Photo courtesy of Bonnie Miller (bonmiller.com)
A Later-In-Life Career Change
Changing a career path at the age of 50 - who does this? It can sound scary to some, especially once you've reached a later-in-life age. I'm not saying 50 is old. As a matter of fact, 50 is considered by many to be the new 30. But changing careers at any age can be a little intimidating.
I was invited by a photographer to participate in a nude/boudoir photo shoot a few months ago. Of the 5 models who were invited, I was the oldest (by 30 years). I'm not new to modeling - I've done some in the past few years, but never a nude shoot. This pushed my boundaries for sure. I looked forward to being photographed but not for the reasons you might think. This was therapy for me. Let me explain why:
The shoot arrived at the perfect time - just before Lent, which was when I decided to practice loving my body as my Lent intention. Why would I choose to do this? I am recovering from anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder. This has been a life-long battle for me, which stems from my childhood. My personal journey of learning to love my body exactly as it is today hasn't been easy. I notice every flaw, every wrinkle, every stretch mark. Then I realized something important - those parts of my body that I think are defects are reflections of a life well lived. When I look at it in this way, I feel proud of them.
Each day more and more of my photos started to arrive in my inbox from the eight photographers who photographed me. Each day I was afraid to open my emails - afraid of what I might see. But, as I downloaded each photo I saw someone I didn't recognize. I saw what the photographers saw - my genuineness, my true essence, my unique beauty. For someone who has a distorted view of their body, I was given an incredible gift. For the first time in my life I could see myself for who I really am, and I love her.
After the shoot, I was asked to model again for a project of women at every age. I will be representing the 50-year-old in this project, which will focus on how beauty changes as we age. I'm excited on where this new career path will take me.
What is important for me to remember during this life-changing process, this Lenten journey, is to love my body exactly as it is today - not to wait until my body is perfect and then love it, but to love it today and every day. I am a beautifully unique 50-year-old model, mother and grandmother, and my body is exactly as it should be. Now, onto the next photo shoot!
© 2016 ZUSHKA BIROS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.