An unexpected package in a happy-yellow envelope, arrived in the mail. A quick inspection of the label showed that my mother had been thinking of me. I tore into the package and discovered a wall hanging that read “In a world where you can be anything…Be Yourself.” Those words stopped me dead in my tracks and have been resonating in my soul. Be yourself.

It’s a theme that has been on my mind for weeks. I’ve been reading blogs and studying photographers and the advice that each of them seem to share is exactly that- be yourself. Develop your own style. Be true to who you are…

I agree with my whole heart. But then begs the question, and the answer is slower to follow, “who am I? What is my story?”

Sure part of the answer is obvious and putting it to paper is relatively easy, Cliff Notes of sorts. I am a thirty-something wife and mother of four. I go to church, pay the bills, and eat ice cream more than I should. It’s also possible that I’m on the edge (or in the middle of) a midlife crisis. (I may or may not have the haircut to prove that point.) But that is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s given me reason to look inside myself, to question my reflection. “Who am I?” Or maybe more importantly, “who do I want to be?”

I am a photographer. I have the blog site to prove it! It’s missing a crucial element. The “about me” page. Why is that the hardest part to write?

For so long I’ve let fear keep me from dreaming. There’s the fear of failure, of course. There is also fear in success. Could I maintain a balance, follow my dreams of being a photographer and still be a good mom?

I realize the time is going to pass. The children are going to grow. Whether or not I am doing what I love. And at the end of this story I don’t want to flip back through the pages and miss the part about following my dreams. How will I teach my children that they can be anything, how will I teach them to be themselves if I am not?

After my hair appointment (see paragraph 4) I had a few minutes to spare. I ran into one of my favorite little funky shops downtown. A greeting card practically flew off the shelf at me. It read “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” And that was exactly the reminder that I needed.

I am the author of my story.

I am a thirty-something wife and mother of four. That inspires me. But I am also a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover of good books. I am a singer, if only in the shower. I am a writer, perhaps not a gifted one. I love the sound of well-placed adjectives and acoustic guitar.

I am the author of my story. I am a photographer. I’m inspired by the stories of others. Those stories are what I try to capture with my lens. So I will create. Life. Art. Myself.

*Thank you all for your sweet comments. I know there is a time and season for all things, but there’s no reason to not be living your dreams every day. Even if it is a smaller scale version of your dream. Know what I mean?