The Journey. (Or, The Brain, Chapter 2)


LIGHTING STUDY ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

Fucken wow, the nightmares I had last night.  The only good thing about waking up with so much fear was opening my eyes and seeing my better half sleeping quietly, the light illuminating just a thin white line, outlining his face and his shoulder, and me being immediately calmed by his presence.  Unfortunately, though, this is what happens sometimes when I confront my demons.  Sometimes, they fight back.


I don’t remember exactly what I dreamed about.  I remember waking up desperately afraid once, I remember waking up angry once.  I woke up just for the sake of waking up a bunch of times, and once I woke up ashamed.


Ashamed?  That’s a new one for me.


The worst part is that I can’t remember what made me feel this way exactly, so I can’t confront it head on.  All I recall is waking up feeling ashamed of my face, and hating my body, hating my freckles and my blonde hair.  Who self loathes in their sleep?


The more I think about it, the more I think I know what triggered it.  I was studying some photographers I hadn’t heard of before and I saw a theme.  They weren’t relying on models to create their images, they were shooting themselves.  I remember thinking how that would solve a lot of my problems, not having to find someone with the time (or the patience) to pose for me.  It has always been difficult for me to find models, as most of the folks I know despise getting their photo taken, and sometimes describing exactly what I want to do proves difficult, so many times I don’t even bother to ask.

Self portraits… a means to an end.  Except, as I was thinking about how much I could learn from doing the same, and how many more of my ideas could come to life, I kept thinking in the back of my mind… but… I hate my face.  I would trash all the photos because I would criticize them to death before they ever saw the light.


HIDDEN ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

No 1-web

No 1 ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

Where does all this come from?  Why do I subconsciously hate myself so much?


Well, I just can’t have that anymore.  I am an adult woman living with the face my family gave me.  What is there to hate?  I may not be a model, but I am me, and that should always be okay.

So, I took more photos of myself.  I converted them to black and white and I sharpened them in post to bring out every detail and flaw.

and I hate my face II-web

AND I HATE MY FACE II ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

No makeup.  No filters.  This is my fucking face and it is ALWAYS OKAY.

and I hate my face-web

AND I HATE MY FACE I ©Melissa S Jeffrey

I am going to learn to love this face.  Freckles, blonde hair, blonde eyebrows, fuck it.  It’s my face.  It isn’t as though I can change it, right?



JUST THINKING ©2016 Melissa S Jeffrey

And I made something out of it.  Because for fuck’s sake, it’s the only thing in the world that is 100% mine and I should love it, right?


Growth.  Even if I have to force it.

And that’s how you fight a demon.






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