The time in my life when I was at my heaviest weight was in college, I can’t remember which year. The top was probably 40-45 lbs. more than I weigh right now. There is a series of photos taken at this time of Erin and me packed up and ready to go back to school. I am stuffed into grey cords and a pink sweater and sport the most hideous Keith Partridge shag haircut you could imagine, as if I’d accepted a challenge to look as unappealing as possible. I have systematically searched out and destroyed these photos without mercy.
I should add that I’m not normally uptight about looking doofy in old pictures. I love the picture of me in the orange plaid floody pants or the gymnastics picture with the goofy hairbraids. But the ultra-chubby photo was taken at a time when I was so filled with self-loathing for myself, I can’t bear to be reminded of it.
I was in Orleans in June and at my Grandma’s looking at old photos and I found one of these pictures. Why would anyone have shared this terrible picture of me? Was it to say: “Hey, she can only improve with age” or “Keep this, we can blackmail her with it later”?
In the moment I left it there thinking it wasn’t mine to take but as soon as I left I wished I’d grabbed it. This past weekend I was back at Grandma’s and I made a beeline for the photo albums, found the photo, pulled it out and tore it to pieces. Then I threw it in the fire.
That person doesn’t exist anymore.