Sometimes age hits you like a sock full of quarters. You wake up and you wonder, "How ever in the world did I get to be this age?" "Where did the other years go?" "Did I sleep through them?" And if you thought time going by too swiftly came flying at you at an uncomfortable pace then life and what she has planned is gonna feel like a freight train. Michelle has experienced an incredible amount of life. She's lost loved ones, raised children, been divorced, changed careers, cared for the terminally ill, mourned the loss of friends, cried with their families, and is now a grandmother. When I talked with Michelle before her photoshoot she talked at length about her children and her grand baby. She talked about watching them grown and being with them when times were hard and beautiful. She talked about starting over. Not just in relationships but in your path in life. "You are never too old to start something new," Michelle said. "And I have lived that! Once I turned 45, I said take me as I am. This is who I'm going to be."
Michelle told me about her struggle with weight and self- confidence. In her portraits she wanted to be seen as calm and confidant. She wanted to embrace herself as she was now. And during her photoshoot, we focused all on her. We celebrated her laughter, her smile, her stories, her life: all the incredible things that make her beautiful.
"I look like my mother there," she whispered as she looked at one of her portraits. Isn't that incredible? To be able to see not just your own legacy in a picture, but the beauty and legacy of those who came before you.
I asked Michelle what she would tell you, the reader, the mom or grandmother or sister or wife who always takes the pictures but is never in them. I asked Michelle what she would tell you about this experience: "Just do it! Have this experience," she said. "This is something you will always remember. I feel like this has been a once in a lifetime opportunity. And it doesn't matter how you see yourself. The way you see yourself after will be different. This made me feel amazing and see myself as beautiful."
Sometimes life does hit like a freight train. It come barreling at you and you don't have time to think or move before BOOM some unforeseen event happens. But maybe that's the lesson. We're not supposed to move out of the way. We're not supposed to stop every change from happening. We're supposed to jump on board. Sure, it's gonna be uncomfortable but change always is. Freight trains may be fast and almost hit you out of nowhere, but goodness, they'll take you to some beautiful places you would have never been had you not gotten pulled along for the ride.
Enjoy this video of Michelle's photoshoot. I hope you can clearly see her beauty and her goodness. That is all I see every time I am with her.
Very special thanks to The Purple Iris for such stunning gown rentals and also to Amanda at Vitality for being the phenomenal hair stylist and makeup artist for Michelle.
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