Right to be Wrong

I sat one morning, contemplating choices over my vanilla spice latte.  I had struggled through a particular situation for years because I felt strongly that I was called to it, that this particular path I strode in my middle years and every pebble on it was a significant part of the journey that God lay before me the moment I was conceived.  I believe in free will and that God allows us choices, but I also believe I owe Him my best so I continually endeavored to find success with the monumental task I had at hand.  Friends implored me to reevaluate my circumstances as they couldn’t fathom that God would intentionally have me carry on and continue to suffer in such mire.  I, like they, believed He wants His best for me yet I felt strongly compelled, so compelled in fact that on some level I didn’t feel free to choose to turn away from that place.  This self-imposed calling became an obligation and the obligation bordered on obsession.  I felt bound to stay, fight, work, do the ‘right’ thing even as I was wronged in the process.

That led me to wonder… Why is it that we as women, particularly southern women, seem to be born with an innate need to do what’s ‘right’ at any cost – ‘right’ by society, ‘right’ by our families – even at times to our own detriment?  Who decides what is ‘right’?  And is what’s ‘right’ for you, ‘right’ for me?  It’s drummed into us practically from birth that this is what is required of us to be a proper lady, and by that let me be clear that I mean “accepted”, we must always consider others first.  Men don’t seem to suffer from this affliction.  Is it really ‘right’ to always put others before yourself?  The FAA would beg to differ.  Flight Attendants specifically tell you that in case of emergency to put the mask on yourself first so that you can then tend to those around you.  God forbid though that a woman take time for herself and put family, friends, work, etc. on the back burner for a bit.  We’re supposed to be utterly selfless or we’re…  we’re… what?  What are we if we put ourselves first for a change?  A social pariah, a bitch, at the very least selfish, right?  And what happens if we dare cross that social line of proper etiquette?  Will we be sucked off the planet, have our ‘lady card’ revoked, be shunned by society??  Pishaw.

How ‘right’ is it to do what’s expected for the wrong reason?  Shouldn’t we do that which we have a genuine heartfelt compassion for doing, not just what someone else thinks we should?  If it’s in your heart to have dinner waiting on the table for your husband when he gets home from work, then, by all means, do so.  But if you begrudgingly prepare his meal while pondering which poison might be least likely detected in an autopsy, then I’m thinking you should reconsider your efforts.  If we don’t do what’s ‘right’, does that make us ‘wrong’?  I don’t necessarily think so.

But, if we don’t do what’s ‘right’, then what’s left?  What’s left of society’s ideal that we’ve been trained and expected to live up to?  What’s left of our self-image, and hasn’t that been bruised enough?  We might actually have to decide for ourselves what ‘right’ is.  Seems like a simple enough concept.  Yet I think, for me anyway, I allowed the ease of having ‘right’ defined for me guide my path.  We’re ‘supposed’ to do this or that because our culture, society, families dictate it.  My grief should only last so long and then I’m supposed to move on or I’m looked down upon as weak for wallowing in self-pity.  My successes are great, but I’m not supposed to celebrate them and/or myself too much or I’m seen as self-centered or conceited.  I can’t possibly say no to any request or I’m not a good friend because a good friend always says yes.  And God forbid I should stand up for myself lest I be labeled a bitch.  Following those societal constructs is certainly easier than blazing one’s own trail.  But is that ‘right’?

I found my way out of that situation all those years ago and came to the conclusion that maybe what God had in mind when he charted this path for me way back then was for me to find my own ‘right’, even if others think it’s wrong, and whole-heartedly choose it regardless of what other’s think.  As I continue to contemplate my own choices with maybe a little greater insight, I beseech you; determine what’s ‘right’ for you, shake off the fear of being labeled ‘wrong’, hold true to what’s left, and define your own path, because that, my friend, is what’s ‘right’.

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Musings

I was reminded yesterday (thanks, Kate) how much I like to write, and how much I miss it.  My photography is still over at my business site, http://www.msstudios.net, but I thought I would dust off this old site for some of my long forgotten ‘musings’ that have been bouncing around in my head for years longing to find their way into print.

Invisible

I fell in love with him for many reasons, but the one that stands out to me the most was that he saw me when it seemed no one else did.  I was shy, and quiet, and unsure, and uncomfortable in my own skin then.  It was like I didn’t exist until he walked into the room, glanced my way, or spoke to me – even if it was to say something ugly.  When he acknowledged me in some way, in any way, that’s when I would come alive.  He was like the spot of color in a black and white photograph.  When things were right between us, the air was sweeter, food tasted better, and everything just felt ‘more’.  Loving and being loved by him defined who I was.

Don’t get me wrong, I had interests of my own, but I was perfectly content to push them aside to put him first and be at his beck and call.  If my friends or interests bothered him I would simply relegate engaging them to only those times when he was not around.  It was just easier than fighting about it and risk losing him.  The fear of him leaving was far greater than my desire to maintain or obtain anything else.  Little did I know ‘I’ was among the things I was not maintaining.  I’ve heard women say that they lost themselves in a relationship before but the thing about that phrase that I didn’t fully grasp is that not only do you lose who you are at that moment, you risk losing who you might have become.

Like I said, I was more than happy to just take care of him.  It did make me happy.  I didn’t feel like I was losing anything, and I am convinced I would have gone on doing it until the day I died.  Except, obviously, that’s not how things worked out or you wouldn’t be reading this.

I loved him because he saw me when I was invisible… but I’m not invisible anymore.

Ms. T

The first of the 2 part shoot was held on the campus of Lamar University where she is graduating with her RN, see here.  For this session, we rented a fabulous studio in the Heights (Houston), with exposed brick and stunning light, where we cranked up her favorite tunes and had a grand time.  You’re not limited to a particular geographic area with Ms. Studios, being a South Texas Photographer, we are happy to serve a variety of areas and we love to travel!

I asked Taylor, as I do most of my female clients, “what makes you fierce?”  I loved her response, “I’m fierce because I am confident.”  I don’t know about you, but I see her confidence in every one of these images.  Her confidence, her playful side, her softness, and her #FiercelyFeminine side – all rolled into one amazing young woman – came out in this shoot.

I love Taylor’s reason for wanting to do this glamour session because it epitomizes the mission of Ms. Studios, “empowering women through the art of photography.”  She wanted to do this session for HER, she didn’t do it for anyone else, she did it to celebrate HERSELF and her success.  I am honored and delighted that she allowed me to capture this time in her life and to help her tell her story.

If you would like to enjoy a custom Ms. Studios experience for yourself and let us help you tell YOUR story, click here to learn more and see if we’d be a good fit.  Or feel free to call (936-463-5893) or e-mail (tammy@msstudios.net) to speak to me directly.  Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
x’s and oooh’s,
Tammy

 

Remembering daddy at Easter

Easter is a bittersweet time for me.  It’s an important and joyous holiday for all Christians as we celebrate the risen Christ and His victory over death.  Death could not hold Him and it has no power over me either because He paid the price for my sin.  I, and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, have been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.

It is said that, ‘justice’ is getting what you deserve, ‘mercy’ is not getting what you deserve, and ‘grace’ is getting what you don’t deserve.  As a child of God, I have been given the ultimate gift of His holy grace.  Christ was crucified and died to give me, and you, that gift of grace.  There is no greater blessing.

36961_1151037953610_1384408_nChrist is not the only great man that died on Easter weekend.  Unlike Christmas, Easter doesn’t always fall on the same day each year.  I can’t tell you what day Easter fell on in 1998; my memory of that weekend is full of holes.  I have only spotty recollections of moments here and there from that time.  I remember a call from my sister-in-law, I remember singing ‘Torn’ with Tina as she drove me from… from somewhere to the church with a detour around the ‘Y’, and I remember saying goodbye to the greatest man whoever loved me.

While there isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think of him and miss him terribly, I take solace in knowing that my beloved daddy was also a blessed child of God and because of that he was a recipient of that gift of grace as well; death holds no power over him either.  He too lives and I rejoice in knowing that he is with the Father and one day I will see him again.

Ms. K

I love being a photographer, capturing precious memories for people and freezing moments in time, but there is one aspect of photography that I love more than the rest and that is being a Boudoir photographer.

Every woman deserves to feel confident and beautiful but all too often we’re so busy taking care of everyone else that we forget to take care of ourselves.  It’s hard to feel beautiful when you’re exhausted from nursing a sick family, or putting in 60 hours on the job, or BOTH!

I love the dichotomy that women can be both fierce and feminine.  There is nothing more beautiful than a #FiercelyFeminine woman, but when she’s in the middle of fighting her battles she feels battle weary and war worn, anything but beautiful.   I love helping women remember how beautiful they are by making their outside match their inside and allowing them to see themselves the way I see them.  Make no mistake; I am not ‘making’ them beautiful.  These women are already beautiful.  I’m just reminding them that there is beauty in their strength, and that they should carry themselves with the confidence of the #FiercelyFeminine creature that they are.

The stunning, Ms. K was not immune to this conundrum.  She is a wife, mother of four, a supportive friend, and she holds down a day job.  She is, to me, as beautiful as they come. Deep down she knows her strength and beauty aren’t tied to external trappings but her fierceness was waning and she recognized the empowering value in getting it back.  She needed to, as Barney Stinson would say, “suit up” and find that #FiercelyFeminine creature that still resided within.  I think she did!