Portraits, Observations, Advice

I wanted to share some photos that I took with Ashley Jensen, a local photographer. When I got them back, I realized how little I truly know about myself. I love taking other people's portraits and take them so intentionally that they tell a story. Ashley is a fantastic photographer and her captures without a doubt tell some kind of story-- mine just got lost on me. I'd be lying if I said I've been having a "great time." My life is falling apart in a way. But in an even bigger way, good things need to fall apart so better things can come together. I've been viewing myself through shattered glass so to see myself put together was like seeing a wide-eyed stranger. It got me thinking about who I am. What I'm about. And how I got here. It was (mostly) nice to meet me, make some candid observations, and share some advice.

I rarely smile. It's not that I'm not a happy person, I just prefer to save those smiles for when I genuinely want to use them. A smile from me is recherché; and thus more valuable.

I'm constantly struggling to find the common ground between femininity and strength. Eye contact is one way I maintain this balance.

I hate the shape of my face but I would rather work with what God gave me than to waste my precious time contouring. Not sure if this makes me a person of integrity or indolence.

I spend a lot of time in my head. I used to be the kind of person who would pull over the car to sing a melody into the voice memos section of my phone (so I wouldn't forget it) or jot down a few lines or a small sketch onto a napkin at a restaurant. The harsh realities that keep an otherwise creative person for living out-- or even dwelling in-- that creativity have sort of taken that away from me.

I'm trying to be mindful of the difference between solitude and loneliness. There's a definite difference between the two and I used to think that difference was "productivity." Now I'm thinking there may be something more, because I've gotten a lot done in my loneliness and stifled my solitude.

Less is more. Less is more. Less is more. I must keep repeating this as some sort of mantra, until the words really set in.

Despite any (admittedly undisclosed, for shame) amount of failure, I will never, ever be "less than." The most important growth occurs in the most dire circumstances. 

Simply put, I have to constantly and consciously remind myself: "you are not a loser."

The man who cut me off in traffic did not intend to upset me or ruin my day. He was simply in a hurry, as we all are. (And likewise in any other situation I'd tend to take personally.)

Sometimes there are no words to describe something. It's alright to be excited. It's okay to speak in gasps and wild gesticulations. Childlike wonder should never be lost.

Sometimes it's okay to listen to music that makes you sad. Crying is not only important, it is absolutely necessary. The eyes are the window to the soul, and those salty tears are a cleansing of sorts. Don't let your soul get too heavy. A sorrow-laden soul sees no good in the world. It gets easily glum and the gloom is difficult to escape when it becomes a part of your worldview.

Carbs. You actually need them. Stop pretending you don't. 

You can't fall in love with whom you choose.


Thanks again for the photos Ashley! Everybody go follow her on Instagram and also check out some of her wedding work.


  1. https://community.ebay.com/t5/Shipping-Returns/%D8%B4%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%86%D9%82%D9%84-%D8%B9%D9%81%D8%B4-%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AB%D8%A7%D8%AB-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%85%D9%84%D9%83%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%A9/qaq-p/26768794#M143546