Ever since I became a Mom, I've just been eating big, hefty slices of good 'ole Humble Pie. Seriously. When I had my baby they should've just given me a fork and bib along with the mesh undies and spray bottle. And I went into motherhood with a fair amount of confidence. I was NOT going to let Nora sleep in our bed. She had her own crib and was going to stay put there, but it's amazing what you change your stance on at 2 in the morning. I caved. More than once. And she was NOT going to have any Ice Cream until she was at least a year old. But we've caved. More than once. It's like all of my best parenting strategies happened before I actually became a parent.
Before getting pregnant with Nora, I knew, without a doubt, that I wanted to be the type of Mom that worked outside of the home. I was committed to finishing my degrees. I applied to job after job and job. I wrestled with God, and I prayed the same prayer for months on end, and finally, I landed a job at an institution I value. I wanted the 9-5, dress-up for work, spend my day in meetings type of rhythm. Staying home never crossed my mind. In fact, if I'm being totally honest and transparent here, I had some pretty harsh assumptions about parents who stayed home with their kids, somehow believing that by choosing to stay home they were giving up on their dreams. I could not have been more wrong. Since having a baby of my own, I have come to admire the incredible gift it is to be able to stay home and raise one's baby. I never thought I would want that rhythm of life, but I'm learning that it's ok to let my dreams change.
And then there is photography, something that was never on my radar. I like things that are exact and concrete and the subjectivity and artistic side of photography was never something I felt capable of embracing. I never understood it. But these days I'm CONSUMED with storytelling sessions, believing with every fiber of my being in the importance of family and the beauty of everyday moments. It's sparking my creativity and giving me life in ways that few other things have ever done. I've never been so happy to say I was so wrong.
We live in a world where "image is everything". We want people to look at our photos and see a life that is clean, organized, put-together, and pretty. We follow people based on their social media feeds, looking for beautiful, styled images that come together in a cohesive way. We apologize when someone comes over and we have a house under construction or a space that is a bit messy. (Side note: Don't EVER feel the need to apologize for living in your space and taking the time to make it your own...but that's another post for another day).
All this is to say that transparency, in any form, is hard work. To most of us, it does not come naturally to admit mistakes or showcase our messes. Authenticity takes practice and discipline. It requires us to step outside of our comfort zones. Transparency goes against the mainstream cultural narrative. It's radical.
And I say all of this because I get it. Oh man, do I understand. You would be shocked to hear the number of opportunities I have turned down for fear of being "found out". But I have played it small and kept others from a distance for far too long, being ruled by the lie that "who I am is not enough".
So today, I'm thankful for new seasons that offer a change in perspective and all of the things that motherhood has taught me so far. I believe it's important to share with others when we miss the mark and get things wrong. It's not always glamorous, but openly sharing about the moments when perspectives are challenged and opinions shift will (hopefully) give others permission to do the same. Then, we can all start sharing in on the feast together, because no one should have to eat Humble Pie alone.
**If you are interested in learning more about Storytelling Sessions and want to capture this season for your family, click here for more info**