I LOVE the 4th of July. I love the United States of America. I can’t control the fact that I cry every single year when I watch fireworks. The love that I feel for this country I call home, is the main reason I started planning this shoot last December. I ran into a few hurdles along the way, but I did not let them stop me, I was committed to making this shoot happen. Andrea was absolutely phenomenal to work with and we hit it off right off the bat. My quirky, goofy, crazy personality meshed so well with hers. We were like soul sisters. Originally, the plan was not for me to do the photos and makeup, however unforeseen circumstances had me scrambling last minute and stepping into very unfamiliar territory. You see, as a hairstylist part time, I LOVE makeup. I do makeup for bridal parties and special events all the time, but when I do those faces I am simply doing a natural look. I had never tried any avant garde makeup before, and I had certainly never worked with gold leaf. However, I believe that if we don’t try new things, if we don’t stretch our boundaries, we will never get anywhere in life. As babies in the womb, we stretch and grow constantly, we begin our lives as inquisitive creatures. We begin our lives as daredevils and as carefree and imaginative as possible. It’s as we age that we begin to lose our willingness to change and grow, and expand our horizons. In the past year, I have made many changes in my life personally.
I never share personal information because it’s just that, personal. However, I had faced some obstacles that had pulled me down to depths I didn’t know how to escape and in January I finally decided to STOP letting them define me. To stop being afraid of change, and to make a lot of changes in my personal life. This shoot is a huge celebration of where I am today. This shoot is a celebration of the independence of our country, but it is also a celebration of my independence from the chains that bound me. I’m not perfect. I never will be. But who I am today is one absolutely beautiful person who gains more confidence every single day.
Spending time with people like Andie, people who have this intense spirit and life in them makes me push harder and move forward. Break the walls down, stare at the face
of adversity and challenge and say I will prevail. Because I will. I want to take this moment to reach out to any of you who may be struggling in your lives and tell you that I wish it was in my power to change it all for you. The one thing I can tell you, is all it takes is ONE step in the direction you wish to go. You will fail. You will make mistakes, you will fall back on old patterns and routines time and again…but if you wake up every day saying ‘this is a new day,’ it does get better.
I’m taking a huge chance putting this out there today. The only reason I am doing it is because I want everyone to experience the independence I feel, and the pride I feel in myself for every positive step I have made. I am shaking as I write this because every word of it comes from my heart and my soul. The hardest part will be getting beyond the people who have been close to you who have come to expect certain patterns of behavior from you and who will not treat you any differently. All you can do is treat YOURSELF differently. Eventually, they will come around, and they will see you for who you really are, and have been all along. So, take this and make a change today. Look at yourself in the mirror and say ‘I am beautiful.’ ‘I am worthy.’ ‘I am amazing.’ Because you are.
Happy Independence Day. <3 <3 <3