Inspired by another local photographer (Kara of Kara Marie Boudoir), I am embarking on a monthly self-portrait project. Lately, it has become apparent to me that I have been working so hard on keeping others happy that I have pretty much forgotten all about myself. I took these photos earlier this week and decided to sit on them for a few days until I could really figure out what I wanted to say.
**Before I go any further, I have had someone in the past ask me if I didn't think that self-portraits were a sign of vanity. If you think I am vain for doing this, you need to get off my blog now! You are completely missing the entire point.**
I am a mother of two. I am tired all the time, physically and mentally. By the time I get my kids into bed in the evening, all I want to do is just veg on the couch, surf the net on my phone, and pretend to watch movies that have been sitting in my Netflix queue for months. Not only do I spend my days catering to them, I also have find time to have quality time with my husband and attempt to keep myself in shape. It doesn't seem like a lot when you put it in words, but I am always EXHAUSTED. Because of this, I find it really easy to get down on myself: why can't you be more tone? Why can't you have perfect skin? Why can't you look like a supermodel, dammit?!
It has taken a while, but I have slowly come to realize that the things I thought were bringing me down were really the things that were empowering me. Yes, I have two kids, but they are beautiful, happy, healthy kids! Looking at them each day reminds me of how precious they are. They also remind me that this body carried both of them and that, to look at me, you would never know it. The only "tiger stripe" I came away with was my C-Section scar from my first birth, which is a trophy I proudly bear. I have a husband who supports my dreams, inspires me to be a better mother, and constantly reminds me that I am a desirable woman. A husband who also, for my birthday, hired me a personal trainer, which took care of problem #3: keeping myself in shape.
I have had many things in life take me down into some pretty abysmal places and it is easy to lose yourself once you are down there. Sometimes, it is really just comes down to allowing yourself to be the person that pulls you up out of that dark place and reminds you of the things you do have. Whether it is taking portraits of yourself, treating yourself to a massage, or taking yourself out on a date, you have to learn how to start celebrating who you are. Lift up your virtues and, yes, even your flaws (because they are what makes us uniquely, tragically beautiful, after all).