Tell us about your avatar and profile picture! You can follow the template I've laid out here or just give quick, general descriptions.
What is your avatar?
My avatar, obviously, is not really me. But, it is a drawing of me done by somebody who had only seen me for a few minutes.
What's the story behind your avatar?
I was visiting a friend over Christmas break last year and she invited me over for her family's party. I knew I couldn't stay longer than a half hour, as I was on a time crunch, but I wanted to see some of her family again. So, going upstairs to their little apartment, I was greeted by familiar faces but there was one person there I hadn't seen before. It was a girl, probably 12 or 13 years old, sitting at the table. While everybody else was smiling and having a good time, she seemed lonely and detached. There was something about her facial expression that caught my attention.
I continued to watch her demeanor throughout the rest of my time there, and it was obvious that she struggled in the worst way with self-esteem and probably had depression issues as well. Having stayed a little longer than planned, I knew I had to leave so I said my quick goodbye and made my way out the door to go downstairs to my car. There was that girl, sitting out on the steps in the cold with a drawing pad. I caught only a glance of what she was drawing before she quickly covered it up, but it seemed to be quite good. Knowing I would never see this girl again in my life, I said the one thing that I would have wanted her to know. These would be my first, last, and only words to her. Ever. Walking past her down the stairs, I looked up over my shoulder and said "You should know, you're beautiful." With that, I walked away, and have not seen her since. A couple weeks later, my friend messaged me on Facebook the picture that is now my avatar and told me "That girl at our party... she drew this of you after you left."
Do you feel your avatar is a snapshot of who you are?
In one sense, yes. The person in the drawing appears to be in deep contemplation, with a hopeful half-smile that says "hey, it'll be okay." I can't say there's a waking moment that goes by where I'm not deeply thinking about something, and my eyes do sometimes tend to shift away as I'm thinking. I tend to have an optimistic hope that's always looking for the positive way out or through. And I always want someone to know that they are worthwhile.
In another sense, no, though I cannot explain because even in my own mind I can't find the words to explain why.
Why is your avatar so special to you?
The sheer fact that this girl was able, after only seeing me for a couple minutes, draw a picture that so well resembles me not just in physical appearance (of how I looked at the time), but also capture in that picture the core essence of my personality, shows that an unusual connection was made and thus it was no ordinary occurrence. For some reason, I guess it just reminds me that I should never underestimate the value of offering kind words to a stranger, even if they are the only words I will ever be able to give them. Not only that, but it reminds me that, even with my level of intuition, there are simply some things I'll never know or understand.
What about your profile picture?
Is your profile picture the same as your avatar? Why or why not?
My profile picture and avatar are different. I honestly just don't want the same picture filling both spots. Plus, I feel like the avatar offers a greater sense of anonymity, as my profile picture does actually have me in it.
What is your profile picture of? What's happening in it?
It is a picture of myself. I was experimenting with movement and it was something I sort of invented on the spot. To describe it, it was like a windmill/cartwheel/whatever where I planted one hand on my trunk and the other on the bumper. The pose is actually a frame taken out of the video I was recording at the time. Going back later to study my movement, I paused the video right there and knew I had to get a capture of that frame.
Is your profile picture an accurate representation of yourself?
In a sense, yes. The movement captured in my profile picture was one I sort of came up with all on my own, which goes to show that I like to explore new possibilities as much as I can. The fact that it's on my car also shows that I don't care much for traditional ideas, such as "Don't horse around on or near the car." Granted, it is my own car and so I can do whatever I want on it, but growing up my dad was very protective of his vehicles and something like this would have gotten me into a lot of trouble. So, in a sense, it's a statement of my own independence.
In another sense, no. Though I do have a thirst for adventure which is captured in this photo, I don't crave it as much as the photo may tend to allude to. Sometimes, turning the photo upside-down may show a better representation of me, as it would then look as if the world had turned upside-down and I was hanging on for dear life with all I had in me.
What makes your profile picture so special to you?
It reminds me that I'm free, that even if I may sometimes feel trapped in a cage, I'm really not.