Buckle up because we’re about to get real and take the road less traveled on this one. To start off on the right foot, totally open and honest…I’ll admit, this isn’t going to be easy for me. As I started jotting down notes for this post, there was a lot of hesitation in each bullet. When is being vulnerable ever easy though, right?
I’m pretty sure we have all met someone who has no problems making friends. They are just so vibrant, charismatic, & they don’t have any issues talking about their flaws and connecting to people. Aren’t they awesome? I always feel an instant warmth when I’m around these people and just totally drawn in.
I’m not one of those people. Now give me a second because I know what you’re thinking, “girl, you look so natural on your FB LIVES. I’d never guess you get nervous talking to people.” I used to hear that all the time and it would totally shock me every single time. Social awkwardness has been my most successful quality since Kindergarten. I remember being in kindergarten and seeing a group of girls all holding hands swinging them together and singing. I ran up to them eager to be part of their cool crowd and grabbed the hand of the girl on the end of the group line and started swinging arms with them. She yanked her hand away from me and they told me I wasn’t allowed to be their friend because I didn’t know my ABC’s.
Y’all I am serious. Those instances never really changed throughout my entire time in grade school. You add in frequent military moves and three different high schools and you’ve got the perfect combo for someone lacking basic social skills.
Another thing that makes me incredibly uncomfortable sharing, is my struggle with depression and intense feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Social Media became my main source of distant and comfortable interaction while also a way of creating a life I liked looking at… I AM a photographer anyhow. All the smiling pictures and artful displays of my family, the clean images of my home and my bathtub…these all made me happy. It hid the other side of me I was ashamed of and I was able to “become” the person I wanted the world to see.
My love for creating beautiful images and transforming women into super models will never die. Let’s not get it twisted lol I LOVE my makeup game. I think it’s so important to celebrate ourselves however we please… with makeup (lots of it or none), fancy clothes, pajamas, a baggy tshirt, or lingerie, or whatever. My problem, though, was that I was teetering on the border of being a complete fraud….filling my social media accounts with only perfectly planned and edited images…which again is fine, y’all know I love a good edit..but not at the cost of ignoring reality completely. I started associating every flaw with shame and the thinking that I’d be tossed into the wind as a weirdo if I didn’t keep on my toes. Soon I started to realize though that this was in fact also…crazy isolating…..and it was literally driving me mad.
Starting to pursue vulnerability…
When I first started to pursue vulnerability…well wait a minute. I say “pursue vulnerability” but let’s call them what they really were.. mental breakdowns lol My path to vulnerability wasn’t exactly a voluntary one.
This is where BOUDIE TALK was born…. in the midst of my business rock bottom exhaustion of constantly trying to be perfect. I needed a space to truly connect with other women on a level past the professional transactions that take place in my boudoir business.
During my sessions, I am still so filled with joy about this, my clients are able to be so open with me and for some reason, trust me at an unguarded level. I hold so many secrets of my clients and I still feel so honored to have their trust. But this made me think “If my studio is such a sacred place of secrets, this is a NEED. We women need more of this. It’s beautiful. How can I bring this feeling of friendship to everyone? How can I build a community where women build each other up and listen to each other JUST like in my sessions?” The idea of a podcast was a fleeting one…but it came back and lingered awhile. I told Chris about the idea and he was immediately on board. (thus, the BOUDIE TALK podcast was born!! * in my best powerpuff girl narrative voice)
Flashback back story: Out of High School I tried joining the Air Force to do broadcast journalism and was actually accepted to the Defense Information School (DINFOS) in Maryland. I went through the entire MEPS military processing and at the end was told I wasn’t joining because of my childhood asthma. …. carrying on…
Anyway, I started to really outline and pinpoint the direction I wanted to take with BOUDIE TALK and as I did, knew it was about to go down. We were about to deep into the jungle of emotions lol Sooooo I began mentally preparing myself. Accepting that I was going to have to shed some layers & shields I’ve been hiding behind in order to really make this something valuable, was and is still terrifying.
However, as I started preparing myself mentally, I immediately noticed some changes. I started to feel intensely aligned with my life, purpose, & path. It began lifting burdens so that I was able to navigate the logic behind my emotions and address what needed to be addressed.
This, so far, has given me a completely different outlook on life so far. I no longer feel trapped or anxious about my circumstances. I feel more in control and aware of my resistance to feeling out of control. My hopes are that my journey into openness can inspire and shed hope to anyone else who may feel stuck or identifies with any of my struggles. If you’re still here through this story, I appreciate you, and I hope you’ll stick around and share this journey with me.