I can't tell you how much I dreaded showing my license - ever - to anyone. The checkout lady at Trader Joes, to verify employment, to prove residency, every time I had to take that thin piece of plastic out of my wallet I cringed. 8 years of this hatred for my Driver's License picture. We all can take bad pictures, but this one was bad with a capital "B"! First, I didn't realize I was getting my photo taken, the person ahead of me just got a reprint of their last photo, which is what I was secretly hoping for, as I had gained over 100 lbs. since my last DL picture. But no, that camera silently snapped just as I realized (too late) what was happening. I had a bit of a hair mishap, too (it was a windy day) and I was generally not a happy person, living larger than I should be and showing it on the outside.
And as I lost weight, it would cause confusion. The guy carding me to get into a bar would do a double-take, was that really me? The cashier at Trader Joe's once gave me a side glance and said "You go, girl." See, I wasn't the person in that photo. Not anymore.
Since I'm a good driver, I usually renew over the phone, so I have lived with this bad picture for 8 long years. But since I needed to take the vision exam again (they only give you so many free passes), I had to physically go in and get my new license, and get a new photo.
I was so excited for this change to "redo" my terrible license picture. Not only because this time I would be prepared and smile at that tiny blue light, but because I was thinner by 105 lbs., too. BONUS!
Here is my comparison of the old to new. I feel 10 years YOUNGER, not older, and I feel like I've been given a new chance, at the DMV...and in life.
I also updated my weight on my license to be my goal weight - 178. I'm not there yet, but I will be. (And the weight on my old DL I never updated with my weight gain, so it always read 180. A white lie at the time that is slowly coming true.)
EDITED: I want to add and make it clear that I EMBRACE who I was. I truly do. You can read my blog "Pictures on the Shelf" below if you would like to read more about that.
But this is a HUGE NSV for me and I am going to celebrate it. Embracing a terrible picture of yourself on your Driver's License (how many of us dislike these photos) is not the same as embracing who you WERE. Now I have a little slice of this new life in my wallet and I like it, and I AM going to celebrate it. I deserve to. Too much of my life has been spent looking backwards at my past, and not living in the CURRENT. Now my Driver's License has caught up to who I AM and I will not just let that go by without tooting my own horn. Sometimes we need to be our own cheerleaders - that's my secret to getting through the hard times.
And it is nice not to erase, but to re-write history.
(To see a larger image I also uploaded this picture to my Spark page).