The one hour photo was up the street from my dorm room, so I threw on whatever clean clothes I could find and ran some gel through my hair. When I sat down to have my picture taken, I thought my smile and hairdo looked just fine.

I applied for my first ever passport in the spring of 2000. I had left the country as a child, but never across international borders, and with an upcoming trip planned to Mexico City and Oaxaca, Mexico, I scrambled to get my documentation.

That first passport – the one which granted me access to Greece, Ireland, Germany, Jamaica, Turkey, Italy, and the Czech Republic – officially expired , ending an era of international adventures that all usually began with a funny look from the border patrol agent. (“That’s you?” their looks would suggest.)

Yesterday, amidst a laundry list of errands, I found myself again scrambling to get my new passport portrait taken. I pulled into a Rite-Aid parking lot and prepped myself for the close up. With a five o’clock stubble and grubby t-shirt, I realized that even over time not much changes.

When I got home and examined the pictures, I couldn’t help but notice the physical changes. Seeing these differences struck a chord. Even though I know I’ve grown up and become an “adult”, I never saw myself as being so young in the first picture. The structure of my face being so different. Some of my baby-face gone completely.

It’s not often that I take self portraits, especially ones that represent and capture a specific (and identical?) moment in time. Stripped down against a white background and no distractions, passport photos reveal the true you.

When I look back on this picture (and when I renew it again in 10 years) I hope that I have a good laugh about my tan skin and flimsy t-shirt.

Bon voyage!

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11 thoughts on “Then and Now

  1. You will dear Ryan. I am 72, got my first passport at age 17, so I have a few more passports under my belt than you do. lol I still have them all. The funny thing is over time things change and as you look back you think, hmm not bad. In fact my favorite picture of me ever, is a passport picture taken in 1985, Where did that girl go? Must have decided to stay in Greece. And for a good chuckle the one taken in1976 isn’t bad, me with my Mary Hair (as in Peter, Paul & Mary).

    Good luck on the new job!

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  2. Ryan, your “now” photo is about 5 million times hotter than your “then” photo. So at least you are still moving in the right direction…
    Can’t wait to see ten years from now!

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  3. RYAN, WHEN I WENT TO GET MY PICTURE TAKEN FOR ONE OF MY OLDER DRIVER LICENSE THE CAMERA COULDN’T TAKE THAT MUCH BEAUTY. IT BOKE. J/K

    LOL

    YOUR QUITE HANDSOME BY THE WAY.

    TG GRANNY

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  4. Ryan, not to “toot my own horn” on your blog, but I was able to find detailed information on the Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability meeting on June 10-11, 2010. If you are interested it is on my blog posted today. Thanks for your comments also. Some things just gets my blood boiling (pun intended).

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  5. Please tell me it isn’t true that passport photos reveal the true you – mine is horrifying! 🙂 I’m heading to Australia in a few days…for an extended stay. It’s a working holiday…my hubby is working and I’m having a holiday! Can’t wait to see the expression on the customs person’s face!

    You, however, look great in both photos! I like both of you 🙂

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  6. HERE IT’S ALMOST TURKEY DAY AND WAITING FOR ONE OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL STORIES. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TOO? FOR ME, JUST GRANNIE THINGS. MOSTLY NOTHING BUT CHATTING ON BLOGS. ANNIE ABOVE AND MYSELF HAVE FOUND THIS WONDERFUL ARTIST.SO IT TAKES UP ALOT OF MY TIME. YOU HAVE TO LOVE CARS, FLOWERS, GARDENING AND PICTURES TO ENJOY HIS BLOG.STILL MISS ALL THE FUN TIMES WITH YOU AND ROSS ON HIS BLOG. HIS BLOG HAS CHANGE SO MUCH BECAUSE HE’S SO BUSY.IT’S A GOOD THING.
    GRANNY TG

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