In my photography course, one of the lessons was how to manipulate photos to create new images and to change the way we see things. For my project, I took some flowers I bought over Easter weekend and played around with arrangements, seperating individual flowers, destroying petals, and flattening the buds to find different views that I don’t normally see when they are sitting in a vase. Below I’m going to share a few of my favorites.
This assignment forced me to look at things deeper than the surface. Together, the flowers are beautiful. I love brightly colored flowers, even though they are dyed that way. Bright colors make me feel happy. In a chaotic world where I don’t always understand my purpose, the little things make all the difference.
Individually, the flowers were beautiful but also flawed. As I deconstructed the setup, petals fell off, colors bled, and the white paper background became stained. When I began pulling the flowers apart and manipulating them, they resisted.
When you force something to become something that it isn’t by nature, it resists or relents. Through this experience and my current reflection of that experience, these flowers taught me a valuable lesson I often overlook in my overwhelming life. When you do what comes naturally, when you are what you were born to be, the struggle is so much easier to bear than when you try to be something you are not.
Many of my own struggles are because I try to be someone I am not. I want to please everyone while leaving myself to the back. I often lose myself in the day-to-day mundane tasks of life with children. Because I am a mother. I am a grandmother. I am a caregiver of an autistic toddler. But I am so much more than that.
I often forget the journey I have been on so far in life. I often forget that I have overcome some of the most difficult hurdles, I have survived things that I shouldn’t have, and I have always gotten back up. I am just a few months away from a double bachelors degree and I have held a 4.0 for four years of college. I was the first in my family to get a college degree in February 2020 when I got my Associate’s.
Lately, I’ve been feeling defeated. I’ve been in an existential spiral of doubt and doom with no end in sight. I wanted to tap out, to be done with everything. But a chance reconnection from my childhood helped me realize I can do this. I can handle this. If she can walk through the fires of Hell that she is enduring in life right now, and still take time to talk me down from the ledge, I can absolutely handle what life has given me.
I only hope she reads this and knows how much her time has meant to me and how much my heart breaks for her and her family.