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Should's-Ville- letting go of old identities to make room for authenticity.

Who is the little girl in this picture?

While trying to understand who I am now I decided to look back at where I started. Who is the little girl in these pictures? What did I want out of life before everyone else started putting their expectations on me?

My Daughter is 7 years old and she is starting to not only show the world her personality but she is starting to declare it!. I find myself wanting to filter or censor that sometimes. Not because I actually want to, it’s almost a subconscious reaction. I hear voices from my past popping up in my head and the words are formed before I have even given much thought as to why. This is how it goes. Each generation passes on a little bit of the censorship they were dealt as children and expectation of how we SHOULD be start to form. I want better for my daughter. I want her to be able to just BE all the way through her life and not have to take a detour through “Should- Ville” until she feels so uncomfortable and stifled that she just gives up trying.

The little girl in these photos was ready for anything and loved adventure. Every day was the chance to tell a new story and find the magic in the world. She found joy and love in everything and everyone. She loved a challenge and hearing “No” only fuelled her creativity to find a way around it.

Then one day I woke up and realized I was a citizen of “Should-Ville” and no matter what I did I didn’t feel like myself. I had lost what made me authentically me. I felt duped. I did everything I was told to do and none of it brought me the joy I remembered, the joy I knew I deserved. So I left. I left the comfort of all the “shoulds” and very anxiously started down the path of discovery. I said yes to anything that made me excited again, anything that evoked a voice of “you’d shouldn’t” was a clear indication that I NEEDED to do it. I threw out the old filters of how I saw myself and literally stood in front of the mirror and just stared at myself. I needed to meet myself again and appreciate how much I had changed from that squishy little puddin’ I was so long ago when life was an unwritten book.