Most of my life I have struggled with answering the question of who I am, where I belong, and what my purpose is. Often my identity was wrapped up in the shame of my anxiety disorder that landed me in a hospital when I was just nine years old, or the overwhelming burden of needing to be perfect so that I would be loved. As I grew older my identity would switch from friend, to dancer, to art student, to the “good” Christian girl that knew how to follow all the rules. I had a picture in my head of what I wanted others to see me as, and that picture was often the exact opposite of what was going on inside.
After marrying my husband, surviving the divorce of my parents as an adult, the birth of our son, and a long struggle as a business owner in the photography world, I am finally learning to love who I am, failures, flaws, and all. It is still a struggle, and will always be, but I now know that God loves me as I am, and those that matter do too.
Where does this leave me, and who will you find as you explore this blog? You will find someone who struggled through most of her childhood with overwhelming anxiety and OCD. Someone who is often awkward, and messy, and can have a very hot temper when she gets mad. Someone who is constantly thinking, questioning, and restructuring the values she was taught while living in the south. Someone who has always known and felt the spirit of God, but has doubts and fears and questions that she wrestles with. Someone who has failed, many times. Someone who is a mom that never really wanted to be, but now finds indescribable joy and fear in the scary, heart wrenching job. Someone who is creative, passionate, empathetic, and far from perfect. Someone who is constantly learning and (sometimes!) willing to admit that she doesn’t have all the answers. Someone who is trying to find home in herself and in the life around her.
As I share with you bits of my story, I hope that you are able to find the beauty in your story as well. I hope that you will maybe not feel so alone in your struggles as I did for years. That you will see that you are loved, and should be loved, where you are at this moment. Welcome, I hope you feel at home here!
Whitney Leigh Carlson