It has happened to almost everyone at some time in their life.
The death of a relationship...
In my own experience, I was left with this giant hole in my soul. I felt dead inside. Or so I thought at the time. I was left with all these questions. How could this happen? Why did I fail? Who am I now? What do I do? Where do I go?
That shit sucked! However, I am so glad it happened. Being forced to figure shit out suddenly on your own forces you to grow so much. The self realization that you go though during this time, finding out where all of your shortcomings are and where your strengths lay, forces you to make the rights steps in order to move forward and start over. Turning over that new leaf is scary and exciting all at the same time.
I know for me, I get really mad and focused in times like these. I end up just saying to myself,
"FUCK THIS...I CONTROL HOW I FEEL! I WILL NOT FEEL LIKE SHIT EVERYDAY JUST BECAUSE THIS PERSON JUST WRECKED MY VISOIN OF WHAT OUR LIFE TOGETHER WOULD BE! THAT PERSON CAN NOW KISS MY ASS, BECAUSE I'M GOING TO MAKE AN EVEN BETTER LIFE WITHOUT THEM!"
It's that anger that focuses me to think.
"I'M GONNA HIT THE GYM...I'M GONNA START EATING HEALTHY...I'M GONNA DO THAT THING I ALWAYS WANTED TO DO BUT COULDN'T BECAUSE OF THAT PERSON...I'M GOING TO CRUSH THEIR SHITTY EXPECTATION OF WHO THEY THOUGHT I WOULD BE!"
Eventually, I will be so far ahead of them I can't even see them in my rear view mirror!
I suppose the death of a relationship is just the same as a forest fire burning down a forest. After the fire has gone, all of the undergrowth gets to shine through and replace the old with new!
Recently, I was blessed to be able to photograph this amazing woman that is in the midst of killing off the old growth and is now starting fresh with new growth. Not only is she dealing with the emotions of calling off her engagement but also has to figure out where she goes from here. How to start over after moving to a small town, building up her reoccurring clientele at work, and starting to build a life for her future.
Luckily for me, I reached out to her months prior regarding a boudoir photoshoot. We had already started some dialogue, which is what laid down the trust to talk to me about what she was now going through RIGHT WHEN WE WERE BOOKED TO SHOOT!!! Yup, that's right. Her situation fell apart a couple days before she was booked to shoot with me.... From previous experience, I was sure she would back out.
As emotionally beat up as she was, she didn't back out (Thank God!). She showed up like a trooper, informing me that she had done her makeup, ugly cried it all off and then had to redo it again...and again. #trooper
Our photoshoot was amazing. It was one of my favourite shoots I've done. Getting her to laugh at herself (and of course at me) and seeing her slowly forget for brief moments what her reality really was, was so cool! I think why I liked this shoot so much was just knowing how emotionally tender she was, but was willing to put on a brave face and try something she was scared to do.
Like every shoot, the first little bit is kind of clunky but eventually moves into a really fun flow state. The model starts to get more and more comfortable, confidence slowly builds until the model lets down their guard and allows themself to be vulnerable.
She had this energy about her that was just so infectious! So goofy and care free. This is what I feel like I connect with.
I am excited for her in her journey to rediscovering herself! Finding out what road she wants to go down, which turns she will take. Focusing on the positive in her situation and making the best of what's in front of her is so cool to watch! I couldn't be more happy for her, and I'm so glad to now be able to call her a friend too!
I know for me this experience of the death of a relationship taught me so much. It taught me to stand up tall with your shoulders back. Stand firm on your beliefs, on who you are and where you are going with your life. To take responsibility of yourself. Own up to when you are wrong and to be strong enough to then fix your mistakes. It's so much easier to blame others, or to look the other way on things where you shouldn't. Having the mental fortitude to face adversity, to adapt and overcome are the moments in your life where you will grow the most.
This woman has reminded me that in this short short life we have, there is no reason at all to waste any time with people that don't better you somehow. People that drag you down and never lift you up should be dropped like a hat. How can someone fully realize their true potential when they are bogged down by dead weight?
There is that old saying 'surround yourself with greatness and you will be great", I couldn't agree more.