I've debated with myself over and over about sharing this post along with these photos but ultimately decided (like many of my struggles over the last couple of years) that sharing was the way to go in case there are other women out there going through similar that need to feel less alone.
As many of you know, I have had a rocky couple of years. 2018 to 2021 brought me extremely high highs and very very low lows. Married in late 2018, buying a home in June 2019, winning 2nd place in the Viva East pinup pageant in July 2019, getting pregnant in August 2019, losing my baby in October 2019, and then struggling to keep my marriage from falling apart from fall 2019 to January 2021, ending with me moving into my own place (and losing the house I had made my own) in February 2021. Needless to say, it has not been easy. But here I am, at the end of it all, feeling as though maybe MAYBE there is a light at the end of this long dark tunnel and it's slowly growing brighter and bigger with every passing day.
Also needless to say is that after all of that, I have felt very unlike myself. Ever since my miscarriage, I have felt like a shell of a person. I did not expect that to happen. I always thought if I ever miscarried, I'd be the kind to bounce back and try again. I knew miscarriage was possible with any pregnancy and knew it happened, but I don't think I really honestly believed or understood that it could - and would - happen to ME.
I just assumed my pregnancy would be perfectly fine and when my doctor told me there would be no heartbeat to hear and that I had to decide how I'd ultimately lose my baby, it hit me like a speeding train. I was floored. And even though I healed physically and picked myself up off the floor (some days, literally), I struggled throughout what would have been (and should have been) the length of my pregnancy. Up until my due date (April 21), I managed - but just barely. My work went downhill and my marriage began to crumble (though this was not because of the miscarriage and there were warning signs even during my pregnancy that things were NOT going well, looking back).
I hung on desperately for over a year, trying everything I could think of to salvage my life but everything just crumbled through my fingers the harder I tried to hang onto it all. And suddenly, I was losing it all. After getting laid off in August, I finally got my new job in January and decided it was time to be free. And so I said goodbye to nearly everything (my partner, my house, and the life I was promised) and started completely over. I began trying to feel more like me but didn't have a CLUE who that person even was after all was said and done.
Was I even the same as I was before the nightmare of the last couple of years? Absolutely not, as it turns out. I saw an ad on Instagram for All Things Boudoir, calling for brand ambassadors, and entered, thinking it would be a great way to reclaim my womanhood and feel empowered again. It had been so long since I had felt sexy or desired. I shared my story and forgot about it.
Then I got an email saying I had received the ambassadorship and scheduled my free session for a month later (by the way, get a free session on me here). I thoroughly enjoyed my shoot and the experience. My photographer, Kat, was amazing and we clicked so well. It felt incredible to be in front of the camera and shockingly, I didn't feel shy at all. I felt like a rockstar, like a sexy woman again. And I think the photos show that.
I particularly love the shots that highlight my tattoos. I got the hummingbird after my miscarriage (the daisy it holds is the flower for April) and my upper thigh tattoo (that says c'est la vie) was done the week after my ex and I decided to end our marriage once and for all. Having them in these photos is very symbolic and healing to me.
Not everyone going through a transformation has to have a sexy boudoir photoshoot by any means but I definitely think women need to find ways to feel like themselves again after going through trauma. We lose our sexuality and womanhood so easily when shitty things happen to us and, if not careful, it hibernates for far too long. It has been freeing and empowering to feel like a sexual being again and I have been introduced to a new version of me that I never met before.
The light is growing at the end of this tunnel...and I am moving toward it without fear.