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.