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The catharis of untagging


As I progress in my transition, the image of who I used to be feels almost like they're in a fog, clouded by time and space. Memories of the past don't disappear, but how you engage with them matters.

As a function of being the first born, it seems, there are a significant amounts of pictures of me as a child. Less so as an adult, but that was by my choice. For many people, photos like these are moments of nostalgia, images of fond memories. However, for me, the memories are fond, but I just can't connect the pictures to them anymore. It's not me, not in the sense of who I am, most truly.

In some ways I am searching for the words to explain this, but at the heart of it all is that person in the images are me, but they feel like a me that was in disguise or in a movie role, like a part that I played. My head doesn't connect that person in the picture to the real me. That doesn't detract from memories, I am fortunate to have a great many positive ones with family and friends, it's just that I don't need to, or really want to, have the photo that accompanies them.

I don't want people to feel that they can't hold on to these pictures, they are the past after all, but part of my own reconciliation of self, my catharsis if you will, was the act of untagging myself on sites like Facebook. The process brought me through those images again, reminded me of the moment in which they happened, and then I moved on. I could keep a hold of the memory, place the real me in that moment, and reimagine what might have been.

heart

wisdom

comes with age

experience

so many emotions and events stored

flushed quickly from memory to my page

release, let go

catharsis

gives me

peace

– Carolyn Devonshire

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