“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”
“Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.”
The first person in my passion project is a dear friend of mine. A person I cannot imagine not having in my life. She sent me her story a few days ago and I know she was an emotional mess typing it. I was an emotional mess reading it.
Below is Jessica’s story in her own words.
//For our shoot, I really wanted to capture her the way I see her. I think her and I were both hippies in a past lifetime. So naturally, I wanted to do an outdoor woodsy location. There are some images that are more serious where you can sense the walls that she has put up around herself, which hides the authentic Jess. There are also images where I tore through those walls and you can see the beautiful person this girl really is. It’s almost like you can see into her soul, you can feel her sadness, but you can also feel her joy. One more thing you can feel in these images is her new found confidence, her new found fearlessness.
One of the things I love most about her appearance is her so called “squishy face”. It shows life, it shows emotion, it shows joy. It makes her, her.
I really believe that people are brought into your life for a reason. And I really think that her and I were put into each other’s lives to help one another. The way we initially met is completely random and in a way odd (I found her on roommates.com). If I wouldn’t have found her, I would have had one less really supportive friend. I also would have never met Michael (he ended up living 1 block from us in the city) and I wouldn’t be where I am today had I never met her. When you put that into perspective, you start realizing just how important the people in your life are and how they have a purpose in your life.
My dear friend has come so far. She went from being head over heels in love, planning for the future with him, to finding out he is a completely different person entirely. Not at all the person she knew for years. Can you imagine? My heart broke for her. After this time in her life, I started to notice the walls that surrounded her, walls that she put up. I’m not sure if she is aware that these walls exist, but they do. Maybe they were put there from that time in school and I just didn’t notice them before or maybe they were put up after *Joe*. However, in the last year I am slowly starting to see these walls come down. And honestly, it’s the most amazing thing. I’m starting to see vulnerable parts of her that I never saw. I do believe that once you can accept your own vulnerability and show that to others, you are living a wholehearted life. Vulnerability can be seen as a weakness for some, but I think it’s an amazing feeling that allows you to truly be the authentic person you were designed to be. When we try to forget about our pain, our anger, and our sadness we are also forgetting about the joy and happiness we could have in our lives. By letting go of those emotions or facing them, you are freeing yourself from that pain, anger, and sadness. Sure it will take time for one to heal. But like the quote at the beginning of this post said, you must keep stepping.
Please share her story and show some love because not many people know her story. I also think there are so many more women out there in the same position, not sure which direction to take. This could help them.
She is incredibly brave for sharing.
I would like to give a special thank you to our friends at Papertini for donating the floral crown for this shoot. It was perfect and I greatly appreciate your support! <3
Location: Green Lane Park
Dress: Free People
Floral Crown: Papertini
Film// mamiya 645 Kodak Porta 400
Melissa… You have said so many wonderful things about my daughter that I have always known. She didn’t share everything she wrote with us for a very long time…some of it not until today and I am thankful to you for being her friend and letting her be part of your project. My hope/dream for her is that she realizes what a beautiful, kind, amazing woman she is and that she always continues to DREAM.
Absolutely beautiful inside & out!! Thanks for sharing your story Jessica! xoxoxo
The people in our lives and the circumstances we have known, do not define who we are. Only we can do that. Jessica, when you begin to see yourself as the beautiful, worthy person that we all see, you will be at peace in your life and the world will embrace you for who you are.
WOW I would never have guessed – you are beautiful inside and out Jess
lovely story. jess is a beautiful person, inside and out. true inspiration. bravery at its best.
Such a beautiful young woman! Don’t ever feel bad about someone else’s stupid comments. I think they may have been jealous of your beauty all along.
Beautiful. All of it.
Amazing. Thank you both so much for sharing!
This is an amazing story of bravery. My story would be similar as I didn’t complete high school because of the cruelty of my peers. This story has brought back a lot of those “not so good memories” and I have been talking about it since I read this story. As a matter of fact, I just shared my story with my friend of 30 years and she couldn’t believe it. As a result, it has made me a kind and considerate adult not wanting to leave anyone out and making new friends all the time. I know how hurtful it feels being “picked on” and no one should have to carry those feelings alone. Thank you for sharing this story and I will pass it along to those in need. PS, I did complete my high school education as an adult and enjoyed it immensely.
Hugs and Kisses,
Thank you for sharing. I have a 19 year old daughter with whom I shared your story. I know she will benefit greatly (as did I) from reading it and knowing that everyone is shaped by their life experiences and it is how we allow them to affect us that marks the difference. Your grace and courage in sharing your own life experiences helps illustrate to us all how we do not need to keep the walls up forever. No doubt, they are necessary at the time but they are meant to be temporary, but it takes hard work and courage to break them down and clear the way for new experiences. Congratulations to you in moving past the negative and opening yourself up to what life brings and being such a great role model for others. And, so as not to forget, you also rock these photos!
I am forever awe-inspired by the courage of these posts. Melissa – thank you for turning a passion into a project, darkness into light, and for sharing these stories. I look forward to reading, sharing, and RE-reading future posts. Just awesome!