coming up for air.

I know that they say the time before a wedding is the "busiest of your life" and "stress city", which is most definitely true to some degree. I always have stood true to the notion that it is only as stressful as you make it.  But never could I imagine the magnitude in which I would feel buried, both in love and in anxiety.

  photo courtesy of our wedding photographers and two of my greatest creative influences:  Paper Antler

photo courtesy of our wedding photographers and two of my greatest creative influences:
Paper Antler

In the last nine months, I left my corporate job, started a temporary teaching job, was robbed at gun point almost losing all of my work (more on that later), left the teaching job and went full time freelance with not one but two businesses, moved, bought a house, faced a lot of questions, answers and realities with long-pending health concerns, dealt with two very scary incidents involving ill parents and challenging family circumstances, became a Godmother, had near death experiences with both of our dogs whom are, as it turns out, made of steel, and then went and got hitched to the cute boy I met in Driver's Ed 13 years ago last week. Why do I tell you this? For starters, as a friendly heads up that this is not for the faint of heart and will likely just leave you with unintentional dreadlocks, a thin wallet and large therapy bill.  Only slightly joking, but in all seriousness I tell you this : Not in the least for a pity party, recognition, not for a comment, albeit a well intended one I'm sure, and most certainly not as a cop out to mask any moments of brain fog or forgetfulness I have had all too often lately. In fact, all just the opposite.

I say this because with the exception of a few difficult times, I am fully aware that these are all 'first world' problems. And in all actuality, I am the happiest I have ever been.  I am doing what I love and with the ones I love, sincerely, for the first time in my life. No fluff, no obligatory jobs, no guilt trips to steer the wheel in my life.  And with that also brings paralyzing anxiety, many-a-sleeplessness nights, and staring at your truest self square in the bloodshot, unnerving eyeballs sometimes.  On an inhale I can think to myself "I am not cut out for this" and quickly start spiraling down the rabbit hole of comparison; a vicious and familiar black hole we all have paid an unwelcome visit to.  And immediately, on the inevitable exhale, I am filling that very patch with the dirt I dug and proudly uttering "this is where I am meant to be."

Why would I chose to share this intimate post, especially when I haven't the slightest clue as to who may read this? To let you know that I am 'back', refreshed, and never more ready to stand proud and rooted as a creative.  I am owning the title, yet not letting it define me wholly, looking at my work with clear eyes, and finding more comfort in vulnerability, because telling stories through a lens is just that.  It is holding uncomfortable space for individuals to be themselves, so if I ask that of you, you can have that of me. It can only bridge the gap, I figure.

I am coming back up for air and I have to say, it tastes much sweeter this time around.  

Stay tuned for many more updates on this pocket of space in the near days to come.