An Attempt at Trying to See Myself The Way He Does

Posted on
Sep 23, 2015

Rand and I in a botanical garden in Milan.

I was talking to a friend a while back – she’s someone who has always struck me as effortlessly level-headed and competent. A woman who has, in the common parlance of today, her shit together. Who you’d call to bail you out of jail, because there is no way she’d be stupid enough to get caught alongside you.

So I was rather stunned when she told me that she was certain she came off as scatterbrained and spaced-out. The kind of person who would forget her jeans/underwear/cat in dryer until wrinkles had set in and then had to run the load all over again.

I mean, I’m speculating here. She doesn’t have a cat.

But it reminded me of something that I think about often, which is this: we tend to see ourselves differently than others do. We think we’re weirder, more unhinged, and less all-around wonderful than the people around us do. We really are our own worst critics.

Jane recently posted some of her wedding photos on Facebook, and after clicking through a few of them, I have concluded that the photographer must have hated me. Either that, or I was making crazy face for 8 solid hours (a new record!). Because almost every photo of me is terrible.


Notice how Rand looks like a hipster secret agent and I look like I’m in the early stages of zombification.

And I started to wonder if I wasn’t overly critical of myself at all – if maybe I was absolutely spot on. Maybe I really am as awkward and weird as I fear I might be.

I guess the photographer decided to show some restraint and photoshop bugs flying into my mouth.

I guess the photographer decided to show some restraint and not photoshop bugs flying into my mouth.

Then I saw the photos that Rand took of me from that same trip. The one of me, curled up on the floor of our hotel room, after I’d spent the afternoon vomiting into a toilet, because I get miserable motion sickness and can’t handle a 20-minute cab ride through Milan. Rand said I looked like a painting. I was so sick I couldn’t stand; he saw a Degas.


Or this one, outside our hotel in England, where I’m wearing not a stitch of make-up, and still he’s managed to make me look photoshopped.


He’s able to do that, somehow. To capture me as lovely and lovable, even when I’m sick or tired or cranky.


I wonder what would happen if I was able to see myself the way he does. If I would be impervious to whatever the heavens threw at me, be it rain or snow or hate mail.


Sometimes I try to be the person that he captures on his camera. The one who is carefree. Gilt-edged. Bulletproof.


It’s not who I think I am. His view – through glasses that are rose-colored, and frosted and three-inches thick- is probably just as inaccurate as how I see myself. But I’m going to try it, anyway. Because in his reality, everything is beautiful.

Even me.

Leave a Comment

  • ruthburr

    There are some gorgeous photos of you from my wedding, which I will show you when you are here!

  • Dani Fagan

    Love this. He sees you as you are and captures pics to prove it…x

  • Anu

    This made me smile with happy tears! This is EXACTLY how my husband makes me feel. Aren’t we a couple of really lucky girls? 🙂

  • jen

    This is so sweet!

  • Caitlin

    I love this. While I don’t have a cute husband, my dad said “I wish you would see yourself like I do” one time when I was falling apart – and that’s stuck with me ever since. I’m thankful for humans like that – they love us when we aren’t all that lovable..

  • Great post and good reminder!

  • Love the post. It made me appreciate my husband, who does the same for me as Rand does for you. We’re very lucky people.

    • Jo

      I was thinking the same thing about this post and my husband. Only wished my hubby liked taking selfies with me. 🙂

  • All of love the for this post.

  • Beautiful. I love this. One other noteworthy point: In *his* version of reality, you can probably eat cupcakes without guilt. So, it’s worth going into his world.

  • Savannah Marie

    There is obviously something wrong with me, I’m going to go get a tissue now.

  • This is so sweet, indeed! ♥
    There are photographers who really loves capturing candid moments.. especially on weddings.. but he could have at least took some beautiful photos of yours. You are beautiful. 🙂

  • Bonniejean

    Rather than being your own worst critic, learn to be your own biggest fan (but not in a duck-face selfie kind of way). It makes life so much more enjoyable!

  • Megan Fonfara

    This brought a tear to my eye. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve often wished, if even for a moment in time, to step outside of my ruminating self-critical mind and see myself through the eyes of the one I love. Thank you for sharing. Even though we cannot do this, and perhaps we will never see ourselves this way, its nice to know someone does. And that the universe was kind enough to put them in your path. 🙂

  • Love this! It’s so true — love brings out the best in us all!

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • Rand just gave me this pin for Valentine's Day and told me he's the Ralph Wiggum of our relationship. #choochoochooseyou #jonwye #valentinesday
  • An absolutely gorgeous venue for @andreadunlop's book launch. SHE REGRETS NOTHING is out today, and is a suspenseful, salacious, scintillating read. So proud of you, Andrea.
  • Doctor said my cold has ravaged my lungs. This is one instance where I could have gone without the metaphors.
  • How does my brother know how to say the exactly wrong thing to cheer me up? 😂
  • Sick day. Working on an op-ed that I can't turn in until tomorrow because I'm too busy watching This Is Us and feeling terrible. (BTW, I am *such* a Toby.)
  • The most handsome man in the world bought me a taco and sang me Billy Bragg. We talked about regret, and he told me he was sorry he took up so much of my life. And I laughed. Because it's not his fault that I can't stop thinking about him.
  • It's the 25th anniversary of Andre the Giant's passing. Here's the time I dressed up as him for Halloween.
  • I'm an almost-40-year-old woman who just bought herself a unicorn cookie because she's stressed about work. AMA.
  • I first met Chad around the time I had brain surgery. He'd just gone through the same experience with a very different diagnosis. He went on to have SIX more brain surgeries and was part of a litany of clinical trials for his brain cancer. Through it all he was funny and brash and so painfully honest about his experience. He was also instrumental in helping me finish my book - I sent Chad a chapter every month while working on my manuscript. He joked that I'd enlisted a dying man to help me meet my deadline. I hadn't emailed him in months, and just found out today that he passed away right before Christmas. It was a long time coming, but I am still blindsided by the loss.
Goodbye you wonderful, brilliant, exuberant asshole. I knew you'd break my heart.
  • Thirty-three years later, and she's still my hero. One year later, and I still miss her. #PrincessLeia #CarrieFisher #CarrieOn

All Over The Place

Buy my book and I promise I'll never ask you for anything again.