Why I write
I write to help myself make sense of myself. On those lined pages, my pencil finds a way to bring together my mind + my soul. There are few other places, if any, where both get to exist together with such clarity + fluidity.
Outside of my professional photography career, writing is my art medium of choice. It has always been “enough” for me to keep it as a personal ritual. No deadlines, no proofing, no specific goals and most importantly no editing. Also, no real reason to share.
However, recently I have found in connecting with friends, family and strangers alike around some of my thoughts and experiences that are usually saved for my $1.99 spiral ring notebook from Staples, that there is genuine purpose in sharing.
A short story
In preparation for having my second child I began to seek stories from other mothers around their experiences of expanding their families. Most if not all of the stories were focused on what it is like having two little ones to care for simultaneously. So I figured that is where the “real work” comes in.
But one day, on a solo walk (the kind you *need* to take, like right now, alone) I met a mom sitting on her front porch with her newborn and we got to talking. I assumed she was holding her first + only baby sweetly in her arms because she looked so at peace. So, surely she didn’t have a little one running around sight unseen.
When I shared that I was pregnant with my second, she told me to “hang in there” and that she felt it was much more challenging being pregnant with a toddler than it was having a newborn with a toddler.
Upon realizing that she was holding her second baby, I felt a massive sense of relief in my mind + body, simply upon hearing those three commonly said words. I felt a weight constructed of loneliness and worry had been lifted off my shoulders for the second half of my walk.
At that moment I was seriously struggling being pregnant while having a toddler and she was the first to share with me that there was so much truth in that reality. I felt seen by this woman who I had just met and that validation took so much of the “You think this is hard, just wait until the baby gets here,” story I was telling myself in the record player of my mind.
From my notebook to my computer
So, this is in part why I am now choosing to open up my journal pages to whomever feels called to take, relate, feel, question or find comfort in a line or two from my personal experiences.
As a woman pregnant with her second child, doing so much differently than I did the first time, I have felt very inwardly expansive. In my experience of trying to feel my intuition, I have wanted to get quiet. And I am more than okay with that. However, motherhood can feel incredibly lonely and it really shouldn’t have to feel like that. That is not to equate being quiet with being lonely. Not at all.
Maybe this is just the next step after the gift of being quiet. Things start to make sense and feel a certain type of okay. I am forever grateful for those who have opened their voices around their very personal experiences. I am ready to do the same. I am ready to feel that distinct type of freedom.
Here I hope you find a friend in someone with an open heart (feeling at times hesitantly honest) on a constant mission to awaken her soul. And damn, if pregnancy isn’t a portal into that world then I don’t know what is.
More to come
Here you will find my stories around:
- What I am doing differently this time around
2. My experience with the phycology and physiology of being pregnant
3. Personal stories of a growing body, family, life
4. My work photographing women moving through their journey into motherhood (before, during + after)
Wanna be email buddies?
Photography by Amanda Noel in Austin, TX