Wednesday, July 14, 2010


An unexpected package in a happy-yellow envelope, arrived in the mail. A quick inspection of the label showed that my mother had been thinking of me. I tore into the package and discovered a wall hanging that read “In a world where you can be anything…Be Yourself.” Those words stopped me dead in my tracks and have been resonating in my soul. Be yourself.

It’s a theme that has been on my mind for weeks. I’ve been reading blogs and studying photographers and the advice that each of them seem to share is exactly that- be yourself. Develop your own style. Be true to who you are…

I agree with my whole heart. But then begs the question, and the answer is slower to follow, “who am I? What is my story?”

Sure part of the answer is obvious and putting it to paper is relatively easy, Cliff Notes of sorts. I am a thirty-something wife and mother of four. I go to church, pay the bills, and eat ice cream more than I should. It’s also possible that I’m on the edge (or in the middle of) a midlife crisis. (I may or may not have the haircut to prove that point.) But that is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s given me reason to look inside myself, to question my reflection. “Who am I?” Or maybe more importantly, “who do I want to be?”

I am a photographer. I have the blog site to prove it! It’s missing a crucial element. The “about me” page. Why is that the hardest part to write?

For so long I’ve let fear keep me from dreaming. There’s the fear of failure, of course. There is also fear in success. Could I maintain a balance, follow my dreams of being a photographer and still be a good mom?

I realize the time is going to pass. The children are going to grow. Whether or not I am doing what I love. And at the end of this story I don’t want to flip back through the pages and miss the part about following my dreams. How will I teach my children that they can be anything, how will I teach them to be themselves if I am not?

After my hair appointment (see paragraph 4) I had a few minutes to spare. I ran into one of my favorite little funky shops downtown. A greeting card practically flew off the shelf at me. It read “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” And that was exactly the reminder that I needed.

I am the author of my story.

I am a thirty-something wife and mother of four. That inspires me. But I am also a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover of good books. I am a singer, if only in the shower. I am a writer, perhaps not a gifted one. I love the sound of well-placed adjectives and acoustic guitar.

I am the author of my story. I am a photographer. I’m inspired by the stories of others. Those stories are what I try to capture with my lens. So I will create. Life. Art. Myself.

*Thank you all for your sweet comments. I know there is a time and season for all things, but there's no reason to not be living your dreams every day. Even if it is a smaller scale version of your dream. Know what I mean?


Gallup Family said...

I think it is very hard to define ourselves particularly when we are mothers and wives. When someone asks what I do or who I am, I always respond with I'm a stay at home mom. But that's not "me" It's very hard to put ourselves first just for a moment and make something out of ourselves. I hate doing things for myself knowing they will cost money that I could use to spoil the kids or make Jared have to watch the kids (although they are 50% his and he has no problem with it!) So I understand exactly what you are going through. Hopefully, someday, somehow, I will create myself too.

InkMom said...

Oh, how I love you, my friend. I know you better after this post.

Eric and Beckii said...

beautiful. in and out. thats what you are. and you inspire us all to be better than we are today. thank you.

Malisa said...

I love this. I have been doing my own soul searching, possibly I could call it midlife crisis, lately too. Mine is of a little different sort but I have been trying to figure out who I am also. I like the reminder that everyone else is on that same journey with me and that we all help mold and inspire each other.

Carmen said...

Thank you for posting that Dest, I so needed to hear it.
And I don't know what you mean, "you are not a gifted writer," (or whatever it was you said. You, my friend ARE. A. GIFTED. WRITER. I promise, I would buy a book written by you in a heartbeat! ;)

I am feeling the same way lately...going thru or feeling like I'm in a mid-life crisis of sorts. (I have been that way for a while maybe I am having one already?)

I too, feel like I know you better after this post.
But do you mind if I add to it...just from what I know? Maybe it would help you with your "about me" section? ():)
You are a strong woman, and have great faith.
You know what you want, with everything...and with that you are determined.
You are a GREAT friend.
You are a good listener.
You are fun to be around.
You know how to cook and bake--really well!! ;)
You care about others and have a big heart.
You know how to make your home beautiful.
That's what I know about you.
Love ya tons girl!!!

Melissa said...

Destinee, you are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!! I haven't been around you for over a year now, and yet your example is still one that I think about often. Yes, you are an incredibly talented photographer, writer, mother, and friend, but the one word that comes to my mind whenever I think about you is charity. Charity is not just what you do for others, it is who you are Destinee. It is how you love. Thank you for being you and for impacting my life so profoundly.

janet said...

love the dandelion! perfect finish to a wonderful post! I love you! The whole package!!! mom

kathy said...

Well, I understand exactly what you are going through. Hopefully, someday, somehow, I will create myself too.

The Arrrrrgalls said...

I think we always hit that point in our early thirty-somethings that makes us want to find out who we REALLY are. When we are younger we say we want to find ourselves, but I don't think we truly find it and appreciate it till we are "older". I'm still looking & searching to. As you and I have talked about, I have to many interest and passions, but becoming my true-self is what is important. The rest will follow. I pray every day that I don't let a "moment" pass un-celebrated!