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"Shamelessness" is a strange title for anything related to me. If anything defines my overall sense of self, it's a murky combination of shame, insecurity, self-consciousness, and regret. I may have a certain amount of confidence in my ability to do certain things, but otherwise I tend to dwell on the many things I dislike about myself. I also have a vain streak, but it largely comes from a sense that I need all the help I can get to overcome a fundamental drabness.

Strangely, though, things have been better lately. For one thing, I’ve been doing this picture-a-day self-portrait project over at Flickr. I’ve had to find different ways of looking at myself every day for the sake of variety, and I’ve been feeling like I may not be the loser I’ve always imagined. At the same time, I’ve also been feeling a lot less depressed than I have in a long time. Life is currently pared down to interesting work, a quiet routine, and few entanglements, and I’ve been happier and more at peace than I have in a long, long time. I tend to feel grateful for something or another every day, rather than anxious or angry. Things being interconnected the way they are, feeling better about life makes me feel better about myself, no matter how flawed I may be.

I doubt such peace of mind will last forever. A lifetime of dissatisfaction doesn't just melt away, but at least I’ve stumbled into a good spot for the time being. So maybe I’m propped up by my advanced ability to ignore painful memories, but at least I’ve finally dropped the last of that SSRI weight that’s dogged me for years.

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