So here it is, my new website and first blog post. I feel like it has taken an eternity for me to get here, to really GET here. I have not felt ready for such a long time as strange as that sounds. But I have grown so much the past year, in ways I never expected and now, now is a good time to jump in, 2016 are ya hearing me....
Earlier this year I took part in a workshop with an amazing woman and photographer, Sharon McKeeman. This lady, let me tell you is inspiration all packaged up with a beautiful bow. I took part in this course believing I knew exactly what I wanted to get out of it, yet coming away from it with so much more.... I came away changed. I saw things differently, I had finally exhaled. I knew where I could see myself going and what I really wanted out of my photography journey.
TRUTH...something that can define us, scare us, unite us and bring out the absolute best in us. I keep myself and my personal life quite guarded with my clients a lot of the time. After discussing with Sharon what I wanted for my photography journey, she gently asked me, "Melissa, what are you so afraid of? If you cannot open yourself up too your clients then how can you expect them to do the same in return?
And so with that I share with you a little piece of my story and my heart.....
For those of you that do not already know, I have a pretty rad husband, Damien and 2 awesome little people, Maisie 6 + Betsy 2 . These guys are the most important people in my life, they are IT, and they come first above everything. My husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis a few months after we were married 10yrs ago, we were only 23 & 26.
Fast forward 10 years and here are a few things I have learnt......
Having a husband who is now legally blind and uses a wheelchair 80% of the time can come in rather handy. For one, there is no more prams for the kids and I always have a seat. Its also super handy for shopping bags, he loves this. I can also get away with a multitude of sins, bushy eyebrows, looking haggard, a few extra wrinkles, apparently I always look beautiful and not a day over 19...I mean I know he's lying about the 19 bit but flattery gets you everywhere, apparently. When new progressions happen, we clearly feel like the world is ending for a week or two, we grieve for yet another change/loss and then pick ourselves up, we adapt and then we get on with it. It hurts don't get me wrong, in a million different ways, it hurts. But the ONLY thing we have control over is how we CHOOSE to deal with it.
Laughter helps a lot, something damien and I are good at. We laugh because if you don't laugh you cry, and I ugly cry so I would rather laugh it out anyday...though sometimes I do the evil/hysterical laugh that leads to an ugly cry, when this happens, the shit has hiteth the fan!!!!
Kids they are resilient and far more understanding than I ever knew. Our girls have a beautiful sense of empathy for such little people and I get to see this daily. For them this is their normal. I never want them to feel they are without or adversely affected because of our situation. So we show them that in spite of the bad days we still go to the beach, we still go to the Naracoorte caves, we still take walks and go adventuring, we still go out the scrub, we still TRY to do everything we would have always done. Because we want to teach our girls that regardless of your situation, you can get it done. We want them to grow up understanding that the differences don't matter but our attitude when dealing with them certainly does. I will never forget the day after an epic ugly cry session a close girlfriend said to me "Yes but what an amazing gift you are giving to these girls being able to grow up with a sense of empathy far beyond their years. You cannot teach that Melissa, what a truly amazing gift"
My girlfriend believes that everyone can do with a little bit more empathy, a little bit more kindness and a little bit more understanding. My heart swells knowing that we are laying some major groundwork for these girls to grow into truly amazing women. I couldn't think of anything more important.
And with that I look forward to sharing more of our journey with you all in the future. Its a crazy ride this thing called life xx