Hilary Spencer Creative Photography » Creative photographer specializing in weddings, engagements, and family photography. I'd like to make you smile.

A Hard Truth

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“Behave well at the end of love.” – Katherine Woodward Thomas

I’m sitting here, a warm, snoozing dog drooling on my leg, and I’m trying to find the words I’ve been swallowing for almost 6 months. I’ve been spending a lot of time waffling (and not the good kind, with rivers of maple syrup) about how on earth to write about this. I’ve started so many posts and so many point form lists both literally and in my head, trying to navigate my feelings and outlook, most importantly on how to approach a topic that is.. uncomfortable. I’ve been feeling so stuck, so dampened by this “secret” I’ve been withholding from writing about, that I really do just need to get it out there. Rip that bandaid.

I’m going through a divorce.

Phew! Well that was the hard part, right? Just put it right out there. Called it what it is. Honestly, I don’t like saying I’m “going through it”.. as if it were an illness I’m currently suffering from… but it does give a timeline to hold on to, in that at some point, I will be past the active “divorcing” stage and into a remission of sorts where logistically that process is behind me. Until then, the wine flows, and the days go on.

When life decides to go in a different direction than planned, you have only two options: resist, or give in. I’ve spent days on the up, and days so very much down. I’ve spent days unable to think of the future and days where the future is so open and embracing it gives me goosebumps. I do want everyone to know that while it’s hard to understand, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s happening, and I just ask for respect while things feel a little disjointed. It’s been many months of moving forward and gaining strength, and I’m just so relieved to be able to acknowledge this chapter of my life.

As a writer/creator/creative individual, I strive to deliver authenticity in every medium I put out into the universe. I’ve been feeling very stuck in my writing lately, as you can see with my stalled posts about Portland – I want to completely envelope myself in my writing about such a life changing trip (which you can now understand came at the best time in my life possible), but I’ve been feeling like I can’t give myself 100% to my story without having the elephant in the corner called out for what it is.

I really do feel like I’ve been hiding this shameful secret, feeling fraudulent somehow; working through feelings of embarrassment (hello – we just got married! What the heck!) as well as hurt, confusion, and glimpses of excitement for what’s to come. I’ve had moments where I’ve wanted to shout it from rooftops and moments where I’ve wanted to dig a hole in the sand and set up shop. I’ve battled the ethical conundrum of whether to post such personal details on social media, but it all comes down to this: If I can connect with just one person, one individual who has been through, or is going through, or will go through what I’ve been dealing with lately, it’s worth it. If I can give just one person some validation in what they are feeling, I will continue to write from the heart and speak my truth.

You see, I’ve really connected with the fact lately that I am a storyteller. I am a creator, a winding of words and images to create life and create narrative. I have been put on this planet to talk – and man, I can talk. But it’s what I’m here to do. I always feel the most aligned when I am working with people, connecting with people. Storytelling, in whichever form I choose that day, has always given me the most satisfaction and ultimate fulfillment, and by hiding a part of myself (be it because of shame, embarrassment, fear, what have you) I’ve been unable to fulfill nor satisfy the part of myself that I truly need to honour to be happy. That’s all this comes down to – I am pursuing happiness. And in order to do so, I need to acknowledge… and let go.

I’ve been asked how on earth I can continue to shoot weddings when they are such a suspected trigger, such an immensely emotional connection to my recent past. All I have to say is this: I still believe in love. I still believe in happiness. I walk into every wedding day with exceptional optimism; just because my path has changed, it doesn’t mean the path doesn’t still go on. I am an audience to great love every day, and it keeps my values strong and my head on straight. My work brings me strength. I’m so thankful to each bride and groom who have placed their trust in me; that is how I continue, and that is how I push forward.

J.K. Rowling started her career from what she considers “ultimate failure”. This ultimate failure, for her, began with the falling apart of her marriage. I believe that things happen for a reason. The next chapter of my life will bring challenges and changes that are meant to shake my world and warm my heart. I am a firm believer in kindness prevailing and love conquering all. Thank you to everyone who has provided support to both sides over the last chapter of our lives; to our families who have dropped everything to be at our sides, our friends who have given shoulders and warm hugs and beautiful distractions. I’d like to raise a glass to the future, to family, and to love. I promise, with a bit of help from a scraggly floof, I’m over here smiling.

Photo by Lindsie Grey

 

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