Saturday, January 25, 2014



When I was working as a student midwife, one of the things that was stressed to me the most, taught to me over and over, drilled into my mind was: watch for shock.
The human body goes into shock for all kinds of reasons, but the simplest way to put it is that when it has experienced too much - whether that's too much pain, too much blood loss, too much trauma, or even too much fear - it goes into shock.
One of the most common signs of shock, the thing I always noticed first, is how the woman experiencing it no longer really felt pain.
I attended a birth once where the OB who delivered the baby accidentally pulled the mother's uterus out of her body. I was standing behind him, bringing my client some ice water, when all of a sudden there was a human organ in his hands. 
I can't imagine how painful it would have been for the mother, but from the sudden trauma and blood loss and pain, she instantly went into shock.
So much so that when the nurse stepped in, gloved up to her elbow, and physically shoved the woman's uterus back inside her body, the mother didn't even yelp.
She didn't feel it.
We don't just go into shock physically.
It has a way of happening emotionally too.
When something is too awful. When someone has hurt you too much. When the pain of what is happening is so great, that feeling the full extent of it could literally take out your will to fight, we shut it all down.
We stop feeling the full extent of our injuries so that we can survive them.
We don't realize how badly we're hurt anymore, so that we can remain calm enough to fight.
To keep going.
Shock is a natural response our bodies have that was no doubt designed by our brains to protect us.
The problem though, is that it too can kill you.
Your organs no longer receive the correct amount of blood an oxygen, and without proper treatment, those organs can be permanently damaged, or die altogether.

So what do you do when the shock is emotional?
When you've stopped feeling the pain...but you've also stopped feeling anything good too, and it goes on, left untreated for so long that you eventually forget you went into shock in the first place.
Do you fix it? And how?
Or do you let it go, content in the fact that you may not be happy but at least you don't feel the knife in your back, or the fist in your chest, or the fact that you're slowly bleeding out. 

It's a delicate balance, between letting it go on long enough to survive what's happened to you, but getting to it quickly enough that your heart doesn't die, deprived for too long of what it needed.
And the real bitch of it is, you can't fix it alone.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A letter to my daughter: on being hurt

Someday, my darling, you will be hurt.
You are human, and you are sensitive, and you are mine, so most likely in some way you already have been hurt. Hurt in a way you'll always remember. It's a sad reality. It's hard for me, as your mother, to accept that it's also a sad necessity.
You have to be hurt.
You have to know what the end feels like, to properly appreciate the beginning and the middle.
You have to know what fear of losing something is. Otherwise you'll never know whether or not you've got something to lose.
You have to be lied to, left alone, treated less than your worth, in order learn to use your eyes, listen to your heart, and know when you're being lead on. Know when you're being mistreated. Know what you are worth.

The thing to remember though, is that you have to keep going.
You have to keep your heart tender, and your mind open, in order to ever find the person that will love you the right way.
Being vulnerable is terrifying, once you've been hurt.
You know the risk, you know the odds. 
But really, there is nothing better in the world than allowing another person into your soul and discovering that they were meant to be there. 

Keep sharing your heart, even if it's been broken.

Keep letting people in, even if you've let the wrong ones in before.

Keep loving, even if you've lost everything.

Every relationship can't have a happily ever after.
We all want that.
But really, only one can.
There can only be one forever, and it's going to take a lot of endings to find that.
There will be pain in those goodbyes, and sometimes in many of the moments leading up to it.
But there will be beauty.
There will be sacrifice.
There will be power, and passion, and lessons learned.
There will be memories that are worth no less, even if they all lead up to heartbreak.

You will get hurt.
But I hope you keep trying anyway.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hi There.

I feel like the days go by so quickly now.
Faster now than they ever did when I worked at Walton.
Entire weeks are over before I know it, and I can't seem to figure out where it all goes.
I realized last night that I haven't posted here since the 10th, and before that it had been since the 1st.
I feel like I've been away so long I should introduce myself again or something, for some of you may see a post from me pop up in your blog roll and think "Who the hell is that? When did I start following this person?"
Well, my name is Sarah.
I'm 26.
I'm a full time photographer, I have two kids and two cats, and my relationship status is forever "complicated". I invented it, I think.
I don't like the color orange, red wine, flavorless food, techno music, or the "do you have a boyfriend?" question.
Sometimes I write, mostly I say inappropriate things and call people too much.
I'm sensitive, honest, and emotional.

On Thursday, I did a mentoring session with an aspiring photographer in Phoenix.
At the end of the day we went out to a trail head by her house and practiced shooting. We didn't have a model, so I let her practice on me.
I do not like photos of me, I rarely let people photograph me, it was hard.
But she produced some of the only pictures of me that I've ever liked, and in the end I was happy. It was a good day. 

My hair is a mess, but it always is. I have no make up on, but I hardly ever do.
The light is beautiful, I was happy that day, and this is who I am.
Forever half totally in control and beyond my years, and half complete fucking mess, who doesn't even brush her hair before she leaves the house.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Friday Diary: This ones kind of funny

This week seemed like it lasted for roughly forever.
Both the kids were home from school for Wednesday and Thursday. Both. The. Kids. I had literally JUST gotten them out of my damn house after two long weeks of Christmas break, and within two days, they're all poopy and fevery and "I can't go to schooooool I don't feel goooooood".
I thought this would never happen, but alas, it is Friday. 

My weekend will be a non-stop party as always.
I have a hot date with a Laundry Mountain in the hallway.
I might make a trip to Target.
I have an engagement session Sunday.

You can't even handle how hardcore I am.

Really though, January has been good so far. 
I made a resolution to choose joy, and aside from the last three days that I have been inexplicably and admittedly completely out of control emotional {thanks lady business} I think I've done and ok job of it.
I feel happier.
I've been getting a ton of shit done in my business that I wanted to do this month. I bought a desk, I'm going to Nebraska, things like that.
I've never been a very bright and shiny person. Like my beloved Meredith, I was kind of born dark and twisty. But being happy is better than I thought it would be.

Now, enough of that.
Let's laugh at immature things.

This next one makes me feel bad about me. I laughed, out loud, alone in my room, for a good five minutes.
The barn has a weak constitution. Funny real estate house and home humor.

And this one is quite literally me...


I agree. I need to grow up. 

Happy friday, hustlers.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Resolutions and Choosing Joy

Today is the first day of a new year. 
I am at once hopeful, and maudlin about it at the same time.
But what else would you expect? Where else do you all go when you need a good dose of emotion, than Sarah's poor neglected blog?
2013 was hard.
It was a year of struggle in so many areas, but now looking back, I see the biggest one was relationships.
I am a relationship oriented person.
The connections I share with the people around me are huge to me.
I'm extroverted.
I'm emotional.
I'm sensitive and I need my people.
Am I saying anything you didn't already know?
Struggling so hard with so many personal relationships this year, took a huge toll on me.
Tonight I saw Bill's daughter post something similar on Facebook, and it nearly made me cry. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to say "I get it. Me too. I'm sorry."
I feel like when the bonds between people are tested, it's so scary, because we don't know when the point will come that they break. Will it be a sudden, final snap? Something obvious and definitive that we can look back and point to? That, that right there was when we broke apart, and were never able to heal. Or will it be gradual, slow and inconspicuous, disguising itself as a general tiredness. A nondescript exhaustion, and lack of things to offer one another. Lack of that more to give, that spirit to fight, to try, to do your best. To go the extra mile and give a little more of yourself to a person who has worn you out. A general feeling of "Ugh." when they ask something-even something small-of you, until a point comes when one or both of you just stops.
They stop trying to ask for what they need.
You start pretending you don't notice they need it.
Until they really stop needing you, and you really stop noticing them, and then it's done.
Like I said, it's been a hard year.
I want in so many ways to feel hopeful and excited about the year to come, and in a few ways I do.
I have a business that's moving along and becoming something the kids and I can count on. It's fulfilling and amazing in ways I can't even begin to describe, and still so wonderfully surreal. I have kids that get bigger and cuter and more fun every year. Lainie and I get a little closer as she gets older, which is rare with mothers and daughters, but amazing.
In other ways though, I am sad.
I'm sad that this year was spent in what seemed like a constant struggle to feel happy and close to some of the most important people in my life, and I am genuinely afraid of where that all might end up.

People ask the same question every new years: are you making any resolutions?
I don't have a close relationship with resolutions.
I used to make them when I was a kid because the grown ups did, and I'd scribble them down in my Buggs Bunny journal with a purple crayon, things like "Finally work up the nerve to tell Jordan Beltran I like him" and "Spend more time with the cats" {both things that were clearly intense foreshadowing into my adult self} but the journal would inevitably lay forgotten under the bed, and Jordan Beltran would never know my true feelings. 
I do like the idea of goals, although that's likely a different word for the same thing.
I thought about it for a long time tonight, and the closest thing I could settle on, was this:

choose joy.

Whatever the situation might be, this year, I want to try to choose joy.
This doesn't mean I won't ever be unhappy, or I won't ever feel hurt by the carelessness or dishonesty or cruelty of the people I loved. It doesn't mean that endings won't be sad, or I will never have a hard day.

It means not chasing love, affection, or attention that is not freely given, and being willing to accept the obvious, and move on from those people. Letting the ones who don't call, or show up, or be with you or stay attached to you, go. Knowing when their part in your story is over.
It means that when someone shows you who they really are, regardless of what they say, believe them.
It means not owning someone else's demons, and remembering that their intentionally hurtful or careless actions are their problem, not yours.

It means giving yourself what you need, rather than waiting for anybody else to.

Choose joy.

Happy New Year.