Printing in our basement, working full time as a freelance graphic designer, mother of two beautiful and busy little girls, 4 and 7 with huge aspirations of building a thriving textile business. This was me, 10 years ago, 2011. (Maslen my amazing beautiful husband is missing in these pics but he was knee deep building me tables, printing at night with me while I mixed ink...most weekends and late into the night for the first 5 years..and continues to be my biggest confidant...all while working his full time at his "real job").
I remember the day so vividly, Winky Lewis, came over to photograph our world. I don't remember exactly the reason I was so blessed to have her come and document this exact moment. I am forever grateful for the moments she captured here...so many personal favorites.
I am here now looking at these images...with still so far to go, this journey never ending... I see a young woman managing motherhood best she could, messy, complicated, but always full of HOPE, optimism and a full heart. I was and still in hope. In hope to continue and hope that my love filled these girls up then and now! I reflect on working long hours through all the obstacles and all the hard days in the studio. The uncertain orders coming in, paying rent and the mortgage, working non stop. It all didn't matter because I was doing what I was meant to do. But these girls were my grounding rod. My babies always kept me grounded and on track. I wanted to be home, I wanted to be the best mom I could. I wanted to show them "it" was possible. What ever "it" meant.
Looking back at these images means everything to me. Documenting a time where things were so uncertain. Motherhood is about juggling you, your dreams and the little dreams of your babies. Embracing the imperfect and burned dinners, running behind...oh how I was always running late! I became famous for it which is definitely something I have worked on...oh the stories about time management! Not sleeping, staying up all night for a design project, working all day being a mom and more freelance...more coffee and passion and then waking up the next day and doing it all over it again. But I was happy....and worried and scared I wasn't going to make it, pretty much everyday. But finally at some point I can't tell you exactly when, I believe it was sometime in 2017 I decided I had enough and fear was not going to control me anymore...and that day that moment is when my life turned around and things starting opening up and things started happening for me. I didn't have to try so dam hard..because I stopped the voices in my head and I allowed the positive light to fill it as soon as I thought it. It was my magic, my secret weapon. And it worked.
Doing my own thing was never NOT an option for me. I honestly could not imagine my life going any other way and I HAD to do it..I had to figure it out. I was afraid most of the time and never ever thought about quitting. It just wasn't an option, still isn't. I think we give ourselves an "OUT" a lot of the time. Make excuses...because it is just easier sometimes to just stop, because we get tired! But I did both for a very long time, worked as a graphic designer, paid all my bills that way and just kept at it doing my textiles on the side. But I am here to tell you, do not stop, do not let yourself get tired. Find the glimmer. Find the hope somewhere inside you. Get quiet.
So many days I would lock myself in the bathroom and soak in the tub and strategize my way out of every sticky messy complicated situation. Somehow God / the Universe kicked in when I desperately needed a reality check, a push, a nudge to keep going. I would write in my journal for hours trying to figure it all out. And I always did, somehow...
This is what it looks like, this is what it felt like. I am here 10 years later with so much to share about this process...and forever to go honestly. But today looking at these images I pause. I breath and I feel so much happiness that I did keep going...that I found that something, found that glimmer.
As the girls now are so grown up, 17, 13, but not too too grown up...I am here...and I keep them in it, I drive them crazy...I try to hard to continue to show them this process...all that I am learning...I try! I hope that I am showing them anything is possible! I had nothing but hope...and a wonderful husband, a man of few words but who would give me his eyes, and I knew I could go on. AND oh my how things don't always go as planned or as easy as you hope them to be. But this is LIFE and we get to decide everyday how we live it, WE do...we do, we do... And trust me, it is never perfect and not always pretty. But it is raw, and it is real, and as long as you love everything and everyone with all the parts your capable of loving, it all works out...xo e
Thank you so much for sharing this, Erin. I feel EXACTLY all of this (my daughters are 8 and 11). I’m grateful for your example. ♥️