Photography has this magical ability to weave together our moments and our memories. Oftentimes, holding a photograph in your hand can transport you back in the same way as when you hear an old song.

I like being a part of that.

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Fragile Strength

October 27, 2023

Lately, I have been at a loss for what I wanted to write about. I was hoping this would be a really fun post, full of happiness that my newest coffee table book would be available next month. That project is now put on hold. I’m oddly okay with it. It’s just another pivot, and well, I’m quite used to those. The good news is that it is ready to be edited and I have an incredible editor. So, it will make its way into the world sometime soon. Something I’m learning right now is…everything…all in due time.

For now, I guess I will just sit here and start writing and see what happens.

It’s funny how when we are standing at the edge of our next step in life, those moments when we know it’s time to grow again, we pause. Sometimes, we can’t see the next step, we just have to trust that it’s there. Other times, we can see it, we just don’t want to see it.

Either way, you are always given the same two choices: stay paused in fear, or put yourself into forward motion.

I always thought of myself as a forward motion type of person. In fact, I know I was…until I wasn’t.

Sometimes, we swim in waters that get too deep before we realize we can no longer touch the bottom. This is typically when we panic.

Yesterday, I was reminded of just how much we allow fear to control our steps…stop our forward motion. I got to sit in a room with some women I hadn’t really sat with in a few years and at first, it almost felt strange, but before long, I was remembering how much I used to enjoy that. I got to hear their stories and hear their insights on life.

Someone spoke up and said that sometimes we just need to step out of the traffic.

That painted the perfect picture in my head of me standing in the middle of a chaotic, NYC street, yellow cabs honking all around me, all the while I was trying to direct traffic. You can picture me, trying my best, but everyone is in a hurry and no one cares–my yells are so drowned out that I might as well be mute.

That’s kind of how life has felt.

I’m honestly not sure why it has never occurred to me to simply step out of the traffic.

We always seem to think we can control things. News flash…we can’t. We sure can get ran over by the traffic of life trying, though.

I know I have talked about the fact that I reached out and found a therapist after I got out of the hospital last year. Well, I did so because I know myself and I knew that even though I have always been a person who bounced back, for the first time, I wasn’t sure I would.

Even though I had to begin our time with the here and now, I finally got to a point where I could go all the way back. When I tell you I lost hundreds of pounds of useless junk I’ve carried with me, I mean it. Pounds and pounds of other people’s garbage that I collected and tried to revive as though I was a recycling center.

I got to dive deep into things that hurt me to my core while I was growing up. I got to sit with that hurt and stare very scary things in the face.

Doing this didn’t make those things go away or somehow magically heal me to where those things didn’t leave a scar, but it did give me a way to show myself the same grace I’ve always shown to others.

Realizing you have anxiety because no one ever cared that you were scared is pretty powerful. Realizing things happened that you never deserved, but did deserve to have someone sitting beside you while you tried to heal from them is powerful.

Our lives are in layers just like rings in a tree. No one can see them from the outside, but they are a part of you and they mark you one by one. They never go away, but as you grow, the new ones are bigger and eventually, you feel big enough that those tiny circles, from years ago, no longer control you.

Carrying myself through this journey has been the greatest gift I could’ve given myself. It’s also the greatest thing I could have done for my creativity. It has reopened this whole world of music, lyrics, ideas for photo shoots, and all of the other things I loved before the world broke me.

I had one final “going back” trip. I randomly found an apartment that reminded me so much of my old apartment back home that I loved so dearly. Obviously, it had nicer furniture and it was missing my galley kitchen and old windows, but it’s the closest I’ve found since then. My cousin came to visit so we could go see the Taylor Swift Eras Tour film, so we stayed at that apartment as a girls trip.

As soon as I walked up the stairs and looked down the hallway to the door at the end, the emotions I thought would come rushing…didn’t.

I went inside, opened the curtains to see the streets below, turned on some music, and just sat there.

Sometimes, we don’t know we have healed until we can put ourselves back in places that used to feel heavy and realize we let go of the weight. It’s true what they say about you’ll know you’ve healed when you can tell your story and it no longer makes you cry.

One of my favorite things from my very short stay were these photos she took of me. In my old apartment, this corner would have been where my bedroom was. I spent so many nights with the window open, just listening to the traffic below. The way the lights reflected off the pavement when it rained was always so beautiful to me.

So, for just a tiny bit of time, I got to sit. This time, I didn’t cry. This time I didn’t wallow.

This time, I smiled because I have grown. I smiled with my coffee, realizing all of my fragile strength.


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Photography has this magical ability to weave together our moments and our memories. Oftentimes, holding a photograph in your hand can have the same feeling as hearing an old song. 

I like being a part of that.

Atlanta, GA