I am also very uncomfortable with this week’s challenge, so I just edited my original picture and put some Christmas effects into it. I can skip this week’s if I want to but since I wasn’t busy, I joined in.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! Stay blessed! 🙂

    Like

    • I actually like they way you edited the picture and added a Santa hat…clever and very Jolly. I can almost here someone saying, “ho,ho,ho…Merry Christmas,” in the background. I’m really happy that my blogger friends like the mask concept and were understanding of my dilemma. To be honest, It wasn’t easy to write all those things. Who want’s to admit there is a “bad” part in themselves, huh? I hope it’s a way to tell people that it’s okay to be themselves and that all of us face our own demons and struggles everyday.
      Thank you for sharing. Wishing you and your family love, good health, peace and joy this Holiday season and everyday. Stay blessed my friend.

      Like

      • aRVee says:

        And I salute you for being so true. It is indeed never easy to admit the “bad” side of us but here I go again, passing on to others, but frankly speaking all of us has a good and bad part in ourselves, whether we admit it or not, it’s reality. Kudos to you my friend and stay blessed, like always! Merry Christmas! 🙂

        Like

      • Thanks aRVee. I appreciate the kind and generous comments as always. It’s 3 more days before Christmas thus I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. Cherish these moments with your family for they are priceless.

        Like

  26. semprevento says:

    Let always beautiful comments … I am immensely pleased to find you.
    I wish you and your loved ones so much serenity.
    May the new year bring love and joy for all.
    a immensely embrace
    vento

    Like

    • I immensely accept and cherish this wonderful and heartfelt comments. While reading this I remember the statue of the woman holding her face in your Youtube video in the post “diamante…” She showed so much tenderness, compassion and emotion that you can’t help but be moved by it. Thanks for the comments. Always beautiful and poetic. Merry Christmas to you and your love ones.

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  27. semprevento says:


    for your puppy! 🙂

    Like

    • Oh, love the Jingle Bells cartoon video. It made my day bright and merry. This is one of my favorite Christmas song of all time. I used to do caroling as a kid with my siblings and cousins. I miss those simple childhood days. Merry Christmas my friend. May the season’s blessings be with you and your family always….

      Like

  28. As a child, I was painfully shy. I am 59 and still shy in large crowds, even if it’s my family!! I did the challenge this week too and if you go to my blog, you’ll see a silhouette!

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  29. Cheryl says:

    Absolutely love it! All the best of the Holiday Season to you and your loved ones.

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  30. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge : Self-Portrait « Cheryl Andrews

  31. jakesprinter says:

    Great Collections of Photograph i never seen like this before great presentation 😉

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  32. Patti Kuche says:

    Well, what to say that has not been said already! We reveal so much of ourselves in our thoughts and our actions and yet, some of the faces which are so familiar to us, the people behind them remain mysteries to us forever. So any best wishes to you for a very Merry Christmas and all the hopes and dreams of many new years to come!

    Like

    • Thanks Patti. Warm and happy thoughts that help brighten my Holiday season. I too wish you and your family all the blessings this Christmas and everyday. Have a wonderful and unforgettable New Year my friend.

      Like

  33. Sony Fugaban says:

    I’m supposed to feel so happy but my childhood days came flashing onto my mind when I read that part when you used to be shy too. To make the long story short, I had a terrible childhood memories, at least in school. I was of those who became somewhat cynical because of the then experience and perception about the world. I longed for that acceptance — trying to befriend the cool guys. High school days came and it was kind of the same. The bullying was there still. It was only during college days when I felt like I saw light as far as “school culture” is concerned.

    I used to hate the people who attacked me back in the days but when I got to understand life, I learned to love them beyond question. Because of them I became who I am today. I needed that experience of rejection to turn me into an optimist. I would have not seen how beautiful life is if the case were that I was lying on the bed of roses. Again, at least in school.

    Going back to you, I could relate to how you see your son and wife. Well, that goes out especially to your son. I am relieved each time he exceeds my expectations which makes me exclaim, “Thank God he’s better than me.” There were a lot f instances where he had proven that and I’d be stupid if I will have to complain to the Aura up there. I mean, I so blessed and I could ask for more because of this beautiful life. I learned to embrace the thought of getting older because of my son as I know I could see the young me thorugh him anyway.

    Thank you for, finally, giving us the reason behind keeping your cheerful face! Regards to your son and wife.

    Like

    • I didn’t really enjoy highs school too due to peer pressure and trying to fit in . It’s like what we see now with those teenage movies or t.v. series. The most fun and memorable one was during my Nursing college years. For the first time I felt I was myself and everyone was friendly. A lot of great times with amazing friends whom by the way are still my friends up to today. Would you believe one of them live close to me in Houston? Small world indeed! You stories are always inspiring. You persevere and go above and beyond. Your optimism and warm attitude on life and events are infectious and motivating.
      I hope that you continue to be generous, caring, adventurous and humble…it’s what draws people to you and more.
      Wishing you and your family a blessed , Merry Christmas…

      Like

  34. Sony Fugaban says:

    I’m supposed to feel so happy but my childhood days came flashing onto my mind when I read that part where you said you used to be shy. I actually had a similar experience. I had a terrible childhood memories, at least in school. I was of those who became somewhat cynical because of the then experience and perception about the world. I longed for that acceptance — trying to befriend the cool guys. High school days came and it was kind of the same. The bullying was there still. It was only during college days when I felt like I saw light as far as “school culture” is concerned.

    I used to hate the people who attacked me back in the days but when I got to understand life, I learned to love them beyond question. Because of them I became who I am today. I needed that experience of rejection to turn me into an optimist. I would have not seen how beautiful life is if the case were that I was lying on the bed of roses. Again, at least in school.

    Going back to you, I could relate to how you see your son and wife. Well, that goes out especially to your son. I am relieved each time he exceeds my expectations which makes me exclaim, “Thank God he’s better than me.” There were a lot f instances where he had proven that and I’d be stupid if I will have to complain to the Aura up there. I mean, I am already so blessed to begin with and I could not ask for more. I learned to embrace the thought of getting older because of my son as I know I could see the young me through him anyway.

    Thank you for, finally, giving us the reason behind keeping your cheerful face! Regards to your son and wife.

    Like

    • What matters is that we strive to overcome our weaknesses and that we didn’t miss an opportunity to change and better both for ourselves and for our family. God bless you my friend and your family always.

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  35. TRKN says:

    thanks for the pingback :))

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  36. Pingback: How to create an artsy self-portrait on iPhone « aNTibaKTeRiYeL

  37. eof737 says:

    Brilliant! This is fantastic and that you shared your vulnerability about this level of exposure is touching. I’m not so keen on this challenge either; mainly for the reason that I don’t necessarily want to add my picture to my blog … But sometimes, it’s good to step out of the box and try. Right? I love your take on the challenge and as a shy kid myself, I can relate… 😉
    Love it. Happy Holidays! 🙂

    Like

    • “But sometimes, it’s good to step out of the box and try.” So right. I was hesitant about the challenge but we need to try even if it doesn’t come out the way we intend it to be. There’s satisfaction and peace of mind in knowing we tried our best. In a way I’m grateful that because I was shy, I pushed myself t get out of that box, ready or not!!!
      Happy Holidays to you and your family.

      Like

  38. Nice one. Really loved the captions in your photos, especially the first one.
    Happy Holidays to you too…

    Like

    • Thank you. That one was not easy to write but now I’m glad that I shared them. I realized that most of us go through our own personal battles and that by sharing we can learn and gain inspiration from our stories. Wishing you the best of the Holidays too.

      Like

  39. Frank Bishop says:

    I bought my fiance a photography book, a how to.

    One day, I’ll have awesome pictures too!

    People think I am shy or reserved and sometimes sad, I am actually very analytic and constantly evaluating things. I don’t do it on purpose, I am just curious about the world.
    But like your friends laughing, when I tell people that they always seem surprised.

    The you that you know and the you that people see are almost always different.

    Like

    • Being analytic and curious is a trait of a smart and adventurous man. I wish I’m like that. I’m more of the impulsive and very active. I move all the time. The only time I get to think and reflect is when I sit on the computer and write. I admire you trait, perhaps I can learn them one day at a time. You personality reflects of a good writer that sees the world in a different light, a light that ordinary people normally miss.
      Your Fiance will soon be clicking amazing photos. Can’t wait to see your work together. All it takes is an eye, a heart and a camera… Happy holidays.

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  40. MikeP says:

    IT… thank you for exposing a little about yourself. I too am amazed at how this blog thing works. I just started in May 2011 and the comments do astound me, nothing like FB, even with family. Speaking about family… let me say it is refreshing to hear in your words the connection you have with yours. In my line of work I too often see and hear the ‘dark side’ of how people deem themselves parents. Your thoughts about your son were my holiday present as I am reminded there still are people who genuinely connect. All my best in the new year.

    Like

    • Thank you. Christmas is one Holiday that gave me beautiful , fun and happy memories as a child growing up with 5 other siblings. It’s one Holiday that we feel magic and joy that we can’t fully explain. Perhaps it’s the love among family or perhaps it’s because of the infectious optimism and generosity. All these I wish to share with my son. I try to bring that magic even if it is just me , my wife and him. We may be a small family but as long as we have a big heart, then may be I can recreate that magic with them this Christmas and every holiday thereafter. Wishing you all the blessing this Holiday and for the incoming year.

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  41. Maita says:

    Thanks for the pingback! I appreciate your comment on one of my blog posts. I love the way you write, especially the captions on the pictures. Have a great day!

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  42. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Self Portrait… | Mirth and Motivation

    • Thank you for the mention in your post. That was a generous and beautiful surprise. The comments of all my blogger friends inspired me so much and helped me face my fears that I decided to use it in my Gravatar. In a way, it tells people that there is a real person behind each of the stories they read. That there is an actual person that walks in those path that they see.

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  43. pix & kardz says:

    hidden or not, it is great to see that you are grinning!
    thanks for sharing

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    • I was surprised I was able to grin, although it was meant to be a smile. Oh, well it turned out better than I thought. I start acting conscious and foolish, almost anxious and panicky when in front of the camera. There goes hollywood out of the window. Ha, ha, ha….Happy Holidays my friend.

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  44. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Self Portrait… | The Blog Farm - A Growing Blog Community

  45. Pingback: 24 DECEMBER 2011 : IN THE BETWEEN « 2011 – ON THE BENCH

  46. pegbur7 says:

    Great post. Made me a little misty eyed. I understand your reluctance to let your out there. It was very scary for me and I admit that it has somewhat tempered my writing because now I know some people I know personally read my blog so I tend to hold back and not say all the things I’d like to say. I sometimes wish I had remained anonymous.

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  47. Beautiful…..especially: “he is my youth.” Small sentence; enormous meaning.
    have an absolutely wonderful new year!!!

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  48. nelson RN says:

    That was a well-written post!

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  49. siggiofmaine says:

    I enjoyed reading this post, and want to continue reading the comments…some really good ones. I find that those of us who are shy often have a different public persona because of one reason or another. I ended up with agoraphobia and it’s a “you’re not really like that”… Sigh. I am happy that you are able to see the other side of life thru your wife and son….
    As for photos, when my mother died, there are very few photos of her, much less “good” photos of her…smiling. That’s a whole blog topic ! I did decide that I would make the effort to have at least one “nice” photo taken a year… I remember my mother … do as she says, not as she did… my mother saying … don’t make faces when someone takes a photo… you want to be sure the photo is not of you making a face or trying to hide. (I chose the Common Ground Fair…the organic farmers fair, the “hippie” fair, and have my photo taken with a flower hair wreath, like the girls wore in the sixties !
    But I do understand…your not wanting your photo taken…
    and the story behind the mask, along with this blog, will be a cherished family story now and in the future.

    Peace,
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

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    • siggiofmaine says:

      PS…thank you for signing up to receive my blog… I’ll be doing the same for yours…enjoy your writing style and photos.
      Peace and blessings for a wonderful year in 2012 for you and your family.
      Siggi in Downeast Maine

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      • siggiofmaine says:

        PSS…such a wonderful fan group you have to write such open and wonderful posts to you !! As I read thru the comments, I got thinking of self portrait as an artist, rather than a writer…and a self portrait isn’t in the artistic sense a realistic as in a photo portrait, but in how we see our selves and/or want others to see of us. It can be written or a photo or work of art… representational. My granddaughter is painting a self portrait with a purple face and green hair… or maybe the reverse. It could be a Picasso type drawing. I think the metaphor of the mask is perfect for you and what you wrote.
        I congratulate you on a wonderful choice for your self portrait. Sometimes I over think a topic… and I think in my first response that is what I did. I apologize for going off on a tangent ! Keep up the good work.
        Reading thru the comments, I realized now, since I am a not so little old lady, and now the younger photos are starting to look “good”, no one would recognize me any way ! In a portrait group, a photo was taken, and I realize that now I look like my grandmother !

        Peace and best wishes,
        Siggi in Downeast Maine

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      • Thanks Siggi. That is one generous and honest comment. Just from that , I get to know you more even if they’re only bits and pieces. Yes, a lot of my blogger friends are beyond amazing. Their thoughts are always heartfelt and shows genuine support thus I always try my best to check back their posts and share my side of the comments. It’s all about making connections and making an extra mile most of the time. Blogging is more than just posting something out there, it’s reaching out in a more personal way. Looks like you have a “Picasso” in the making in your granddaughter. I need to go back to your old post and see her talented works. You got me with purple face and green hair! Wishing you and your family all the best.

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      • The pleasure and honor is mine. It’s always a blessing to find another blogger with so much thoughts and talents to give. So much new discoveries and a budding friendship awaits…
        Wishing you and your love ones all life’s wonderful blessings…

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    • That is so beautiful Siggi. Love each description. Sorry to hear about your mom. I have the same thoughts too. I wish my parents took more photos of themselves as well as my grandparents. In the end , when everything and everyone has to pass, all that’s left are the wonderful memories and the photos that reminds us of our love ones.I would like to see that portrait of you with flower wreath hair..I bet you look amazing! Thanks for the inspiring comment. Have a great weekend….

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  50. rommel says:

    Nice intro!
    Masks always remind me of Carnevale in Venice.

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