Self Portrait #35


I am a country girl. I can adapt to almost any surroundings, but country is my favorite. I love the smell of fresh cut hay, sundresses and cowboots, horses, farms, getting dirty, secluded property, watching sunsets from the hood of my car. I will jump in the water waist deep to load a jetski or boat onto a trailer; I walk around barefoot on surfaces I shouldn’t; I would pick a bonfire and guitar playing any night over going out “on the town”. My parents pushed us outside and told us to go play. And we did. We hurt ourselves, we got into trouble, but we had fun and it made us strong. My dad taught me to cut the grass,  drive a fourwheeler and skiidoo at a very young age and makes me fix my own car.

I’m told by so many how strong I am. But I haven’t felt it lately. Until last night. My daughter took this photo. My two girls insisted that they do a photoshoot, and bossed me around. Telling me what pose to do, how to “put my face”, where to put my hands, to “put my hair over one eye”. They were so excited. And then Eve took this photo and squealed and told me to come look at it. She said, “mommy you look so strong”. I stared at her for a minute. Thank god she said strong, and not pretty. Fuck pretty. If there is only one thing I want to teach my girls, it is to be strong. That sometimes they have to walk away from something they though was forever. That sometimes they will have to do something very scary. That sometimes they will feel very alone. But that they will be able to do it because they are strong. So if it takes me walking in a wheat field being bossed around by my girls to finally believe that just maybe I am showing them the the right things, then so be it.

Strength comes in so many stories. From mistakes, and failures, and wrong turns. Let all of that go. You tried your best and it didn’t work. Forgive yourself and try again. The best is yet to come.

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