Hey, It's Me, Christina

Could I be an ice-queen?  All I know is that I’ve been raised to be guarded, to not be a cry baby, to push through anything without "whining", which makes it a bit impossible to see what I’m thinking, or feeling, and hello, I’m definitely not one to cry in public. For those that really know me well, know I am capable of opening up, but for those who don’t, only see what’s on the surface (pictures of my "perfect life"), and ya’ll know that the surface ain’t deep. I was born with a resting bitch-face and am often asked “what’s wrong?” and usually it’s because I’m deep in thought (because hello, this "ice-queen" is actually a really sensitive person!).  

Lately I’ve been binge watching TV shows on Hulu and Netflix. There seems to be a trend in TV programs like in “This Is Us” and “Nashville" that really showcase authenticity, realness and meaning that feel more truer then I've ever seen before. These past few months I’ve caught myself watching these shows with a smile on my face—even on The Voice (omg I can’t even believe I am admitting this). Like, when Rayna James died on Nashville (sorry for spoiling that for you) and her daughters sang on stage as a tribute, I cried like a baby! So much in fact, that I snapchatted my best friend just to prove that I actually do cry! Rabbit (my husband) was there while the tears poured down my cheeks, and made fun of me because it’s "just a silly tv show”, but I didn’t care because it felt so real to me. I felt like I was there. 

I’ve been noticing a common thread in real life and in "tv life" and I'm finding joy watching people set goals, go through their highs/lows, grow, achieve the goals and then repeat. It’s like a blaring sign for me because I am yearning to feel it for myself. What’s my purpose again and what's meaningful to me? This has me feeling jealous and craving it all at the same time.  (For my clients reading this, your weddings definitely fuel & fulfill me, but it's “off-season” right now, so there’s not a constant connection to boost my energy. I want to be candid and honest, and I'm relearning how to charge these batteries! And, as much as I say "i don't cry in public" I have been known to cry at a ceremony, during a first dance or father/daughter dance, or with the energy of an Hora, from time to time! Because that feel-good energy is what fuels my soul.)

So I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m going to be vulnerable, and it might be the hardest thing I do. I always think of the quote "You know that one thing that terrifies you?  DO IT?".  So here I am. I’m going to share what’s going on with me. I’m not going to hold back because that’s what I have been doing the last 33 years, and guess what, holding back doesn’t work! How can I expect my clients to be vulnerable in front of me and in front of a camera If i’m hiding behind a curtain? And if I’m being totally honest here, I have been lost for the past year or so.  Like, I know I’m a photographer, I’m know I’m a blogger, I know I am good at my job, but I’ve been struggling with “what do I want?”.  Even more, some people don’t know everything I do (ahem, example of not opening up)!  Some people know me as a wedding photographer, but do you know that I am the driving force behind the wedding blog, Snippet & Ink?  And, did you know I have been at Snippet & Ink for over four years? Did I just surprise you? (We can talk about what I do at Snippet & Ink later…)

My best friend of 24 years is one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. She recommended I contact one of her clients, a business coach. So I did.  The idea of having a business coach is exciting, but scary all at the same time. She cut straight to the point and asked, "What do you want"? I skirted around the question and couldn’t answer! How can this be? I always know what I want. I always have goals. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the hard work I’ve put in. But the honest truth? I am lost and I’m sick of feeling like I’m flailing in deep water not knowing which direction to go in. I certainly know I don’t want to sink, but how long can you tread water without becoming tired, exhausted and burned out? Sometimes I feel like I've forgotten how to swim, and revert to “doggie paddling” because when in a panic mode it’s easier to go back to old habits. So then I’m stuck in this vicious cycle of dog paddling and treading water…and enough is enough!  

I have been actively blocking the “what do I want” question. Not sure why, but I’m destined to fix it. I’m a true believer in the law of attraction. "You get back what you put into the universe" is the core of that theory. Earlier this year, and for the second time, I started The Secret’s sequel “The Magic”. I did the first lesson which is to write down everything you want in life: in career, marriage, home life, spiritually, and material things. I honestly can tell you it was working! I booked the most amazing weddings this year (high five!) and I was feeling really good. I was writing my daily list of gratitude, goal setting and dreaming (this was in January by the way) and then… I just stopped, just like the first time. It’s like I’m not allowing myself to dream big anymore! Do I not deserve it? Am I not good enough? Why am I sub-consciously sabotaging my dreams? What happened to the girl that decided to move to San Francisco 14 years ago, on a whim, and had no fear? I miss that wild, sassy and fierce woman and I’m on a hunt to find her again. 

So here’s on open invitation. If you’re feeling this, on the verge, or in the thick of it like me, join me!  I plan on sharing what I am doing to get through this cycle and to really find again what it is I am missing in my life and need more of. And, honestly, because this is my very first time writing about something like this, (well I guess other then my fat-shaming post) I’d love to hear from you! And, if you’re in a good place and just want to cheerlead me, thank you! I appreciate you!

P.S. I’m twenty in the pic above— hanging out in Russian Hill where I lived at the time. It was a special time in my life. The girl in that photo was sassy, fun, free-spirited, rebellious, energetic, hated her picture taken, felt “fat”, but had a heart of gold and big dreams! I’m on a mission to find her again!