It's International Women's Day today. . . and I can think of nothing else but my mom. I think, if she were still here today, she would be happy about the road I have chosen. The choice to be happy. I consider being a photographer one of the most challenging things I could have done, because of the vast amount of different people I meet on any given day. But it's also those differences that make it so rewarding. I am a bit of an introvert, if I didn't do this, I'm not sure where I would be. Probably in a corner somewhere working all by myself. It's safe.
My mom was an amazing woman. She devoted her life to her family. And when we were all old enough she devoted her time to volunteering, ironically enough, in the very place where she took her last breath. When I think about that it makes me smile. Did she somehow know she would spend more time there? Was she setting roots for her last days here?
When I was younger, I would always tell myself that I didn't want to be like my mom. I didn't want to "just" volunteer, I wanted to make money, wanted to make something of my life, I wanted to be able to buy things for myself without having to justify it to someone else. Now, when I think about it, I admire her for what she did, because she did her best and helped so many people just get through each day, with a little bit of happiness. I realize I am just like my mom. She was admirable, beautiful, honest to a fault, hard working, so loving, and my biggest supporter, right until the end. Even though she couldn't speak, I could read in her eyes, just how proud she was of me.
I've been wanting to share the photo portion of this blog post for quite some time, but I didn't know how I wanted to present it, or even what to say, until today. I know I am not the only one in the world without baby photos with my mom, but take this hint, please. . . . DON'T hide from the camera, and if that's not the problem, then hand the camera to someone instead of you always pressing the button. Don't wait until you look better, less tired, or have your hair done. Those selfies you take? Make your kids part of them. Always. And the digital era doesn't have to be a complete write off when we have the cloud, google drive, dropbox, everything at your disposal to keep your photos safe. I have never felt as strongly about something as I do about this. Your children WILL BE GRATEFUL when they get older. Invest in their happiness. Invest your time in their happiness. Forget about the thousands of toys that get thrown to the side. Take pictures. Lots of them. Make them feel like they belong to you. Like they matter to you. Don't make them question whether they were adopted or not. . . .seriously.
YOU are amazing.
YOU are important.
YOU are loved.
YOU are beautiful.
YOU are worthy.
YOU (again) are AMAZING. And I love you all.