After the twins died, everything in the world just literally became gray. It was all I could see. I’d wake up in the morning, my face puffy from the tears that had dried on my cheeks the night before. I’d drag myself into my closet and pull something out that felt like I felt. Something gray. Something brown. Something stained, ripped, dirty, overwashed and ill-fitting. I really didn’t care. I’d walk from the bus station to my office, sometimes crying the whole way. Not caring that people were looking at me strangely. “If they had two dead babies, they’d be crying too” I said to myself.
I’d get to the office and do my work, feeling like shit, looking like shit. I wasn’t worried what my coworkers thought of my appearance. That just never occurred to me to matter.
Then, one day, my boss unexpectedly called me into a sales meeting. The women who sat at the table looked polished and fresh in the bright display lights of our showroom. I stood before them, completely mortified. I remember clearly what I was wearing that day. Jeans that were unwashed and way too big, saggy on my tush with an actual patch in the seat to cover a hole. Gray sneakers. An olive green t-shirt stretched over my muffin top and post (dead) baby belly with a graphic of The Beatles stretched across my chest. Over that, I wore a brown vintage button down polyester shirt. I believe it was missing a button. My hair was in a messy, unwashed ponytail.
My boss introduced me as the head of design. “The genius who makes magic happen.” he said. I stood before them feeling like something that crawled out of a sewer. I pasted a smile on my face and answered their questions. When I walked out of the room I thought to myself “Well, they’d look like shit too if they had Two Dead Babies.”
And when I heard myself think that, that’s when I knew. Enough Was Enough.
It was up to me to make the choice to sink or swim, and I decided to swim. The only way I knew to start was with the outside. And so I did- No more gray, no more heavy disgusting clothing. I was going to infuse my outside with color and shine that was so bright and so bold it could break through the wall of gray that surrounded me. And, you know how that story unfolds. That decision ultimately found a name, and it’s name is The Muchness.
When I look at pictures of me before the twins, I feel like it is a different person– a naive, innocent, opinionated girl I no longer know. And when I’ve looked at pictures of me after, it’s felt like a kaleidoscope of bits and pieces of me in the middle of some kind of reformatting process.
This weekends photo shoot felt like a culmination of that journey and that decision to swim. Tanya knows my story and understands the path I’ve traveled to get here. She saw my dress and it was her suggestion to take pictures in this setting. Pictures of a woman who has not drowned in her grief, but has been able to push through to a brighter, even more beautiful place of light & joy. I mean, really. Who wears a party dress in the bathtub?