The Most Real Post I’ve Ever Published

My first post of 2011.

What should I write.

“The New Year is a time where we take stock of last year’s hurdles, and resolve to move forward” Delete, delete, delete

“2010 was a great year, and I look forward to 2011 having learned…” Delete, delete, delete

Here’s the truth.

2010 was not a good year for me.  I couldn’t wait for it to be over, I’ve never looked forward to a New Year more.

I can’t look back at 2010 without being thankful for everything I learned however.  I reread a few posts from last year, and what struck me most was that I know how I was feeling when I wrote many of those posts, and at times it didn’t match up to what I wrote.  When I wrote to let the happy in, I was struggling to find happiness. Many of the posts felt like pep talks to myself, as I was dealing with struggles, conflicts, and loss (I can’t find the right word).

Having said that, I do wholehearted feel everything I write, but through loss it’s hard to cling to the positive and LIVE it.  Last year I felt loss over many areas of my life…within important relationships and also through the news of my father’s cancer diagnosis.  When I say loss, I mean that I lost a way of life/an outlook that I felt comfortable in.  I have reinvented many areas of my life, but change occurred slowly and on my terms. Life never presented quite so many hurdles as 2010 did.

I don’t mean to be dramatic, but it was a year of high highs and low lows.  I often felt like I was pretending to be happy when in reality there were many points throughout the year where I was far from it. Now, I say “was” because I’m taking big steps towards inner peace and happiness.  I’m making changes and I’m going to stop ignoring those things in life that I need to deal with as they feel intimidating.

One of those areas is my photography.  There is much to do when you are talking photography as a business.  In the past I’ve viewed it as a hobby. I can’t do that anymore.  It has taken me years to call myself a Photographer.  I used to say “I take photos on the side”.  I had a hard time putting value on myself as a photographer, because I was forever comparing my skills to others who have spent years on their craft. I compared my worst to their best.  It strips away the fact that we all grow as we work. We don’t start off great…the greatest things in life are those you work hard at.  It doesn’t come easy, and it’s not supposed to. I need to put value on my time because time is precious…this much I’ve learned over the past year.

I have to also add that 2010 wasn’t all bad.  There was a lot of happiness too and friendships found which grew through acceptance within the year.  And, as a dear friend pointed out to me, there was much laughter which came through the tears.  She also shared with me this quote: “The hardest place I’ve ever stood is the strongest place I’ll ever stand”.

I can’t wear a mask anymore, meaning I am focussed on just being who I am and learning to accept the good with the bad. Positivity doesn’t always come naturally to me, but I need to focus on the positive.  I need to feel pride. There will always be negative in everyone’s life…I know that.  But, last year I admitted to very few that I was struggling and that on many days I lived with a forced smile.  Why did I think I couldn’t be real with those that love me most?  When I finally did share some of my struggles with friends I felt close to, they also shared their struggles with me.  I don’t believe one should share everything with all, but we all have special people in our lives that we can share life’s challenges with.

I’m going to do something completely out of my nature (insert panic attack here).  A few days ago, I published this post. It wasn’t a good day for me, I was dealing with a lot at the time. After I published the post, I accidentally clicked the “photo booth” icon on my Mac (it’s an application that takes your photo from the inner camera on the screen).  Without meaning to, I clicked the red button that takes your photo while I was attempting to close out of the application, and this is what I captured.

It shocked me that I looked so sad but I decided not to delete it as it truly captured how I was feeling at that exact moment…it wasn’t pretty, but it was real.

The whole reason I gained 90 plus pounds over the course of a few years is because I didn’t allow myself to feel that, I used food as comfort.  Now that I no longer use food in that way, I’m forced to feel it, have myself a little pity party and then move on.  I often turn to exercise to get me through the tough times, as there is no better way to deal with pain in a positive way. There is always good that comes out of the bad, but I can’t pretend that life is great all the time, because it’s not.  I will always have choices however, and to get through a year that carried with it a lot of sadness and come out of it with a lot of positive and the desire to live with a zest for life is something that fills me with gratitude.

Make no mistake about it, I will always look for the silver lining. I just need to allow those I love to see my weakness and struggles because that’s how you build authentic relationships.  You let the real in.  There is such freedom when you let go of the control over how other’s may or may not perceive you.  As another dear friend wrote on her status the other day “(she’s) going into this New Year being true to herself. You cannot move forward or build sustainable, worthy relationships of value if you start off on false pretences. She may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but at least you’ll know what kind of tea you’re getting.” Wonderfully put my friend, and you absolutely are my cup of tea.

Life is good to its core, but you have to fight to move forward sometimes.  You have to make choices towards the bigger picture of living a life of pride and happiness.  That is what this new year means to me, so I welcome it with open arms.

From my heart to yours,


12 thoughts on “The Most Real Post I’ve Ever Published

  1. Take the good with the bad and make the bad good!!!! I am glad to here that you are true to your self …… that takes a lot of courage! Thanks for sharing!! Happy New Year and all the best of health, love and happiness!!

  2. Oh how I love you… Our friendship has allowed me to be exactly who I am and has helped me this year to grow into someone I realize that I actually like. Acceptance is hard to come by because so many people hide behind that pretend perfect happiness bubble… Your courage to share your imperfections gives everybody the opportunity to let down their guards and just be “real”… Because of you my dearest friend, I have made some feared steps to become a happier more complete “me”, and accept me for everything I am and everything I am not… You have been a blessing to me in times that I’ve needed it most. In times where I know I can come for kind but honest words… ❤ Thank you for sharing and for being a real person… xoxo

  3. You’re moving forward with dignity, enlightenment and a wonderful sense of purpose. You have an ability to put others at ease, speak to their hearts and voice their hopes, fears, struggles, dreams. Your cup runneth over. Much love to you friend.

  4. Thanks for sharing Chris, you are an inspiration for honest and personal growth. I’m proud of you and am lucky to have you as my sister! Lots of love.

  5. Thank you for this post… I have trouble putting my feelings into words and you have totally summed up this year for me. When midnight came I cried tears of joy that this year was finally at an end! I am hoping that each day of 2011 I can become stronger and put to rest some of the anger and confusion of this past year behind me. Some answers will never come but I hope that more inner peace is waiting around the corner! I too am hoping to smile more this next year. Take care

  6. Dearest Christine,

    Thank you for your authenticity, for your honesty and for allowing yourself to be you. Your insights never cease to amaze me. The last few lines from Our Greatest Fear by Marianne Williamson came to mind as I read your post.

    And as we let our own light shine,
    we unconsciously give other people
    permission to do the same.
    As we are liberated from our own fear,
    Our presence automatically liberates others.

    Thank you for giving me permission to be authentic, honest and very importantly to be me. Thank you for contributing to my liberation.

    You are loved!


  7. Thank you Lisa for your comment! Happy New Year to you too!

    Tawny: I love you girl. I don’t know what I would do without our hours long chats. xoxo Thank you for always supporting me and accepting me…faults and all.

    Thank you Carol my soul sister. I read on your blog about your new direction, it’s perfect for you. So happy that you honoured what you love to do most. xoxo Love you!

    Roxy: Thank you for always supporting me! You are such a blessing in my life with your honesty and wisdom. I love you so much!

    Michelle: I love the quirky, honest, and accepting traits you bring to our friendship. xoxo Much love!

    Sharon: Thank you sis! I love you so much. You have always been a great example to me of love and kindness.

    Sharla: I can’t imagine what you have been going through this year. I wish you peace, love, and happiness in the new year. Remember you are so blessed and loved.

    Ginette: You have taught me so much over the past few years about acceptance, understanding, and true love. I am so thankful to know you and happy to support you. xoxo

  8. This has never been poetically or more honestly written…ever. You’re a constant inspiration for a smile or a laugh or a genious idea that flickers in the corner of your eye. I wish I knew myself – or where I’m headed – even half as much as you do. You’re a special blessing to everyone who knows you…even those who may not “get you”…are better off for knowing you. I certainly know I am 🙂 And, I’ve never even met you. But can’t wait to!

  9. Happy New Years Christine,
    Once again I am drawn to your words and I find bits of me along the way. You are such an amazing woman and I have found such strengh in your words. Over the the last few years my life has under gone many life changes, kids growing up, graduating, grandbabies and such. Some of those changes I have met with grace & dignity while others have left me standing in my pantry looking to see what I could eat next….
    thru your inspiration I have begun to open up & step out side my comfort zones in many areas. I have started to take courses in photography, begun to really confide in few close friends and actually let them in..and see the “real” me no more fake masks in hoping that “everyone will like me” I have learned that not everyone will like you no matter what..and that is ok and it doesnt make me this horrible person that I thought I was…I am going to try real hard to make 2011 a real year of change for me I want to be positive and think positvely…especially even when my youngest child walks across the stage at his high school graduation and all i want to do is cry and lock him in the basement..I will see that this is the way life is to be & its time for him to go now and see the world and what all it is about…..
    so again thanks Christine I think your so awesome please dont ever stop writing…and when your ever back in Vermilion let me know as I would love to “awkward” hug you (haha) thanks again for being you…

  10. You have an incredible way of putting your emotions into words. You are amazing and your friends are lucky to have someone as honest and passionate as you are.
    Even with your “mask” on we could all benefit from taking your lead and being more honest with ourselves and our relationships to build as many authentic friendships as possible.
    Reading your posts has pushed me to try be more expressive in my own posting. I feel it, but struggle to relay those feelings into type. Even in your down days you still inspire people. I think that is so rare and very impressive.
    I hope 2011 is a much better year with less dramatic highs and lows for you. I would like to put in a request to see this awkward shoulder shrugging hug in person. 🙂

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