Every photograph has a story to tell.
This photograph right here is what gives me the drive to be the best mum, nana, daughter, sister, friend, business woman and what ever else I choose…I know I can be.
This photograph reminds me of how far I have come in so many ways, but more so in a mindset way.
On the days that I need a little push, a little reminder, it’s this photograph that gives it to me.
In this portrait of my daughter Summa and I taken in Taupo, I was riddled with anxiety, no self belief, few boundaries, I had no idea how to support myself emotionally, I slept with the hall light on every night due to waking many times scared, sometimes crying & sweating from a past experience, I was shy and often found it challenging to have conversations with new people.
When I look at this portrait, I have compassion for my younger self.
My mind now is so different to that version of me, it’s hard for me to sometimes remember what it was actually like to live with my mind as it was, as it felt so tangled with so much stuff.
One of the best gifts I gave myself was to untangle that mess. To honour myself enough to know it was for the best in so many ways. It was for the best of my daughter, my family, and for my kids and my grandkids now.
Doing the work, being the best you can be, benefits so many people around you, not just you and for me that’s the best part, to know your making a difference in your own home. It starts with you, which spreads into those you love and continues from there.
Being the best you can be isn’t all about soft, gentle, quiet, polite, staying inside the box. It’s about being you, fully you, however that is and looks for you. It’s learning to support yourself emotionally, it’s setting boundaries for yourself and others, teaching others on how you wish to be treated, it’s finding your values and living by them every single day, it’s been honest with yourself and others, it’s learning to use your voice and speaking up for what you stand for in life, it’s learning about who you are and what makes you tick.
Sometimes it’s ok to look back, to see how far you’ve come.
Portraits are great for that. They share apart of our story, they are apart of who we are.
Never regret your past, see it only as a time of learning.
Learn to love those portraits that tell the story of those trying times, for it’s those times that make you who you are today, and make you think of who you wish to be tomorrow.
If you want change, be the change you want to see.
Do it for you and your family first.
And trust, that you have everything within you to make those changes.
If a small town country girl, who dropped out of school at 15, became pregnant at 17, who endured a whole lotta stuff can make a change, my god, so can you.