My son’s been telling me “Happy Mother’s Day!!” every day for the past week. It’s been very sweet to see his face beam with excitement over any reason to celebrate how he feels about life in general. Each day special, each day new, each day full of wonder and exploration. Incredibly grateful for the rather contagious enthusiasm he brings to my life!
Nothing like a difficult year and another candle added to one’s life birthday cake to gently (or not-so-gently) push you into re-examining the beliefs/stories you tell yourself. I am writing a new story and so far it goes like this:
"I am whole, my family complete, my life open to possibility.”
Every moment lead up to this. Each year small, gentle pushes. Opening me up to see the need for change, to see the consequences of stagnation.
My own roots, my own trunk, my own branches reaching out and up into the Light.
I see the excellence in what could be, the potential, the beauty. I strive to be perfection and to be seen as such. But in that desire, that disguised search for self-worth, lies a shadow that threatens to expel that ever going desire to grow and keep reaching.
To be perceived as.
But I am, as I am. No eyes will ever change who I am. No eyes can ever see me as I see myself. How hard I strive, how delicately I push, how I adamently I perservere, how deeply I care and love.
How dare I give the power of my own self-worth to the perception of anyone other than myself? How dare I give myself away? Discarded to the wolves of judgment.
Floating, swaying, breaking, bending to the (mis)perceptions of eyes other than my own.
I am who I am.
Capable, strong, brilliant in my own way, connected, loved and loving. I am
Will be crossing “my photography displayed at a local coffee house” off of my bucket list on October 27th! Whoot!
Bribed my child with iPad-time in exchange for twenty minutes of his time practicing flash photography. This image, however, is all natural light with a higher iso because as far as I am concerned, a flash sucks the life out of everything. (Except it doesn’t if done right). Lucky for Liam and his love of all things technology-related, I have a lot more practice ahead of me.
For me, the witching hour has always been between the hours of 4:30-6:30 pm. Even on the good days (which I have many), my energy/ mood has seemed to plummet right around then. I’ve struggled with various forms of depression on and off since my early twenties, perhaps earlier. And this summer, I decided enough was enough.
Enough belittling myself when sad days/weeks seemed to hit and loom like a Chicago’s cloudy March. Enough feeling weak/flawed because I can’t seem to permanently kick the sadness to the curb. And enough with the low energy and the mood swings. I’ve made huge strides since the days of post-partem depression, time to celebrate my growth! Time to be hopeful and optimistic and realistic that life ebbs and flows and changes happen, for the better, all the time.
For the passed several years, I’ve made a lot of changes to my diet and lifestyle. This summer felt like it was time for another leap. After a week of eating mostly fruits and vegetables and liver-friendly food such as dandelion greens (gag!), I tested my body out. Slowly re-introducing food and discovering the mood-swinging, energy-thieving culprits specific to my own body. Out with the sugar, out with the processed, out with most gluten-filled scrumptiousness and…very sadly… out with dairy products. (Note: I occasionally indulge in the mochas of the coffee land because, well, just because)
I don’t write this as a “eat this way” dogma. I just share because I am so excited with what it has done for me. I’ve gone two months without feeling a single depressed hour (not to say I haven’t felt sad, but that’s very much different than actually feeling downright depressed) and two whole months with this insane amount of energy coursing its way throughout my veins.
Granted, I am in the happy 3-month period of the greatest perk about working for schools. I essentially work mornings 4 days a week and enjoy 3 day weekends. Balance, now that’s powerful stuff as well. And I’m also getting lots of exercise and sun and time with friends. Again, BALANCE! Still, there’s something so much more stable that has come with this summer and for that I am incredibly grateful. Hoorah!
Life emerges, resolute in its growth and worthiness, despite the unforgiving harshness of its surroundings. It pushes forward, blossoming with delicate beauty.