I know, it sounds so cliche, “finding myself”, but it’s true.
Last time, in San Francisco in November of 2010, I was a dreamer. I was working a full time job that didn’t feed my soul, but I had this newfound passion for photography that I knew I wanted to chase after.
Now, in May 2012, I am a doer in make-it-or-break-it time. I am a new mom, and I’m no longer weighed down by a job that I don’t love. I should be flying, right?
Not so much.
See, I’d allowed the fear, pressure and distractions back in. I was (and still am) figuring out this new schedule and this new role of being a mother, while still trying (and now NEEDING) to build this dream. Most days escaped me, I wasn’t gaining traction, my wheels were backpedaling. But, while some days I feel like nothing’s changed from a year and a half ago, in truth, most things had.
As I sat in the room at the Hyatt Harborside, surrounded by complete strangers and 3 friends, I went through the same exercises that I did in another hotel room on the west coast, and different layers peeled back. My heart had become a drop zone for the comments, criticisms, perceptions, and drama that I didn’t have a place for but couldn’t let go of. Walking into that room, I was worried that I’d never find my heart in my work, and as I left, I realized that my heart had always been there, I’d just allowed it to be buried under all the crap that I should have just dumped.
With each exercise, I threw another layer of junk into the proverbial trash. I stood, facing Gina, body fidgeting and eyes fighting to avoid eye contact as tears poured down my cheeks. I felt my heart wrench as my voice trembled with each statement.
“My life is too short to allow thoughts that I’m not a good wife, a good mother, or a good person, to keep me from being the most amazing wife, the most amazing mother, and the most amazing person that I can be.”
“My life is too short to compare myself to others and not define my own success.”
“My life is too short to second guess myself into inaction.”
I’m not cured, or healed, and no miracles happened in that room. I’ve got a long road and the hardest work ahead of me. But when I climbed into the car to drive home to my husband and baby girl, I had a glimpse of my heart again. It has a skylight through the clutter that remains, and you better believe I’m digging in and turning that skylight into pure, open air.
So here I am. On this Friday, May 11, 2012, a day with absolutely no precedence or meaning, I am Briana Lynn: photographer, mother, wife, dreamer.
Welcome to my heart.