For years, I hated this picture.  Eighth grade was a rough “transitional” year for me. The prior year I had been bullied so badly that I had to switch schools.  I’d been so emotionally pummeled by the experience that I really didn’t know who I was, or what I liked, anymore.  This picture represented all of that for me.

Last winter, I mustered the courage to post it as my #throwbackthursday photo on Facebook.  My friends LOVED it.  We had a great time laughing over it.  And the sweater, my God.

I decided to take a step further, and began creating ridiculous Photoshop portraits, which I would then post to Facebook.  Here is the first:

ruffAnd thus began my journey of coming to terms with the 13-year-old I’d been stuffing down for three decades.

Result?  I love this picture now.  I adore this kid, and everything she stands for:  survival, resilience, hope.

I hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I enjoy making them.


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