My new driver’s license arrived in the mail this week, and I hesitated to open the envelope.
“Couldn’t you have timed it better,” I asked myself, somewhat dreading the photo, “like right after your hair appointment rather than right before? Some make up wouldn’t have hurt, either. A little lip-gloss, even! Couldn’t you have made some effort for this—your first post-divorce driver’s license photo ID?”
So I stood there with my unopened envelope from the Department of Motor Vehicles, along with visions of aging skin and silver roots rimming my 51-year old face.
And then I opened the envelope and removed my license and…I liked what I saw! I liked how I looked. And there was something about this photo that appealed to me. What was it?
I quickly grabbed my wallet to compare it with my old license. My “old” license really wasn’t that old. I had renewed it a little more than a year ago, when I separated from my husband. At that time, I had just moved with my children to a new house, so I applied for a new license to reflect a change in address.
This time around, I was renewing my license to reflect a name change following my divorce—from my married name of 24 years back to my birth name.
I placed the two identification cards side-by-side to compare the photos. The faces staring back at me told an amazing story.
Both photos show a stern look, as required by the DMV, but I saw an immediate difference. My pre-divorce photo showed a person with tired, sad eyes. A person going through a divorce. But there was more. I struggled to find the exact words to describe my look, and then it came to me. Lost. I looked lost.
In my new, post-divorce photo, I am no longer lost. And it shows. And that appeals to me.