Reflecting on a year ago…

I recently spent a long weekend in Va Beach/Cape Charles because I was photographing twins which I can’t wait to blog soon! Sunday morning I woke up and went for a peaceful run down to the seaside on the shore and it dawned on me – it’s been almost exactly a year since I went to live with my best friend and her husband in Cape Charles to try to ‘heal’ and find some peace in the hell I was stuck in. Sometimes it feels like it’s been years while other moments it feels just like yesterday. It’s funny how that works.

I don’t always remember a lot from the first few weeks/months after Alo’s death because it was such a blur and truly surreal. I’m sure subconsciously I try to block it out because it was the most painful time of my life. But one distinct memory was a sunny/warm February day and Erica, my best friend, took me to a private beach where we could let Pearl run free and watch the sunset. I remember laughing. I remember smiling. And even taking a picture of Erica and I, which to this day I have framed on my nightstand. It was the first moment of ‘peace’ that I had felt since the tragedy. I’ll never forget that day.

I had no purpose the month I lived with Erica. At least that’s how I felt. I remember everyday trying to make a plan and figure out my new life I now how to build alone. From scratch. But it seemed close to impossible. I was filled with sadness…shock…anger. And all the other stages in between. But one morning I decided to get out my camera and finally take pictures again which was HUGE. I hated I hadn’t taken any photos since Alo’s death but it just hurt. Like everything did. It was a memory of him. It was our camera we had for years. It was him who was there with me when I decided I was going to dive in and follow a dream. It was him who heard me critique my work day in and day out during my first portrait sessions. But finally I decided I had to face it head on. So I picked up my camera and took pictures on a snowy cold afternoon. And guess what? It felt amazing and some of those images are my all time favorites to this day. This was my moment where I realized I had to keep shooting. I had to keep following my passion. I had to push through the sadness because it’s what I loved doing.

As I ran down the secluded, flat, country road to the seaside during my recent visit to the shore, I thought about how far I had come. How different my life was now. All the battles I’ve fought and obstacles I’ve faced and overcame this past year.

A year ago I was lost. No clue what my next move would be. And now a year later, I’ve started my photography business here in the states, all while working two side jobs. I discovered a new love for Pure Barre which has been a great outlet, as well as introduced me to some of the greatest gals in this town who keep me going daily. I moved into a house so I could face our life overseas which has been locked in a storage unit a year. It’s been really sad. But I’ve made myself plunge in head first to a new life. It hurts everyday. I’ve been scared. But as they say…if it doesn’t scare you – you aren’t growing.