when i first started this blog, i intended to use it as a way to keep myself accountable for learning the basics of photography.  a way to challenge myself, to keep practicing and sharing it in this space.  it evolved into an online journal of sorts, to sift through my emotions, tease out ideas, and provide some much needed introspection during some challenging days.  in the last few months, my voice has been mostly absent here, and i’ve missed it.  before opening the door again, and spending some time here, i wanted to be able to articulate why.  i’ve whittled it down to this.

sometimes the layers of life pile on top of me so damn much that i start to lose myself.  and by this, i don’t mean i’m too busy.  the go-to, “i’m so busy” is ridiculously cliche and it kind of makes my skin crawl.  most of us are busy.  by layers of life, i mean the choices i make, the ways in which i prioritize my time, the emotions that sometimes feel like i’m hauling around an 18 wheeler.  one of my top priorities – for, i don’t know, forever – has been shared time with others.  i thrive on on my interactions with friends and family, and often feel energized because of it.  as with anything though, there can be too much of a good thing.  when i explore the basis of this priority in my life, i recognize that some of it comes from a natural, core desire in my heart to be connected with another.  i know, deep in my heart, that i want to live this life surrounded by love, for it to nurture and grow, and give lots of love back.  having said this, i will very often re-arrange my schedule to fit in a social engagement, or 20, within a ridiculously small time frame.  i will drive hours on end to accommodate others’ schedules.  i will give and give and give until i run myself ragged.  this is far from a rant of how selfless i am.  quite the opposite.  these past few months, i have realized more and more that perhaps i am being self-serving.  in those instances which i really should say “no”, and still say “yes”, i am fulfilling my need to feel worthy.

my feelings of unworthiness run deep.  i constantly question compliments on any sort of accomplishments, accolades at work, and words of admiration in my role as a friend or artist or athlete or mother.  i think this unworthiness is rooted in my feelings of being a failure as a daughter and a lover.  my mother is essentially a non-existent entity, cutting off ties with her children and grandchildren.  my father, my biggest cheerleader and best friend, died.  my marriage to the father of my child ended, for many reasons, but mostly because of a big mistake on his part and then mine.  my relationship after him also ended, after a long, emotional time intertwined with my feelings of self-doubt and his battle with addiction.  if someone like me – who truly believes that connection and love with another is the only way to live – cannot succeed in life’s most treasured relationships, then how can i be worthy with everything else?  i feel like i’m attempting to create a tower of building blocks where the base is missing.

thus, i return here.  with a new found sense of prioritization, recognizing that i don’t need (or want) to constantly be giving time to others.  time with myself is essential, as i continue to work on my building blocks of self-worth.  though this is a public space, i feel comfortable here, even when i share some messy shit that swirls in my head.  for me, it’s an exercise of self-care, to be vulnerable and articulate my emotions.  it doesn’t have be perfect, it just has to be me.  it feels good to be back.

“owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ~ brene brown

12 Comments on “returned

  1. Glad your back 😉 your photography and openness in your writing is always a breath of beauty.. Love you!

  2. I am happy you’re back and support you in you taking good care of yourself – however you decide to do it. Big hug. Big love. -M

  3. yes my dear, you were missed…and yet in your absence it felt to me like you were exploring/discovering, and so you were.

    And you will continue and you will keep learning and we will all benefit from your generous sharing – the love connections you have made are your foundation, and there are so many of us you shared yourself with, and we all so love you, just for being you, in all your mixed up messiness, which will unravel and smooth out and mess up and reweave many times throughout your life.

    welcome back and thank you always.

  4. The image you place with this along with your words and Brene Browns words are so very touching, deep and raw. What an honor to read your thoughts. You are not alone. You are also strong and always you strive to be the best you. I appreciate your honesty here today. It’s good to see you back.

    Your friend Tracie

  5. glad you’re back! I’ve especially been missing your monthly letters to coco. (and wishing I could be disciplined enough to write them regularly to my little ones!) xx

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