shot on 4x5 film

     My Mom found out she was pregnant with me on Valentines Day, so, I guess you could say my story began with love. Somewhere along the way, I learned to love others whole-heartedly, but forgot how to love myself. I, instead, learned how to attack myself for everything in my life that I feel I cannot control. For the past three years, I have been on a path to acceptance. After a life-changing event, I was put in a place of having to look myself in the eyes and decide to live. My life depended on me learning to accept myself for all that came with having severe mental health disorders. The next step on my path to acceptance is learning to live with my less-than-perfect reproductive organs. From a young age, I learned that I have the potential of not being able to have children. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted kids and because of that, this information was painful to hear. Every doctors visit brings on a new prediction for the future of my womb. Every ultrasound brings on new forms of anxiety. Every new birth control fucks with my mind and my body. Every pair of latex gloves gives me PTSD. The worst part of it all, is the unknown. I am not someone who is good at being out of control by any stretch of the imagination. I hate that this is something in my life I cannot control, but it something I am learning to be “okay” with. 

     A Love Letter to Myself is a project focusing on the idea of losing control and accepting everything that has come with my reproductive issues - and everything still to come. Each photo focuses on a different, painful idea that comes with the possibility of never having the children I have always wanted. I chose to photograph the subjects of my work in a way that gets up close and personal, whether it be a photo of myself or of an object that represents my situation. In the process of creating this work and being intimate with myself, I am learning how to not only live with this possibility, but to accept the body in which I have been given. My body isn't and never will be perfect. My body is covered in bumps and bruises and uncountable scars and she may not have what it takes to bare a child. Each of these photographs are based on my journey of learning to lose control and loving myself as my Mom did on Valentines Day of 1998. As Reinhold Niebuhr once said, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”