This is the first “selfie” I’ve ever taken and posted. The word has been in the dictionary for three years and I still cannot use it casually. I took this photo in a motel room somewhere in New Mexico during my road trip. I took the picture because in all my years of my backpacking, I never got a photo of me with my backpack. I wanted to see what I really looked like. I cringe at selfies, seeing them online, seeing people taking them. From the moment they started appearing, I was completely opposed to them. They were not for me. I look at my friend’s social media feeds and think how are you all doing this? How are you not embarrassed and uncomfortable and maybe even a bit ashamed? I have been so opposed to it for so long I’ve had to really search inside myself to figure out why. I had to turn it around and ask myself why I am too embarrassed, uncomfortable and ashamed to post a snap I’ve taken of my own face. Maybe it’s because I can’t say “hey world, I think I look pretty today” or because I am trying to rebel against the masses or because I don’t need a pile of likes to tell me I’m living a meaningful life. But I don’t think that’s fair to the selfie, or to the people who use them for what might be a means of expression that I’ve just never understood. Maybe it’s about being seen. Maybe I have trouble saying, “hey world, this is my true authentic unfiltered honest flawed human self attempting to live my highest truth and this is what it looks like.”