When I was a little girl, my Dad would ask us every Sunday morning what we wanted to do for the day and every Sunday morning without skipping a beat, I would beg to go to the newest track home division and walk through model homes. Looking back, I can imagine it being a strange request coming from an 8 year old little girl, but my Dad would religiously drive us up into the Riverside hills and we would spend the afternoon going from home to home envisioning a new life for ourselves. To this day, I can still vividly remember the way those houses smelled and felt. The fresh paint, the new carpet, the cold air-conditioning that poured over you as you opened the door enticing you out of the summer heat. My Brother and I would race up stairs as quick as we could to stake claim on which bedroom would be ours. I remember that every decorative item was always glued down to the furniture, the plates, vases, picture frames and I always just thought it was because those things were meant to be a part of that home just as much as the walls that were built around them. As time passed and I became older, I stopped going to model homes but still found myself searching for that perfect model home life. Searching for a life where everything was glued down and sat perfectly in its place. Throughout my twenties, I moved from city to city, job to job, relationship to relationship, I was on a voyage with no compass just passing through time in hopes of finding paradise.
It’s when I became older that I began to realise that my idea of perfection was never going to come to fruition no matter how much I craved it. I began to understand that a perfect life doesn’t really exist, it is merely a dream that I was sold my entire life and I stupidly invested an entire decade to try and find it. We live in a generation, where we are so consumed by a “Faceboook life” a life where only moments of happiness are portrayed and our image is always presented in the best light and in the perfect angle. It’s no wonder why we constantly question if what we have is enough, the world around us constantly tells us its not. We are told that we should be looking at each other, comparing and contrasting and striving for more. It took me a long time before I finally realised that my thoughts are not who I am and the world I live in doesn’t get to control me. It took me making a lot of mistakes and searching in the wrong direction for too long before I finally discovered my own freedom. If this life is only about obtaining, striving for acceptance and being surrounded by bright shiny things, then what is our purpose in life? What is it that we are meant to do? Why are we here? And how does it all end? All the big questions are the most important questions and yet, a lot of people go through their entire lives never asking themselves. What made me truly start to ask myself these questions is when I became a Mother. For the first time I stopped being consumed with what I wanted for myself and started asking what I wanted for my children. I don’t want my children finding their relevance by how many Instagram followers they have. I don’t want them to define their character by how many unknown friends they can obtain on Facebook. I don’t want them to search for fame before love, acceptance before indifference, popularity over spirituality, I don’t want them to become the person I used to be. If I don’t want these things for my children, then how can I possibly accept them for myself? In the oldest and most famous book ever written, it says “Do not gain the world and lose your soul, for what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26), If we take more time to ask ourselves what it is in life that we are meant to do, perhaps it can detract us from the idea of what it is we are meant to have.
Don’t get me wrong, I do still find myself on a constant voyage, I think that is just my nature. The older I get, the more curious I get about life and the more I want to explore. The faster time goes, the more I search for ways to slow it down. The busier I get, the more I look for simplicity. As the years go by and I step further away from my youth, I find myself stepping closer to the women I am meant to be. With that transformation, I have made certain promises to myself, I promised myself to find GRACE, to give more when I feel I need more. To love more when I want to hate and to let go of the world and hold on to my faith. My Dad used to always say to us when we were kids “One of the most important things your can ever be, is HUMBLE” at the time, I never really understood it, but now it makes perfect sense and I will teach my children to be the same. So in the times I find myself lacking or questioning who I am in the world, I will remind myself of the beauty that surrounds me and immerse myself in my favourites….The silence of winters first snowfall, the crackling of an old record followed by Otis Redding’s voice, the smell of chicken roasting, blue skies opening, the intoxicating rhythm of my children’s laughter, the warmth of love, the hum of our home, the peace that God has given me and the freedom in knowing that all I have is all I need. Within the simplicity and stillness of my heart, will sit my perfect model home.
I am a Creative Portrait Photographer based in Brighton & Hove. My vision is to create unique, authentic imagry that captures the real you, unscripted.