I have always thought that and I see my clients heal when they have their boudoir experience. What I didn’t know… was how that healing feels.
I had the pleasure of having a Virtual Session with Love, Ali … the extremely talented photographer, Alexandrea Johnson that I have wanted to have a session with for a good bit now. Silver lining moment of the Covid-19 Quarantines.. the birth of Virtual sessions.
So I booked my session, knowing that it would “Get Weird” and totally embracing that… because, DUH! That is the whole reason I wanted a session with her!
We chatted about what I would wear, where we would shoot… all the typical session details. We finally decided on my old Detroit t-shirt, a pair of jean shorts, pizza, coffee, smokes, messy hair, and an antique claw foot tub in my back yard!
So here’s the thing. That t-shirt has an amazing amount of symbolism, heart break, trauma, redemption in it. Its ugly! I purposely got an ugly GREEN shirt. I wanted to be reminded of how ugly I felt in that moment when I bought it.
The text to Ali went something like this: "Oh back story on that Detroit shirt... I was flying solo from NC to FL to see my oldest kiddo and it was 25th my birthday. I had a layover in Detroit and bought myself the shirt as my only tangible bday gift. I was miserable and alone and heartbroken. I swore I would go back to Detroit one day on better terms and explore. Fast forward to the first year of camp do more... and I got rejected entry into Canada. And was stranded in Detroit for 5 days ALONE! I walked that entire fucking city and found myself again!”
What she didn’t know, what I was hiding deep in side about the damn shirt. Is that I was getting to see my kid for the first time in 6 months. It was a supervised visit for 20 minutes, while someone watched us and took notes on how we interacted with each other. It was humiliating. A treatment that parents who abuse their children had been bestowed upon me…on my birthday. It was yet another slap in the face from my abusive ex. His way of still controlling my life. I had held on to this crazy notion that 25 was a defining year for people - THIS is the year that you are officially an adult, and you should have your shit together. Except, I was far from having my shit together... I was a walking, talking, SHIT SHOW! Remember me saying I wanted something that would remind me of how ugly I felt in that moment? yeah... thats some really hard trauma to get past.
When I told my husband this morning that I was going to wear THAT shirt, he chuckled and said "shit, I haven't seen that in a really long time", and he hadn't... because I have not felt that kind of ugly in a really long time. Almost a year now, as a matter of fact. Last years depression had me living in that stupid shirt and my flannel happy face emoji pants. When it started to rip, I was devastated. Feeling like something else had been stripped away from me. I even brought that shirt with me when I went to Puerto Rico last year, because I was broken - once again. It has kinda been my "wobbie" I guess you could say.
The shoot went gloriously... it was every bit of trashy - because dammit we are all trashy right now! I have anxiously awaited a sneak peek of the images she captured... and they did NoT disappoint! What I didn't expect though, was the redemption feeling that would crawl all over my body. The acceptance of my messy life. The yeah my life has been a shit show, and it hurts ALOT sometimes... but my scars DO NOT DEFINE ME. I have lived through every.single.shitastic.thing... I will say it again, I HAVE LIVED! Ali took something that had the sole purpose of reminding me how ugly I am, and she showed me how beautiful I am. I will forever be grateful to her for this amazing gift on day 32nd of quarantine.