We live in world full of labels – “mother,” “photographer,” “artist,” etc. I’ve been asked to define myself beyond my labels so many times, and every time, I struggle to answer. Who am I beyond what I do, who I take care of, and what I love? It’s a tough question for me!
Since going full-time as a photographer, I have thrown all of my being into my business. I used to sleep as late as I possibly could, and now I’m up by 7:30 every day ready to work until the sun goes down. I eat lunch at my desk (if I eat at all), and listen to my photography idol, Katelyn James, while I edit and work on marketing and books. So, recently, my main label is “photographer,” which I absolutely love, but there is more to it.
So, here is who I am beyond my labels.
Things that make me tick:
1/ Coconut and Patchouli Room and Linen Spray from Hobby Lobby – it’s now discontinued and my heart is still breaking. A close second is Cypress and Suede Room Spray from Valencia Hotels.
2/ Sweet potato casserole – my mom won’t let me make it anymore for the holidays because I add about a pound of brown sugar to it.
3/ Lying down with Truett as he falls asleep – every night he’s home with me, we have a routine. He finishes up with the bath, brushes his teeth, and then we read a book and I lie next to him for a few minutes. It doesn’t matter how busy or stressed or tired I am, I make time for that. I smell his hair and scratch his back as he falls asleep and we tell each other “sweet dweams” as I leave his room.
4/ Hot tubs – I’m the one who books a certain hotel only because it has a nice hot tub. We finally got one at home and there have been days that I’ve gotten in it three different times.
5/Merlot – I love wine. That’s all that needs to be said.
6/ Tellulah, Paxton, and Miko – my fur babies. Tellulah, who is two, is a rambunctious Goldendoodle that will put her paws on your arm, face, or head until she gets pets. Paxton is a nine-year-old Schnauzer–ish mix who is occasionally grumpy and loves to snuggle. Miko is a stray kitty we found in our neighborhood. He’s a gray tabby that goes outside with the dogs and sleeps in our bed (along with the dogs).
7/ Garrott’s home cooked chili – man, that stuff is good. It’s so good that even Truett will eat it, and he doesn’t even like mac n cheese.
1/ I cannot stand the sound of chewing. I don’t know where this came from, but I often have to put my AirPods on if there isn’t other background noise.
2/ When I’m nervous, I either talk a lot or not at all. I’m an undercover shy girl, so social situations sometimes get the best of me.
3/ I am always cold. I have a portable heater in my office, a heated mouse for my computer, and a heated jacket that I wear while I work. I could turn the heater on in my house, but when I’m the only one home, that seems like a waste!
4/ I don’t have a favorite color or song or movie. My preferences change like the seasons. Maybe it’s because I’m a Gemini?
1/ My dad’s death. I was seven and my brother was three. It defined us as individuals and as a family for years. Finally, I think we have all found some peace with it. I believe he sends the Blue Jays to come check on us every now and then.
2/ Four marriage engagements. Yeah, seriously. Once in college, twice to my son’s father, and once to Garrott. Fourth time’s a charm, right?
3/ Being a single working mother. I raised Truett by myself for a little over two years while working full time as an RN. Easy? No. But it made us stronger.
4/ Finding a career I love. I tried so many things from hairstyling to bartending, leading trail rides to marketing. I even wanted to be a chaplain in the Air Force at one point. Crazy that the thing I finally landed on had been there since childhood.
1/ Perspective can make or break you. Make sure you’re looking at all angles before reacting.
2/ Life is short and memories fade. Soak it in, and of course, take lots of pictures.
3/ Get enough sleep and maintain work-life balance.
4/ High-five yourself in the mirror every morning. Trust me.
Dec 15, 2021