Sunday, December 11, 2016

Finding My WHY


As a child I had three outstanding characteristics, two of which are desired by women their whole lives. I was tomboy thin, I had a mass of unruly curly hair, and I was quiet and well-behaved. While these traits are admired, they do nothing to make a girl stand out from the crowd; I blended in well. I wasn't good at sports, I wasn't good at drawing or painting, and I was an average student, only excelling in English and reading. The one thing I did seem to have a flair for was wandering in the woods surrounding my house.

My dad is the one who stood out in our family. Everybody loves Jim. He is always there to lend a hand or a tool, or go out of his way to help someone. My dad is also one of the most humble people you will ever meet, he would never want praise or the spotlight. Still his shadow was a hard one to live in.


I got married young to another outstanding man. A man who everybody loves because he is outgoing, friendly, slightly wacky, and really good at everything work related that he does. I had found a new shadow to live in.

For the first twenty-five years of our married life I always identified myself as Glen's wife when introducing myself to people. And if I wasn't introducing myself as Glen's wife, it was as Mallory's mom.


It wasn't until 2012 when I began my first blog that I began to emerge from the shadows of other people. I committed myself to learning photography, discovering the art of writing along the way. I joined on-line groups, started making connections. I made friends that shared the same passions, people that didn't know my dad or my husband, people that only knew Sarah the blogger, photographer and writer. With these connections came confidence. I could finally go to my husband's Christmas party and no longer cling to his side the whole time. People wanted to talk to me about my photography, about my writing, about my adventures. I lost track of where my husband was in the room.


Recently I read a post by Kate Densmore titled Finding Your Why. She writes about finding her Why, why she loves and does what she does. The next morning I posed this question to myself in my Morning Pages journal "What is my Why?".


I think I have danced around my Why for a very long time. Eluding to it now and again, but never naming it. That morning in my journal I finally named it. My Why, why I do photography and why I write, no matter how hard it gets, no matter how much I want to quit, is because they have given me my own IDENTITY. I can't quit because then I go back to living in the shadows of others. I have found that I love being in the soft glowing light.

18 comments:

  1. Great post and I love the simplicity of these images.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very interesting to read, Sarah and beautiful accompanying images.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad you found your why! Societal norms, introversion and misogyny can all play a part in how we as women feel about ourselves. Your photography is beautiful. You have so much to share and celebrate just being you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful Sarah . . .
    In the light . . .
    Having discovered why . . .
    I am happy I met you there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful post Sarah! You have really come into your own. Photos really are great with your story.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Glad you found your "why," Sarah, and I am sure you are as well!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is wonderful! I can relate to your story. I think it may have been somewhat typical in our generation (although I'm a little older than you) to live in our father's and/or husband's shadow. After my kids got a little older, I went back to work and have made somewhat of a career for myself - which has given me my own work identity - but it's not my passion, so not really my why or my real identity. I understand how blogging - photography and writing - has brought you out of the shadows. It may be your why, but I think you already had an identity - its the photography and writing that has brought it to light. It's wonderful that you've found your why - even when it's hard. Your photos are such a beautiful illustration of your thoughts! I love the muted colors and poles (I know they have a name but can't think of it) standing out in the mist.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good for you for finding your WHY at such a young age...it takes some of us much long and it's complicated sometimes but arriving at the WHY is such a gift to ourselves...and once you find it, no matter what you do in life, you will never go back into someone else's shadow...because now your You...
    Love your simple photo's and light...enjoy your day Sarah...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello my friend. You are always thinking and that is wonderful. My why is simple, I just love it. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Such a good thing to find your WHY

    ReplyDelete
  11. You've done very well in finding yourself through photography. So glad I'm one of those you've met through your passion. Your images are so peaceful!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your first image took my breath away...so gorgeous. I can totally relate to introducing yourself as 'the wife' or 'the mom'. It is a blessing to have those job titles, but somehow we loose a little bit ourselves in giving so much. I am glad you found your Why. :) Thank you for sharing today.

    ReplyDelete
  13. These images are some of your very best, Sarah. Your risk-taking has paid off over the last few years and you have indeed come into your own. You cast your own shadow -- you don't live in one. And it has been very inspiring watching all this unfold through your blog. You have been generous in sharing your journey and I thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I could echo everything Sherry Galey wrote above. It's been a joy getting to know you and watching you grow and bloom with confidence. I LOVE these photos, so minimalist, almost abstract, simply beautiful. I still don't know my own Why. The only answer I come up with is...just because.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Quite a lovely post, Sarah. And your WHY is wonderful. Thank you for sharing! Aloha!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love your WHY, Sarah... I look forward to 2017 and many more wonderful posts from you.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)