So I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon it, but I did. What is it? The with.in movement. People from all over sharing their personal journeys with others. I really thought about if I wanted to join in the fun or not. I mean, did I want to open up myself? Did I want to be completely raw? Could I force myself to be completely honest? Did I actually want to come to terms with myself and my story? What was I afraid of…..
So I decided that I am not afraid, and I will participate. The first word to prompt sharing is Story. What does story mean to me? I believe that everyone has a story. A book, if you will, and their experiences are chapters within that book. My book is a sealed diary. I don’t share much with others. Why? For fear of being hurt.
My parents divorced when I was 4 months old. My father came to my graduation and to my wedding. He passed away last year. I only found out by my sister (not related to him) seeing his obituary and letting me know. I have a stepfather, but he is just that – a stepfather. Nothing more. It hurts to say it, but hey we’re being honest here, right? I was a trophy child with sports and academic accomplishments. When those years were over, I wasn’t an interest to him. If I wasn’t winning or excelling at something, then I wasn’t something to be bothered with. That was my first round of hurt.
It was difficult for me to open up in relationships because of always trying to be what someone else wanted me to be. Trying to please them, and not worrying about pleasing myself. It still is difficult for me in some ways. Friendships are limited to close people whom I trust. Work relationships are calculated. It took the persistence of my husband for him to actually become my husband. He worked to get me to let him in my little walled in world. I finally realized that there was someone out there who genuinely loved me. Even though I still strive to excel, to please people and not be a disappointment.
I am working now on finding myself. Finding my passions, both personally and professionally. I have recently found myself wanting to be more creative. Growing up, I wanted to work in the puppeteering/special effects industry. I allowed this dream to be crushed by a very inept calculus professor (long story for another day). I used to draw very well, but the lack of practice over the years has diminished my abilities. Unfortunately, to me it’s not like riding a bicycle. I can’t just pick up the pencil and create the way I used to do. To me that is disappointing and discouraging, so I have filtered my creativity to other outlets. I am a photographer, a crocheter, a knitter and make soap and sugar scrubs. I also dabble in digital scrapbooking.
In my quest to find me, I’m working on finding a career path at work that caters to my creative side. It is a challenge, but one I am taking very seriously and working very hard at. I do my current job and go above and beyond (again the pleasing side of me) while trying to find my niche. I’m hoping to find something in the marketing department or somewhere that allows me to be creative without stifling me.
On the personal side, I’m a photographer (admittedly with not as much clientele as I would like to have). I like being able to be a person to capture someone else’s story. That moment in time that is special to them. High School Seniors – It is a time of transition. A time when they should be working on finding themselves (not waiting until they are in their mid-30s), and shaping their futures. Maternity and babies – It is a time of discovery and taking on a new role. The parents are no longer responsible for themselves, but now have an additional person in their lives who are 100% dependent upon them. I want to start a program for photographing people who have made a change (either in their lives or in the lives of others). I know this has been done before, but I think with some thought I can put my own spin on it. We’ll see. I’ve also recently started getting crafty and making soap, sugar scrubs, fascinators and photography props. I’m slowly selling them, but am being encouraged to sell more. I just need to get off my lazy butt and make it happen.
I would like to scrapbook more than I have. I’ve only been scrapping the past few years for the ADSR competition and that’s it. I think that scrapping helps you capture the moment with not only pictures, but objects that help you tell the story. Embellishments can make all the difference around photographs and journaling can define the story. I need to work on capturing more of my daughter in these early years because I know when she hits those teenage years it’s going to be a challenge.
So I guess in a nutshell, my story is me being torn. Torn between losing myself to pleasing others and living up to their expectations and finding myself, defining who I am and what I want to be.