"This is not about pleasing others," Kelly told me. "I want pictures that show where I am after years of self discovery and taking my power back."
Because I'm a photographer for the women who come to see me (not their boyfriends, not their husbands or partners, not their kids, clients, or boss) I care only about how they want to be seen . . . and quite frankly, I could care less about what others think of you.
I care about what you think of you. And Kelly was clear and vocal about this experience being just for her so she could see how far she has come.
"Twenty years ago my spirit was broken. Now I feel like tempered steel. I know who I am. I know what I stand for," Kelly told me as she shared her story. "Crisis isn't the end. It's just the beginning of coming back to yourself."
I watched Kelly talk and found myself full of deep admiration. Here was a woman with a painful past yet has chosen to live a life so full and so detailed and loving that it's hard to ever imagine her once being full of pain.
There is no trace of that pain, at least not that I could see.
There was no fearful living, no waiting later on down the road to live . . .
"I'm not a victim, I'm a survivor. And no one can take that away from me," Kelly told me.
Kelly lives a life full of vibrancy and action.
She's been in the medical/nursing world for over 20 years, a health and yoga practitioner, run campaigns, traveled the world, been on hospital, town, and city boards, been married, and is the mother of two beautiful children . . . and really, this isn't even a drop in the bucket as to the life this woman is living.
Kelly does not live her life for others. Yes, she loves people and she loves her family. She shows up and she is a constant force for good. But Kelly seems to have discovered this magical mix of authentic living and self preservation that allows her to help others and hold deep relationships without losing herself.
I think Kelly lives her life like how she practices yoga. Kelly said to me, "Yoga isn't always a pretty practice. Sometimes it's grizzled and messy. I want to reflect on that and that can be inspiring . . . it might be beautiful but it is rarely ever polished."
Life rarely is polished and properly in place. It can be grizzled and messy.
But the way we live truly can be inspiring.
And that can make life a uniquely beautiful place.
Cheers to Kelly who's story is inspiring and who's soul radiates beauty.
If you have tips or concerns about human trafficking happening in your area call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-373-7888. NHTRC is a national, toll-free hotline, with specialists available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. #OUR#SaveOurChildren