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30.6.17

Me and Mine | June 2017

When I was married we used to take part in the Me and Mine project every month. When things started to not feel right anymore, when the photos felt forced and when I looked at them and thought "That doesn't look like my family anymore" I stopped joining in.

For almost two years I have had my new family unit. One woman. Two boys. (And two cats and a few fish too) And it's taken a while for me to feel like I can be accepted being this unit and not the "perfect family" anymore.
You lose friends when your home life adjusts. People don't know what to say to you. And that's ok. But in this environment, in "the blogging world", there is this overwhelming feeling of being outcast if you no longer fit those ideals.

But now I feel like sticking a finger up at those ideals. My family is my family. Whether or not we fit the mould. Whether or not we have one, two or three members less than others.
I don't look at photos and feel like there is someone missing.
I look at photos and see my family. And I'm proud of that.
It doesn't matter if we don't look like other peoples vision of a family, or if to others we don't fit in. We are happy, we love each other and that is all that counts.
And I am so proud of us.

15.6.17

A Simple Pair of Converse

Just after I had Charles I suffered badly with anxiety, paranoia, and depression. After trying to avoid anti-depressants and medication other than beta blockers if I really needed them, I found photography became a really good distraction for me. I found it quite therapeutic and felt as though I was able to view the world completely differently.
Clouds had more volume, flowers had more colour, tree's had more texture, peoples faces had more angles, eyes had more depth. 

Over the years it was still something I enjoyed doing. Especially when we got our boat. I hated going to the river without my camera, I hated the thought of a missed opportunity.
Taking part in Living Arrows when it was run by Hayley gave me this boost to take photos of my children. To push the limits and to try and have fun with it. That stopped but I still had other things to keep me wanting to pick up my camera. I had other projects, I had a family I wanted to document life for. 

And then I separated from my husband, and went through the process of a divorce. My camera felt like it needed to be hidden away. I would go to pick it up but my eyes couldn't see what they saw before. Everything felt and looked messy. I didn't feel like I fit in anymore. I didn't have that perfect family. It was just me and my boys with an uncertain future. 
I saw other mums who were doing it alone and they looked so put together, so independant, cool, calm, collected. And I didn't feel like I would ever fit in with that image. And that's what I would be taking photos of...a family who didn't fit in. A family that wasn't perfect, that didn't fit the ideals. 
I didn't want to make an effort to pick up my camera and document my life anymore because who would care? Who would look and be interested?

A year after the divorce, and feeling a bit more like I have control over life now, and with my holiday refresh at the Isle of Man, I felt a lot more inspired to pick up my camera. 
And oddly enough, the inspiration came from a pair of Converse. My brothers girlfriends pair of Converse. 
I found myself taking a photo of them whenever we were watching a race, looking at them and feeling inspired and feeling like I could turn them into a really nice photo. A random photo of someones shoes, but a nice one at least.
And it immediately ignited my passion again. And I found myself taking more photos during the week. Making a video as I did last year on my other camera, but getting my DSLR out a lot more too. Looking for beautiful things, taking in what was around me more. 
Not just a pair of Converse, but the small purple flowers, the stones and pebbles on a beach, my brothers legs as he paddled in the sea. 

And I realised that it doesn't matter if my life doesn't fit someone elses ideals. 
It's fine. 
And if life looks a little messy, because it is, then that is fine too. Because it is better to document real life than a life we want people to see and to believe that is going on.

I always wanted to be a little bit inspirational, even if it's to encourage someone to take the same  brave steps I did. Because although my family is broken, we are all happy and that's ok. And that is good. 
And just because we aren't together anymore, it doesn't make us any less perfect. 

Who expected that much inspiration from a simple pair of Converse?