I think the worst thing in the world is feeling like other people don’t know who you really are. They get caught up trying to make up a story that fits what makes sense to them, and we get lost trying to be that person, or fighting to set ourselves free from that image. I try not to get too overly personal on my blog, but I think I owe it to my followers to be authentic.. I owe it to myself too. I really loved this shot with Gabriel Alvarez the first time I saw it I felt “strong”. I guess that’s because I want to be. I want to be strong for my kids and strong for myself. Strong isn’t just being a tough person on the outside, its more about emotional dexterity to me. Developing the patience to endure situations that are not as planned, and being able to offer grace and encouragement during those times. Being able to maintain a healthy self image and take care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. So that I can pour from a full cup into the lives of others. Photography is an art that tells a story. A story that helps connect people to each other. I have met too many people in my life who see a situation, and believe that its set in stone the way it is, and that they have no option but to fall into the pressure around them. I remember how broken I felt a few years ago when I went through my divorce and had to move back home with my mom. I remember getting alot of advice from people about how I needed to handle that situation. I knew deep down inside that shuffling the scattered pieces of myself halfheartedly into society was going to be unproductive for me, I needed to find myself and put myself back together. I knew myself. I was a creative, passionate, ambitious individual. I didn’t want to offer less than my best to anyone, and I couldn’t live with the mediocre lie that was being put on the table. If you don’t respect yourself even your kindness is a curse. You can’t offer anything of value to anyone else if you don’t first put value into your own account. It means so much more when you can share from a place of self worth and respect. It took some innovative maneuvering to put the pieces where they needed to be, but in the end I feel amazing everytime I have the opportunity to pour into the people around me. I mentioned to an associate of mine one time, that relationships are more meaningful when you take time to value yourself because then its worth more when you share it with someone else. Value is everything.
I am the main role model in my kids lives and I want them to see me having a good sense of self, and through our relationship, they know I love them, and they can feel that same sense of self for themselves. A few years ago I couldn’t really offer that to my kids or to myself. I crossed a point in my life where I decided that I was going to hold the pen, stop being a victim, pick up the mic, and own my life.
I am an artist .I am an expressionist. I am a protector. I will always choose to be strong for the people that count on me.
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