Like most everyone I know, I would change things about my body. I've gained a decent amount of weight in a short period of time. This combined with now being over 30 has really sent me into a spiral of "who am I?" My body isn't the same, I know so much more now about myself and the world that my soul and mind can't possibly be the same and my heart definitely has more scars and holes than it did before. So for me when I found the Nothing but Light project I wanted to be a part of it without really knowing why.I guess I figured when you can't see a way to move forward, push forward in whatever way you can because that's what you have at the moment. Being naked in all of the ways was something brave I could do without knowing why. I definitely felt self conscious and kept wondering if I was saying the right things or doing the right poses during the session. I somehow make the weirdest faces whenever a camera is present. I appreciated the gentle and sincere way Anastasia spoke with me during the session it helped :) I remember looking at the pictures after with Anastasia and saying, " I look like a child. Like a playful, silly child." We talked about how the Nothing but Light photo process seems to remove layers from people and that there is always an element of your innocence when you take a picture without expectations. I actually saw myself in these photos. Even if it was 3 year old me who I hadn't talked to in forever, I saw myself. It was so nice and still oh-so terrifying.
Since that day, I have continued to play with the question of who I am and what that means exactly. I'm sorting through over 30 years of denial in some places and so much pain in others. I've realized just how sensitive I am to harshness and exclusion. My true self doesn't understand why our world functions how it does. The loud sounds, bright lights, small talk conversations, social media all are just not really my thing. I'd rather be with animals than people and this is how I have been since I was born. I understand better now that who I am is different from other people and still necessary. Every living thing is. We focus so much on how we are separate instead of how we are all a part of the same species and the same planet. My question of "Who am I?" has turned into a bigger question of "Who Are We?"
I don't have my answers, it's probably a life long knowledge quest. I did learn, starting with this project, that I don't have to know the "why" all of the time. Just bearing witness to my own life and the people around me is enough. I'm a big softie which means I have love for everyone I meet, forgive easily, and believe people's words. This isn't a weakness, it's a gift.