Friday, August 8, 2014

ENGAGEMENT, SHOOT

These photos were taken months ago, in the heart of my last term at a junior college. I was inactive, overly-stressed, always tired, but filled with love & longing. I wanted so badly to be done with that school, to get ready for the wedding, to figure out what I was actually going to do with my life.  I was in a hurry for something, not knowing what it was.




I began to develop a particularly horrible body image, something I've never before dealt with in my life.  I grew up active, physically fit, emotionally & physically self-confident.  I never had a reason to doubt my life, my looks, or my intelligence.  But after taking five classes, a total of 16 term units, trying to plan a wedding, & trying to figure out what I was going to do & if I was going to get into the university I applied for, I began to question everything.  When these photos happened, I stopped taking pictures of myself.  I no longer wanted to see what I looked like.  Blogging, posting on Instagram, on Twitter, & even on Facebook felt vain & unnecessary.  I fell into a depression - I have NEVER been depressed before.  Because of this, I felt weird & silly for being depressed, I hid it.  What did I have to be depressed about?  I just bought a house, got engaged, & finished up my general ed all in a couple months.  I was completely overwhelmed, completely confused, & had no idea what I was going to do with myself.  All I knew was that I had Jonathan, my pups, my family, & a home to call my own, a place where I felt safe & calm.  I didn't have the option of having a bedridden depression, I had to work, had to finish school, I had so much to do.  My depression was masked with business.


























A lack of friendships, & dwindling of any stable friendships kept me questioning.  I wondered what I was doing wrong, why I didn't have friends.  Why couldn't I have strong relationships?  How could I be so off-putting?  I really had to stop questioning everything, but I couldn't stop.  I was on a roll.  Questioning my college major, my future, & my career came next.  I mean, honestly, is anyone ever going to know exactly how their life will play out?  Why would I do that to myself?  Whatever is was, I knew I had to stop.








I began to repeat these words as a mantra.  I didn't know I was doing it, but I did it anyway - reminding myself to slow down & just breathe.  No matter how unhappy I was, there wasn't anything I could do but decide to BE happy.  So I just decided to BE - at least that was something.


Eventually, I was done with that final Spring term at my former junior college.  Eventually, I began to get my shit together with the wedding, & started figuring out what I was going to do.  Eventually, even, I began to have less negative feelings associated with my body.  Despite not really doing a damn thing, I learned to love it again for what it was - a healthy, capable home.  I began to treat it better.  I began to treat myself better in general.  I met an amazing friend, which helped me a lot in the "not good enough" region of my brain.

Now, just about two months away from the wedding, I am finally okay with not knowing what I will do for a living in the future.  I decided to care less about when I was going to leave my current job, & care more about when I was going to start up at the university.  I decided to read a lot, love as much as I could give love, & be kind to myself.

These photos are not my favorite photos of us, but they are honest, true, & beautiful.  They have taught me to not be so hard on myself, to trust my instincts, & to always carry lipstick.

(These photos were taken at our house & around our neighborhood & small town, Redlands, the place we call home.)

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