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The 40 Over 40 Project | Shelley 54

40 over 40 Perth Women

I am sure when Sharon created this project she was envisaging women celebrating and embracing their age, their wisdom and their life experiences and she was planning on capturing that in her professional photographs. Well, 2020 has been turned on its head and I wonder whether 40 over 40 has evolved into something different and perhaps even more meaningful.

For me Covid has allowed time for reflection and some introspection . As newspaper reports and the constant barrage of media was all about dying and an ever-growing death rate, I pondered what would someone say in an obituary about me?

 What and how many labels would I be given? For as a society we seem to be obsessed with labelling our whole person; a mother, a wife, a registered nurse, a grief counsellor, a fundraiser, a nature lover, a hiker, an empath, an artist and so on and so on and so on ad infinitum.

 It was at this time that I happened upon a call for women to be photographed and it made me wonder , how do others see me? How will the camera see me ? What do I project to the world? It became more of a way to consider thoughtfully the total sum of all the parts that merge to make me uniquely me. A person who has tried to embrace life and be the best version of herself without being defined by the negative or positive things that happen to us all.

 Participating in this project gave me more than I have given Sharon. I learnt that I am comfortable in my own skin and posing / positioning is like taking an aerobics class for me, I am utterly useless at it. 

I am a creative and the happiest when giving and making for others. 

I discovered I have a very small wardrobe and hence don’t place much value in clothes though you definitely won’t find me at a nudist colony!!

 I am a colourist and blooms of spring flowers make me smile broadly and with joy .

 I am thoughtful and kind and I value those who are open and honest.

I need and want for very little other than the love of my family and preciousness of good health.

 I have determined that I want to be remembered by the content of my character not by random life events or social labels.

 I think I have been fortunate.

 I could bore you with my achievements and disappointments however sharing that with you is probably superfluous as a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Hopefully  the essence and meaning of the person I am has been beautifully captured.

 I have a story. 

I am me. 

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