I’m going to keep shining. Here’s why you should too.
A couple months ago I took my girls to a concert. We decked out in rainbows and sparkles. My daughter asked me why we couldn’t dress like that every day. When I got home I saw all these comments on facebook about how people “dodged that bullet” or how there’s “no way they’d be caught dead there”. It was one of the many times in the part year or so where I didn’t want to conform to what anyone else’s opinion was because it didn’t matter. Be whoever God designed you to be.
Their opinion didn’t change that I had the time of my life, and my girls were on cloud nine for days to come. And everything was okay. It didn’t matter. I could offer my opinion, and they could continue being wrong (kidding). I guess I didn’t have a real answer for her. Other than situations where a specific uniform is called for, if you want to stand out…why don’t you? If you’d rather sit at home in your pajamas, do that. As long as you’re intentional and real.
I like wearing my uniform. It’s human nature to want to blend into a group…find your tribe, be a part of something bigger than yourself. But more and more I’m realizing that maybe I shouldn’t force that on my kids.
In every aspect of my life that I’ve actually succeeded in, it’s taken me just pushing forward through all the yuck to find balance. I look back on some of the photos I posted when I first started photography and want to delete them, but that was part of the learning process. I learned what did and did not work. I learned so much more than photography from all the times I failed…and the joy that came from being excited to try something new.
My daughter believes that the sun follows her ever since her dog Sunshine died. My four year old says the sun hurts her eyes and she wished the sun didn’t follow “Sissa”. My two year old just wants me to hold her, and my baby just wants to eat. So rather than take the time to crush my oldest daughter’s spirit when there’s other things I have to worry about, I just choose my battles.
Studies show that hearing the word “no” too many times can be harmful during childhood. I try to think about my words carefully, and while there are times that I have to say no, I want my children to have every possibility to figure who they are in a positive, healthy environment. One of the biggest things I learned while doing photography full time is that there’s beauty in the bloopers. With the right edit, anything can be beautiful.
You just have to take the time to see it and capture it while you can.
We were reading the other day and I knew the ending to the book. When the riddle was introduced, my daughter yelled in excitement thinking she had the answer. Instead of just saying “no”, I said “Well, let’s find out!”. Her eyes got bigger and she actually wanted to finish the story. But that’s part of it. She wasn’t wrong, she just didn’t have all the pieces yet. Do any of us?
I could be completely wrong, but I felt more myself with glitter all over my face, singing every word to every song at that Jojo concert than I’ve felt in a long time. I cry when things are magical and I had to fight back the tears the entire concert.
I don’t have all the answers. At the end of the day, I’m just trying to do the best I can relying on alot of Jesus and a little coffee. But I do know that if these children are only mine for a little while, it’s my job to make it stick. But I’m done fighting back the tears when things are important to me. God is leading me to something bigger, and I want my kids to look back and know that I enjoyed that day and all my days with them. I want them to know that it’s okay to dream, it’s okay to be passionate, and it’s more than okay to not give a sparkle what anyone thinks about it.
Keep it real and get some sleep,