Wedding Regrets

Recently I started working as a photographer’s assistant to learn how to do wedding photography. It was late in summer when I started, so the wedding season was almost finished. Nonetheless, I went to and photographed five weddings in the span of about two months. For someone who hasn’t been to a lot of weddings, it was a bit overwhelming.

I thought it would be weird to go to strangers’ weddings. And it was, a bit. But it was also lovely. A wedding is still a beautiful event meant to celebrate a couple’s love, whether the bride is your best friend or someone you met for the first time as they hustled into their wedding dress.

A lot of care, and planning, and love went into the weddings I attended. Two of them were Disney themed. One had a general geek theme. All were painstakingly decorated with handmade decorations and beautiful flowers.

I love weddings. They are fun for me, as a guest and also as a photographer. So going to five weddings after my own just over a year ago brought back some wonderful memories, but also stirred up some regrets. Continue reading “Wedding Regrets”

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Whither Thou Goest

I don’t think anyone ever taught me what it means to be a wife.

As my September wedding approaches, this is something I think about fairly often – maybe more often than I’d like to admit. My brain says it isn’t a question I should have to ask, isn’t something that can be taught. After all, there’s no one “right” way to be a wife. Isn’t the freedom to be anything we want – and to wife any way we want – part of what I’ve been fighting for when I shout the endless shout that is the call for women’s rights?

But the deepest parts of my heart sometimes wonder is this something I’m cut out to do?

Many, many things in my history suggest it is not. When I used to bring boys home in high school, my mom would say to them – jokingly – “Now, you know she’s messy, right? She’s messy and she can’t cook worth a lick.” Both of these things are true, and so even if I knew she was joking, they stung just the same. My mom has always been a brave woman, a tough woman, an absolute bear of a woman. She has never been afraid of doing anything wrong, of being anything wrong. And so she didn’t know the joke would sting. She didn’t understand, I think, how deeply I fear that I am constantly wrong, constantly a mis-fit for anything I try.

As a kid, I knew that I was smart. But that was the only thing I really knew about myself – smart and maybe a little stubborn. I held onto it like a shining talisman. “I’m smart. I can do anything because I’m smart. I don’t need anything else. I don’t need anyone else.” I said it to myself over and over again. But in the back of my mind were all those things I couldn’t do – the things that I thought might form a wife, might make me into someone a person could love. Because in the world where I grew up, that’s the true accomplishment for someone who is beloved – the accomplishment of becoming a wife.

I was embarrassed to want it, but somewhere deep down, it was the only thing I wanted at all.

Continue reading “Whither Thou Goest”

Inhale and Exhale

Guest post by Devin.

About 40 million adults in the United States are affected by anxiety disorders. I’m one of them. I suffer from depression and anxiety, and personally, I feel my anxiety is more damaging. Anxiety can take many forms, but for me it flares up most when I am over-stimulated or doing something so far outside of my comfort zone that the potential benefits do not outweigh my fear. Usually, my anxiety is triggered the most when I have time to overthink.

If I can dive into something without thinking about it, I am fine. I have a pretty successful auto-pilot and a strong poker face, so I can handle most think-on-your-feet situations. But it drains me. I only have so much battery power. And social interactions and fear-conquering come at a high price for me.

In fact, I am still recharging from a recent battery-draining experience. As I write this, it has been 3 days since I started conquering a new fear. Continue reading “Inhale and Exhale”