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  • Jason Wood


By: Matt Billas

Photos are a thorny subject. I hated having my picture taken as a kid and it still gives me qualms. On the other end, I have always enjoyed looking through old photo albums or watching grainy home movies, whether reminiscing through my own distant memories or living vicariously through others’ pasts before me. Nostalgia evokes strong connections and subsequently emotions.

Yesterday I was perusing old photos of Diane and myself. Phones have made this simple act so much easier by creating personalized memories, photo books, and even highlight reels. Looking through photos last night I quickly recognized some memories are happier than others…

I saw myself a year ago. I pitied the man I saw, the Matt I saw. I feared for him, on his behalf of what could have been, what almost was. He was a shell of a man; eyes blank like endless voids. He looked like a robot on autopilot going through the motions of his interpretation of life. Like a marionette subject to the puppetry of the mind.

It made me angry.

It made me sad.

To see what others saw, fear and anxiety in the flesh, a life on the brink of disaster.

Going forward, the memories are mine to make and remember; mine to seize, mine for the taking. The reflection I see now in mirrors and photos smiles and laughs, but I believe it this time. The photos look different because I am different; a different man, a different Matt. No more room for false nostalgia; you can take my photo any day.


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