I wear many hats.
I am first and last and foremost a MOTHER. There is no hiding it, no sidestepping the issue, it us undeniable. Even before I had children, I was a mother, parenting my mother, parenting my baby sister, I have been the grown up since I was 8. I have five children, the youngest boys are 4 and 6, and the oldest girls are 15, 20, and 20. While the three older girls are out of the house, I am still talking to them every 48 hours or less.
Number 1 daughter was born with bipolar disorder and raising her has been a love/frustration, exasperating situation for the last 20 years, 8 months and 14 days.
Number 3 daughter was born with autism and she lives in her own little world most of the time, but occasionally I can coax her out back into our world and get some positive interaction with her. It has been easy to obsess over her and do everything to make her better, but eventually you have to stop giving one child 90%, and put things back in to balance. Balance is the key.
I am a mother hen, I am 'always there' to listen and advice. I rarely bail them out, I refuse to enable the helpless, but I know how hard it is transitioning into adulthood, so I nudge along the right path, not necessarily the popular one, but the best choices for each of them.
I am a STORYTELLER. I steal moments in time, I secret them away in albums in zip lock bags on shelves, on CD's and DVD's for some day I will combine them with the story that I am writing. I started writing MY STORY in 1999, and it is EXTENSIVE, about 250 chapters, some are only a single page while others are 50 pages long. I have completed 23 generations of our family tree, back to the year 600 AD, to be included in our family story. When it is done, it will be a serious of volumes I am sure. When it is done. I have not finished because I am so busy creating other families chapters on film, but my saga continues.
I am a WIFE, and yes, for some reason, that comes third, and I was fortunate enough to find a husband that is okay with that. granted, I had to order him off from Amazon.com in 1996, and I have threatened to sell him on Ebay.com several time since, but once the 'honeymoon' wears off, once the 'tweaking' and 'PS'ing' is done, and we run our filters and our gaussian blurs, we make a perfect match. He is a computer hacking techno nerd that reads and watches SciFi, is vegetarian eating, bike commuting, and 6% body fat weirdo. But he is mine and he is happy with me. (Shaking my head, definitely a weirdo).
And I am ME. I never got enough time in front of the camera when I was growing up. I was the child from the first marriage, and naturally there were some issues there. Through a lot of emotional and physical abuse, I eventually found my solace in staying behind the camera (since 1977) and having a chocolate brownie snack to make it all better. I have been pedaling my bicycle for 12 months now and living my life, sometimes with and sometimes without the camera, but living none the less.
However, at the age of 40, I have made a tremendously strong move to put me first. (A powerful statement in and of its own) I am taking back control of my life, I am putting me first, not the kids, not the camera, not the clients, not the husband. This year, it is all about ME! I went to a doctor in March, I went on a pretty severe diet, I lost 30 lbs, I went in last week and the doctor performed gastric bypass, and now I am on my way to lose the balance (100 lbs) and taking a long hard look at being here another 40 years to really make a difference in those lives that I touch. I have had as near as I can tell 5 near death experiences, and there must be a reason that I am here. There must be something that I have not done yet. A gift or talent that I have to perfect and share.