365- Month Six by Amanda Powell

A Short Essay on Growing Up

Funny how when you're a kid, and in my case, obsessed with growing up, you don't realize all the limitations you'll encounter as an adult. The hard choices to make, which decide the priorities of your life. The energy needed to turn existence truly what you want, instead of letting it shape itself. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a kid again.

I did everything I could (within moral reason, I was a total goodie goodie) to accelerate adulthood. At 12, I started thinking about the person I would marry (I mean, really?? Stop you knuckle head, you’re freaking everyone out). I accepted any responsibility with a huge smile on my face. I followed the rules because it would propel me to maturity faster than my counterparts. I hung out on the fringes of adult conversation. If I found myself where the kids were, the environment was annoying, and just not relatable. No thank you. Not the kids squabbling over a barbie or raging against injustices regarding nerf gun bullet distribution. I didn't care about that stuff; it wasn't interesting. I wanted to be with the people who, in my mind, were doing something, discussing issues, solving problems. The adults. 

And also the people in charge to how much cookie dough you could eat, but aaannnyway...

Looking back on childhood, I can understand my perspective. I still don’t relate to some kid behaviors or ideas (which makes parenting a fun learning experience, lemme tell you). But I do wish I had realized just how much freedom there was in childhood. How much I could do as a kid, with no strings attached, that just can’t happen as an adult. (granted there were a few blips in my timeline that required me to be way more grown up that I should have had to be, but that’s a different story)

AND ADULTHOOD:

Adulthood comes with a price, and it’s worth paying for sure. But you will be tired, and all that childhood energy will be lacking a bit. Work will be work. There is no free money. There are tons of ruts to be stuck in and a crazy amount of sacrifice to be made. Passion will ebb and flow, and following it is complete folly because folks, passion isn't and NEVER was a guaranteed constant. Cookie dough, in excess will make you put on weight, or worst case, very sick. There are plenty of people not doing anything in life, except making it hard for others, and sometimes it will be very difficult to get away from those people. Some days will be total wastes, and at times feel like it's not worth any of it. You’ll want to just turn on Netflix, and check out... And then, if you decide or are able to have children, crank all that up to 11, yo.

But I do want to encourage you, if you’ve still stuck around to read this far, that life is so worth all the hard stuff. Childhood had it’s perks, but being grown up absolutely does too. I prefer it. Adulthood doesn’t have to be a death sentence to all you are. Parenthood isn’t that either. All of those things are tough, but there is so much good to be had if we choose it. SO much to be thankful for.  

Perspective is a beautiful gift life continues to give. Negative experiences are opportunities. Screw ups are opportunities. Sacrifices are opportunities. Growing up is an opportunity denied to many, to paraphrase one of my favorite quotes.  What is it you want from life? Do you have what you’ve always wanted, but are you taking it for granted? 

What can we do with all this freedom adulthood affords? How can we grow? What decisions can we make that will result in more resources to pursue the things we truly want? What decisions can we make that will affect us positively, with good long term gains? What things can we be happy with now? More importantly, when will I have the time to make more cookie dough??!?

Oh hey, and also-here's the month of June in pictures! HA!

 

 

 

365- Month Five by Amanda Powell

Summer hit hard in the best way, and I've fallen behind on blogging the 365 project. 

However, it's still happening. I'm particularly proud of this batch, especially some of the shots towards the end. It can be hard to produce images you're proud of, when attention is divided between husband, kids, dog, and keeping the house running. So often, if I get into creating images, I get obsessive. This results in extreme tunnel vision, turning into a major crank when interrupted, and nothing else getting finished until the image is complete. (Not all the snapshot, phone photos of course. Those are just keeping me grounded and grab cute moments I want to remember.)

You can imagine, this is not conducive to a SAHM status. BUT, any struggle is an opportunity for growth. Taking an honest look at how I operate, hoping I can finish the summer out working with it, instead of against it. 

This is the merry month of May:

 

 

365- Month Four by Amanda Powell

April becomes the transition into something better. Something we hope for but can't fully focus in on yet. 

As the sun peeks out behind the clouds we see the hope of new beginnings. This idea that we will get up get out and try again. 

I hurt so much in stagnation. I flow in and out of myself sometimes, because I can't stand the thought of standing still. 

It hasn't always been this way. I used to bask in never changing, and now I crave it. Spring has become a manifestation of this. The desire to continue forward, regardless of where I've come from..

I get so stuck in the past, and long to go back and change a situation, react better to an encounter, have more confidence to say no, or go after my desires. I need to realize my now doesn't have to be my future, my  "wish I would have".. 

Stoping a cycle, truly changing and growing is hard and painful, but possible and rewarding.

Blushing Willows Spring Session by Amanda Powell

IMG_6205.jpg
IMG_6432.jpg
IMG_6130.jpg

Spring has been beautiful, colorful, bright, and just lovely.

Fitting, because these photos feel like all of that. This momma and her girls feel like all of that.

Mothers Day is coming up, and I wish any biological moms, god moms, people who have mothered children, even if they haven't birthed them, a time of being appreciated.

Here's to Mom's who work hard, who pursue their dreams, who sacrifice those dreams, who don't sacrifice, but still find a way to be there for their kids. Who set the example for their children. Who embody the many variations of feminine strength. Not of perfection, but of progress. A massive shout out to those who don't have children, but care for them like they were their own. Who wipe up, clean up, build up, and hold the place together. Who are inconsistent in parenting because they are human, but never in love.  

Have a great week, ladies.

IMG_6237.jpg
IMG_6173.jpg
IMG_6572.jpg
IMG_6557.jpg
IMG_6540.jpg
IMG_6498.jpg
IMG_6162.jpg
IMG_6439.jpg
IMG_6579.jpg

****Thanks for meeting up again, Haley! (see the Fall session here) A spring momma session was in order, and you gals were awesome. Everyone else, check out Blushing Willows Boutique ( @blushingwillows on Instagram), she's got a great business.****

365- Month Three by Amanda Powell

I have a tendency to avoid sharing the negative publicly, even though I strive for authenticity. I don’t think it's dishonest to avoid sharing problems. After all, there IS such a thing as privacy. That being said, the month of March wasn't my best or brightest. This particular batch is colorful, and contrasty, and for the most part happy, but last month felt pretty different.

 The instagram perspective can be skewed in my feed. But the honest truth is, I struggle.

I struggle raising little people well, I struggle being a good partner. I have such a hard time with my own skin. Current events in the world weigh on me, to the point of avoiding news for periods of time. Seeing family and friends in rough situations when I can do nothing to help is a struggle as well. 

Some months it's so easy to be overwhelmed with the negative. It's there, all around us. At times, it's completely unavoidable. But the silver lining I've found is I still have some sort of power, even in the smallest amount, through my perspective. Some things are external, where the only control I have is my own response. Other things are wholly internal (see paragraph above), and truly up to me to grow out of. 

At any rate, it's now April, and man this month has been so much better. Still things to worry about for sure, but the goal is to reign in my perspective.

I hope if you're going through a tough time, things start to look up. Happy Monday all! Have a good week :-)

(PS: March should have 31 images, but I goofed, and now the April post will have 31. May should be back to normal with a proper amount of photos to correspond with no. of days in month. As a Type A, this is seriously a bother-ha! BUT, c'est la Vie.)

 

365 Photo a Day- Month Two by Amanda Powell

Our February was

2 Birthdays, lots of Treats,

Several Archival posts, and a new place for my work on Etsy.

This Month's 28 images:

A Good Time in the Fall (in the Spring) by Amanda Powell

IMG_2826.jpg

Being young is a wild and wonderful ride. It contains constant new experiences, running the full spectrum of emotion. It's messy, it's fun, it's intense, and ultimately rewarding. Hopefully, with guidance and love, childhood is something we look back on with fondness. I have a feeling these kids will.

IMG_2412.jpg
IMG_2450.jpg
IMG_2336.jpg
IMG_2478.jpg
IMG_2549.jpg
IMG_2653.jpg
IMG_2766.jpg
IMG_2439.jpg
IMG_2558.jpg
IMG_2851.jpg
IMG_2332.jpg
IMG_2706.jpg
IMG_2583.jpg
IMG_2314.jpg

365- Month One by Amanda Powell

On the first of January, I started my second 365 project this time on Instagram. The first was derailed 6 years ago by pregnancy symptoms, and since there are no more littles planned for us, I figured 2018 was as good a time as any to hone in on my skillz every day.

So far, it's been a successful one. I've had a few days where I need to pull from my archives, and sometimes I double up if we have a particularly hectic day in the world of parenting and life. Overall, it's encouraged me to keep thinking photographically, especially since I'm not full-time in my photography work.

Here's the January bunch!

Change, Even in the Smallest Form by Amanda Powell

IMG_3591.jpg
IMG_3476.jpg
IMG_3488.jpg

Some years you can feel it. The atmosphere asking, even begging, for a new beginning. This one of those years I think.

Sure. 2015 was the year. 2016 was the year, 2017 was the year...BUT how about 2018 actually being the year for us all. The year we each grasp our desires and do the thing. Where we each take a brutally honest look inward, disassemble what we aren't proud of, and reshape it. Make a new beginning, for real this time. 

Or don't, and choose to be truly content. Because that act is a movement of progress in itself. Honest introspection on what you have, or who you are, coupled with acceptance, can bring about a profound change. Sometimes, "to have what you want, you must want what you have." My husband said that. (<3 him) 

Either choice is difficult, but this resistance can help us grow in ways we wouldn't otherwise. Either choice can mean a rebirth, if that's what you're looking for in the coming months.

My best to you in 2018, whatever you decide :-)

IMG_3557.jpg
IMG_3559.jpg
IMG_3468.jpg
IMG_3582.jpg