I'm a wedding and portrait photographer living in Vancouver, BC with my husband Randy.  I photographed my first wedding when I was only 17 years old - and I've photographed over 200 weddings since! I am an avid bookworm, lover of green tea, pretty nail polish & my Labradoodle Harley. Thanks for visiting!

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the girl i once was: part 5

July 30, 2012

personal


[The Girl I Once Was is a series of blog posts compiled from real-life journal entries from my teenage years. If you’d like to read the story from the beginning, you can find the introduction here.]

part one | part two | part three | part four

 

 

May 21, 2006: I’ve been waiting for this. This is truly me. Summer rain, grey sweatshirt, tea kettle boiling, sitting on the front porch on a Sunday evening. Tomorrow is a holiday. I’m content. I’ve been wanting to write: about me, who I am, what I am aspiring to. I want to know my complicated heart and I don’t know how to understand it without writing. I’m the happiest when I am creatively accomplished: graphic arts, writing, playing piano, that’s who I am. I may not be the most beautiful or the thinnest but that’s okay. I’m happy. This year has been one of self discovery. Last year’s motto was “I’m losing weight therefore I’m happy.” That’s not true happiness; it’s circumstantial happiness. My joy is a mix of new hormone medication [hahaha!] and Jesus. One honest wish: more “true” friends to share these years with.. but Jess left a voicemail last night asking if we could hang out soon!

June 17, 2006:
Five Extra Pounds
She reads the number and her heart sinks a mile
Her shaky feet touching the cold, unforgiving tiles
Infiltrating, a voice melds with her conversations inside
She’s worthless. The number never lies.

The rain soaks her feather pillow
once a place to dream about tomorrow
None of that matters now
she’ll never accomplish her goals
with five extra pounds on her side.

To Follow a Call
A writer, sharing her perspectives with all
she wished for a platform to speak
to speak uncompromisingly, to follow a call.

Grow in Jesus,
seek His will
yearning for His love,
come what will.

 

The spring of Grade 10 brought signs of new life. I had stopped counting calories [most days] and my obsession with exercise lessened. I slowly gained weight and stopped weighing myself. I recognized that exercise had become an idol in my life. It was my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night. I surrendered my heart to God and He started to reveal the desires of my heart. Passions He had given me for His purposes:  I was dreaming about my future! Comparison ceased as I became aware of the beauty God had placed in me. Numb no more, I found what made me feel alive: art, music and writing. I wrote poetry for the first time. I don’t write poetry anymore. I write blogs. I hated these poems. I thought they were juvenile and dumb — but I didn’t scratch them out. I wrote something and I left it on the page. Victory. I started breaking through the fear every writer faces.

 

July 6, 2006: I go to all these social events but I don’t talk much. My birthday is in 25 days. Sixteen: the world of dating and driving. I doubt I’ll date anyone soon. I’m “so far behind” other girls. I don’t really mind. I’ve never kissed anyone or held a hand. I hate when girls flirt in huge groups and act stupid to get attention. It works. But I don’t want it that bad. Sometimes I do feel inadequate… like I don’t fit in. I’m starting to tear up writing this, which is silly but I want much more than superficial friendships. Everybody else seems to be shallow and happy. Frustrating: I think that’s a good word to sum up adolescence. I always want more than where I’m at… not in a material way, but in a soul way… I think it’s a good hunger.

July 6, 2006:
struggling to fit vowels

and consonants together
while grasping at empty words
emotions are felt, not spoken,
my stuttering tongue agrees

how can I share my soul without a language?
where do these heart pains leak?
how am I to be satisfied with the bar?
when every muscle longs to exceed par?

 

The month I turned 16, August 2006, my family flew to Boston and road-tripped for two weeks throughout the northeast states and up to the Maritime provinces. I used a digital SLR camera for the first time, a Canon Rebel XT my Dad had purchased. I didn’t think about calories. I didn’t work out or run. I spent two weeks in a car, in an oversized hoodie and my favourite pair of jeans. I stood at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the famous red sand of Prince Edward Island beneath my bare feet and the wind through my hair… and I felt free.

I loved every moment of our travels as a family. Those three people mean everything to me. With an open highway, ever-changing scenery and a camera in my hand… I could travel forever. Home meant school. School meant schedules, useless tasks and wasting time until I could graduate and live the life I wanted to live.

 

September 6, 2006: I’m crying to John Mayer’s Heart of Life. I hate to see you cry, lying there in that position // So turn off your tears and listen, there’s things you need to hear. Pain throws your heart to the ground // Love turns the whole thing around, no it won’t all go the way it should. But I know the heart of life is good. I read my entries from this time last year. I was very insecure about my body. That’s changed. But all the other stuff is similar and it makes me sad. I was a jerk to my Mom this morning, I was a jerk to a friend. And I am always a jerk to Brandon. I forged a signature in class, lied to my art teacher and feel like I’m an idiot. I don’t know what I want out of life. Here I am going to school, living day to day, doing whatever. I cry a lot. I listen to John Mayer a lot. I wish I had better friends a lot. Mom and I have a great relationship but I don’t feel like I’m adding anything to this world or the life of others. I don’t know how to be happier. I’m not happy going to school and making small talk and coming home and being alone. My stomach is messed up again and I’m afraid of the consequences of that. I can’t take another naturopathic program and endless appointments. I can’t. I think I’m good with God but I feel disconnected from his plan for me. When will it start and what do I do right now? Is this physical pain/sickness really necessary? 

September 23, 2006: Wow, have I truly not written since the first week of school? I think I was afraid of what would show up on these blank pages. Tears and more tears? Emotions and then some? I saw John Mayer last night for the second time. He was… I don’t have words. Everybody is asking how the concert was and I can’t answer. “Really good” is inadequate. Live music is… real and authentic and important to who I am. Writing about music doesn’t work. I have withdrawal pains after a concert — I ache to hear it again. I need it. I step back and worship God, the creator of all music. All of it is His. This ache won’t happen in Heaven. Isn’t that cool? Live music, 24/7

 

I love the vulnerability of these words. These thoughts were extreme but six years later, some aren’t a stretch to imagine thinking today. Our sinful nature is frustrating. Sometimes I’m a jerk to people, sometimes I wish I was making more of a difference and sometimes my food allergies still get me down. It makes me smile to read about myself falling in love with music. The best part: instead of worshipping the creation, I started worshiping the Creator. It’s awesome. May all beautiful things continue to lead me to Jesus.

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