Walking Down Memory Lane – If I could go back, what I wish I knew

I’ve been processing my life a lot, lately.

How did I get here?

What have been the events in my life to get me to my right now, today?

Essentially, this blog is going to be me going back through these photos and sharing my thoughts on it now, as well as things I wish I would have known then.

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^^2012. I was searching for love and desperate for attention. I was very immature. Likes on social media were everything to me. I now know that social media amounts to very little, and I wish I would have known that then. It takes more than it gives, honestly.

I was constantly trying to be enough – funny enough, pretty enough, outgoing enough. My mind was centered on the idea that I was lacking and I was always trying be like others. It was incredibly exhausting. I wish I had known I was always enough, and that I lacked nothing.

I was getting serious about my walk with God and it was setting me apart from the rest, however, I was very right or wrong focused. Black or white. In other words, very legalistic. Despite my heart trying to be in the right place,  I wish I had known that even still, I had so much growing up and spiritually maturing to do.

I had a lot of health issues at this time. My weight was pretty low and I constantly felt sick. I was also experiencing extreme waves of Vertigo that terrified me and completely disoriented me.

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^^Summer of 2014. I had made it through my first year of college, and like many, went through my first college heartbreak. I had many breakthroughs with God during that time in my life. But even so, I still felt like God had not had my back. I would realize later, He always had my back, but in this photo, I had feelings of abandonment by God. I felt like I had trusted Him, only for Him to let me down.

Now I know that God cannot let me down.

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^^ That summer I went through a mint green phase and created the hashtag #mintgreengram. (this phase of my life was deleted when I redid my Instagram.) The point of the mint green gram posts were to share how, when we look for things, we find them. I was actively searching for mint green items in my day to day life and posting them, and in the same way, I was actively searching for God’s activity and fingerprints in my life. I searched, and I found.

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^^November 2014. I really wanted a best friend; someone to do life with. I prayed for deep friendships. I was also walking into a time of trial and hardship. I wish I would have known how many things in my life would change after that. I truly had no idea.

I was blogging a lot and I was living a life that was very open for the world. Privacy meant nothing to me, but little did I know, when I got older, it would.

Every hardship, every lesson learned, I posted and shared. My heart in this was very pure, and I genuinely just wanted to help anyone I possibly could, at any cost. I didn’t see it as exploiting myself as long as I was helping someone else.

My hair was a security blanket I hid behind. I thought that if someone had long hair, then they were beautiful. I wish I had known a person’s beauty and worth had nothing to do with the length of their hair. I was still trying to be worthy of being loved. I was trying so hard.

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^^Summer 2015. This photo actually doesn’t have any sad reminders. I was really happy and I was beginning to challenge my own beauty standards. I had important figures in my life encouraging me to love myself the way I was; makeup or no makeup, long or short hair, glasses or not.

Cutting my hair was really important for myself and my journey. I’m so glad I did it.

I’ll always be thankful for this time in my life. It really changed how I saw beauty and I believe I’ll always keep this point of view with me.

Also, my hat phase. I love the phases I have gone through over the years.

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^^Spring 2016. This photo just hurts to look at. The word that comes to mind most is the word rejection. I was hurting so much. I felt very isolated and alone, all the time. I didn’t really know about the Enneagram or the fact that I was a 2, but I truly began to embrace my two-ness. I bought two parakeets, Indie and Bates, and they were amazing. On some days, they were the only thing that made me feel human or important. I think if anything, I wish I could have known that 1) the pain wouldn’t last forever, and 2) the way we process and mentally think about our situations has a lot to do with whether or not we heal.

I was camped out in my pain. I didn’t want to get past it, I didn’t want to let go. So, for a long time, I didn’t. I wish I had known that true healing comes when we allow it to happen. It is a mentality and a choice. It will never happen by accident.

I often heard things like, “You deserve better.” I didn’t believe that. I was insecure and really hard on myself. I wish I had known I deserved better and I wish I had had more respect for myself. I was not assertive or bold yet, but little did I know, that was coming.

I was also beginning to really channel my personal style through my glasses.

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^^Fall of 2016.

Honestly, 2016 was just a lot of pain. I went through heartbreak again, and my mental health wasn’t good at all. I dropped 20 pounds, weighing in at 83 pounds total. I really reached a new level of hurt. I wish I could go back and give myself a hug. Such a hard time.

But God.

I began to really experience how faithful He was, yet again. My heart felt like it was burning, and that pain only minimized when I prayed. So, I prayed all the time. There were many things God was working on during that time. This season was when my photography began to get serious. I had decided to invest in myself and purchase nice equipment. It would eventually pay off.

I felt fearless. Some of my greatest fears had actually happened, and I felt unstoppable.

I also began to regret posting my entire life online and began to crave privacy due to my life, in many ways, crashing and burning. I had always portrayed that I had my life together, and I surely did not have it all together.

I stopped posting and blogging for a while and began to only share my thoughts and feelings with my trusted friends and God.

I think if anything, that time in my life was so pivotal. I wish I had known all God was doing despite the grief. I experienced a new closeness with God. I miss that fall because of how intimate Him and I were. Never thought I would say that, haha.

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^^ Summer of 2017. I made it through my last undergrad semester, and decided I would pursue my masters degree in social work.

That semester, I had interned at a mental health facility and discovered how much I loved it with all of my heart.

Again, I lacked direction but felt graduate school was the next step. Still, I was trying to get others to love me, and still hearing that I deserved the best, however, I didn’t believe that. I accepted anything. If only I knew what I truly deserved.

insta6And finally, if you’ve made it this far– now– 2018.

I gradated from my Master’s program in May and was hired for a job I’m really excited about.

I know I deserve the best and I refuse to accept anything less than that.

I allow myself to dream and dive into my passions, one of which, right now, includes all of my wonderful pets.

I am a business owner of my photography business as well as a social worker, and I know this will be challenging, but I will do the best I can. I am a hard worker and I am proud of myself and my work ethic.

My weight is steady and my body is healthy.

I know God is taking care of me and giving me all I need.

And, I am only accepting the love I know I deserve. I am assertive, I stand up for my convictions, I listen to others, and I love with all of my spirit.

 

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Going through all of these photos has been a wild ride for me. Its been emotional and bittersweet, as these photos have captured so much heartbreak, but I can appreciate each moment and each experience because of who I am right now.

I hope this has helped you in some way and if it has, I would love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading and going through this journey with me, of this portion of my life.

As always, be a blessing.

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