I will not miss this passport photo.
OK, there was one nice thing about it: I never had to wonder what the worst photo ever taken of me would look like. Because I had that photo. It’s right there.
I was 20 when I got that passport. I remember standing in the post office in downtown Erie, PA, as the clerk took photo after photo, struggling to view them on the bulky digital camera they’d just started using for passport photos, finally declaring she’d gotten something suitable. I shudder to think what the others looked like.
So no, I will not miss this passport photo.
But I will miss these stamps.
A record of a life lived. Our honeymoon to Madeira, when we almost got stuck in Lisbon and boarded the plane with hand-written tickets. Paris, just months later, when we’d gotten paid a ludicrous lump sum to move out of our old apartment and decided to spend it in another country. Costa Rica, where we crashed someone else’s 30th birthday party in the jungle.
I didn’t plan for my passport year to line up with my decade, but I’m glad it does. Starting my 30s with a literal fresh book. Blank pages to fill.
I eagerly await my new license to adventure.