The stranger within me


Sometimes I stare at pictures of myself for a long time. No, not to gloat over my sight.I stare at those pictures because I don’t feel connected to the person I see. Instead, I feel like looking at a girl I don’t know.

The two photos in this post are great examples. I’m always smiling and don’t use make up regularly. Seeing myself with make up on and this facial expression is strange (and I’m sure that everyone who knows me agrees with that).

I feel like a pretty, self-confident and somehow cold stranger is staring back at me. Not someone I see every time I look in the mirror.

If I didn’t know better, I would think I couldn’t look like that.

Lately I’ve been looking at the art of conceptual photographers who take amazing self-portraits. It seems as if they use their body as a tool for their art, showing different versions of themselves.

And I guess that’s the point. The photos show a different me, one of many mes that are within me.

The idea that there are different versions of myself waiting to be explored is fascinating. This is one of the reasons why I want to start with conceptual photography.

For that, I first have to get comfortable with being in front of the camera, acting as someone else or maybe rather emphasizing a particular facet of me.

I remember that I’ve felt this strange impulse of creating an image to picture my feelings before – see here. It shows how I felt, not who I ‘normally’ am. I’d love to make art out of that. It’s so interesting to explore one’s hidden sides!

Back to the stranger – I believe that’s why this girl feels so strange to me. She’s a tiny, unfamiliar part of me and I couldn’t get to know her better – yet.

She looks a bit like a self-confident artist, so maybe, if this aspect is already within me, I can become one too.

Have you experienced something similar before? Please tell me that I’m not alone with that, haha.


    1. I love your self-portraits! You’re incredibly beautiful, Monika! And I just want to say that you bring out the glow of an artistic and talented person. You may feel estranged to your new reflection in the mirror, but you’d be surprised to find out there are sides of you that you don’t know yet. And you’d find them all out in a gradual process. I have always been afraid of changing myself, but lately, I have learned of getting out of my comfort zone in a positive way, and discovered lots of things about myself. I didn’t realize until recently that I had so many repressed desires and thoughts that I’d like to let go and set free. I feel like a pupa that’s turning into a butterfly. :D And I feel like the person I am seeing now have always been the person I wanted to be and it just took me time to see it.

      1. Thank you, Diana :) Though don’t expect me to look like that normally, it’s one of those photos that make you look better than you actually are haha. No photoshop though :P thank you very much for encouraging me so often, it means a lot to me! People like you make me keep going.
        It’s great that you’re leaving your comfort zone more and more! What kind of things did you discover about yourself? I love the butterfly metaphor! I’m happy you feel that way and that you’re finally the person who you’ve always wanted to be <3 I'm sure a lot of teenagers can learn from your experiences!

    1. I love the idea that we don’t respond to one single definition, but we are rather impossible to define. We have many faces, many feelings, many personalities… We are used to giving and taking definitions, though, because being part of a group is easier. That’s probably why, when seeing other aspects of ourselves, we get so lost!
      I think it’s great that you want to broaden your mind to get to know all the different parts of yourself. You are one of the few that is ready to accept human nature as it is, which basically means… to accept yourself as you are. :)
      Hugs! <3

      1. Having different sides that are sometimes a bit conflicting is something I found out about myself during my exchange year three years ago. However I somehow thought that that was it, but of course we keep changing and evolving and develop more facets of ourselves. Yes, definitions definitely have their pros and cons!
        Oh, thank you for your kind words!! <3 You're right, we should learn to accept that neither others nor ourselves are just good or bad. I think some people have difficulties accepting their or their loved ones' flaws.
        Abrazos <3

    1. A worthwhile endeavor, seen here from the perspective of aging in a very “looks conscious” world. You got me thinking, “What are the qualities that continue to come through as we change with age?” and “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV)

      Exciting that you have the opportunity to study in Uruguay. Will look forward to your discoveries.

      1. Thank you very much for your comment! Your perspective is really interesting, I haven’t thought about it. I wonder if elder people (let’s say 30+) have developed more different facets of themselves or rather deepen their “main feature”? I also wonder how and if our looks are connected to our personality, maybe this is related to your question regarding aging.

        Unfortunately I’m not studying in Uruguay. I’m just staying here with my boyfriend who lives here for another five weeks, then I’ll head back to Switzerland. Thanks for following me! :) have a great day.

    1. As I read your post I realized that I use writing as self portraits of myself. What I write about is often based on what is happening in my inner world at the time. Often it’s more about the feelings which get expressed.
      All the best

      1. Hello Moshe, thank you for your thoughtful comment :) It’s great that you came to realise that – so writing is a way to deal with your feelings and experiences?
        Have a great day,

Let me know what you think!

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