Once upon a time when I was a suit, (the marketing kind), I was flicking through photos trying to select one for a banking brochure. They were "aspirational" photos designed, in our case, to inspire people to invest for a lifestyle.
There I was, expensive hair, nice suit, nice office, excellent city life. Holding a photo in my hand of some woman with vegetables in a basket she'd evidently just pulled out of the ground, and a russet coloured hand knitted beanie.
I could not put it down.
We did not use that photo for our brochures, even though it was in our portfolio. We used a shot of a man and a child sitting on the end of a pier, legs dangling in the sun.
And I never, ever forgot how I felt, looking at that photo of that woman.
That was in 2001, exactly ten years ago.
From then until now I gradually and almost unconsciously strove to become her. She didn't represent a bank to me (for heaven's sake), but she was standing right in the place I desperately wanted to be rather than that lovely office.
Hello. My name is Fiona and I adore my chooks. I cannot seem to leave the house in clean clothes. This morning I actually went out wearing jeans that the pigs had splashed sour milk all over. In fact, I still appear to be wearing them this afternoon, in this photo. Every jumper or cardigan I have has a snag in the same place on the shoulder from the bad gate I never get around to fixing. There are many days I dread visitors coming to the door because my house is such a state. (And I don't mean that jovially and just that I haven't wiped down the bathroom. I mean capital S state.) But I no longer flick through photos wondering when my real life is going to start. This is it. Snags and all.
And for that I am speechlessly grateful.
What about you? Is there a photo of you in your element?