i am not normal.
this should be comforting. do not tilt your head and say “awww sweetie” (notice you did not argue with me, but instead geared up as if I was going to rapid-fire a sorority photo montage and then address me as a dessert- which as a baker has distracted me from my “uniqueness” and made me think of what to bake when i get home).
I distinctly remember going to target with my off-the-charts colicky and reflux-ridden first child in my totally unkempt state and in my oblivion of having not slept since well i guess her birth I looked up and saw the woman behind me in line staring at me with her mouth wide open. hmmmmm, what to do… what to do. so i went ahead and smiled at her and said, “i am here to make you feel better about yourself”. it wasn’t mean-hearted. it wasn’t to embarrass her. it was a recognition that i was in fact aware of the state of my being and i decided to disregard that to go pay a ridiculous amount of money for some goo to make my kid stop screaming and rest. i didn’t explain to her that it took me awhile to get to this point or even that i thought that i was genuinely a better person for having disregarded the offensiveness of what stood before her to ensure in any way possible i try to alleviate my sweet baby’s pain. she looked at me and came out of her stare and said “oh no i didn’t mean.. it’s just… i’m sorry”.
here’s the beauty of that situation. if i had an extra $5 or had i been able to even hear her over my screaming baby i would have sat down with her at the starbucks inside the target and told her this.
i am different.
there was a time when i tried to please everyone around me and i sincerely hoped that given enough effort i may be able to get everyone to like me. i considered everyone of the utmost importance and i served my little keister off. then i woke up and realized this: i have been made a specific way for a specific purpose. if you do not enjoy the person that i am i can assume that part of my purpose was not to enrich your experience here and i can move the flip-flap on. it is not mean. it is not flippant… it is the focus button.
i love photography. with everything that i am i love the whole stinkin’ process of capturing the heart of a person, place or experience in an image, but without that focus it is simply me trying to pretend that we all see the same thing when we look through our different lenses. i see differently. i have left a job i loved and considered my calling to have two incredibly difficult pregnancies, two off-the-charts colicky and refluxy babies, and a miscarriage. i learned that some people love well and others love themselves. i have lost people that i loved and cried more than i ever thought possible, but i am still here.
the old has passed away. behold, the new has come.
out of great pain there is something bright green busting through. it was the darkest i have ever seen inside that seed, but i am busting out and shooting for the light i can barely make out. as a kid we would be driving and my mother would have a gasp that would send us all into a keen awareness of our fatality as we braced ourselves for the oncoming mack truck that would end our days. instead, she would pull over and point at bright green. “Look!!! New Growth!!!” this became a favorite family joke as we replayed the billions of times that we thought the apocalypse was approaching only to find tiny green leaves shooting out to greet the day.
a new year. a new perspective. a new hope. i am actually here to make you feel better about yourself because who you have been created to be is beautiful. don’t dress it up. don’t dress it down. you cannot offer your unique image to the world without allowing the focus button of pain shape who you are and how you will live. there is pain. there is beauty. there is heartbreak. there is hope.
well ma, now i get what you were so excited about.