before i became who i am, i was my parent’s child.  my story lost in theirs. our story entwined like vines. it was us against the world, always hiding in shadows, always afraid and unsure. never wanting anyone to see us without our masks, never leaving the hotel without our shields.

adopted beliefs left me feeling isolated from life, and myself. adopted struggles and challenges left me feeling beat down and vulnerable.

i began to see inside my own truth by dancing with the shadows. by embracing the vulnerable place. the shadows liked the attention and wanted to come out into the light. i grabbed a notebook and pen and bled. here i show you my hands, callused with memories and insights; my paper stained with blood. i grabbed a camera and i documented. here i show you my pictures, marked with lessons learned from shadows and light.

now, i no longer hide, but i share. i share my story through words and pictures. i jump right in unafraid, even if i am afraid every time i hit post. the mask is gone and the shield is collecting dust in the hotel attic. my insights are not used to judge or criticize, but to honor the human experience. an experience we all share, masked and shielded.

in the break of morning, led by my instrument, i find lights in the shadows–peacefully glowing as they sleep. they came along and made me want to dig deep, feel, release, and share. the hotel door is closed forever, but in this elusive moment, i feel its lessons change me. its mysterious wisdom washes over me and sheds light on my children, invisible but strong.

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