Good Old Days

I think I was seriously depressed just 2.5 years ago–or seriously situationally depressed, anyhow.  I remember thinking that I didn’t have any dreams left–that I had lived and played out all of my fantasies and that I had nothing left to look forward to. I kept trying to force the dreams–like I would say to myself that I wanted to be a fashion photographer like Helmut Newton and live in Paris.  I would think  about landscaping my backyard and plan my next social event.  What would I wear?  But the problem with these pseudo dreams is that I never acted on them.  I didn’t have time.  I was too busy shooting 40 weddings a year and drinking myself into a haze every night that I didn’t get to them.  And of course I had to work to support this life that I had bought myself.

Then I found out I was pregnant and everything changed.  I didn’t even think I wanted it, but having a child has flipped “nothing to look forward to” on its  ass.  My future is bright every morning (after 9)  because Ramona is surprising me every single day with something new.  Today it was the word, “lizard” that came out of her mouth perfectly  the very first time she uttered it.  And I can’t explain it, but my dreams are now about making Ramona’s dreams come true.  I want a petting zoo in my backyard (seriously) instead of landscaping.  I want a 2 month trip to France with my family instead of a photography sabbatical. And I want to spend the lazy summer weekends when I’m not working going to parks and visiting Colorado festivals.  Oh, the festivals!  I’ve missed  so many over the the last 10 years shooting weddings every Saturday that it’s almost tragic.  So last weekend we visited the Good Old Days Festival in Lyons.  Jesse grew up in Lyons so it truly was the “good old days” for him.  And for me,  it was a dream.

I couldn’t help but laugh when looking at the images in the middle of this series while I was going through them.  I’m chasing Ramona in almost every one.  Each image is  of her back.  She is up ahead of me and I’m behind, watching her. This is literally how I’ve been spending most of  my days–chasing Ramona around making sure she doesn’t kill herself while  noticing how long and curly her hair is getting. But these images seem almost metaphorical.  Ramona is taking the lead.  And I’m content watching her back while she paves her paths and learns to be true to her authentic self.   I’m happy reveling in her endless curiosity and exuberant vivacity. In a nutshell, my dreams are now hers.  She is my dream.  Or  maybe I’m perfectly satisfied  just being present and don’t need “dreams” as much as I had thought. Either way,  I’m the happiest I’ve ever been–right here, right now–watching this little bean grow.


Maria Healey - Julie, there is such beauty in your honesty! I, too, realize that my dreams have changed and I find more joy in wanting to help create the dreams of my son, rather than insisting on pursuing my own in a more selfish fashion. I had a great time in my 20’s chasing those dreams and I wasn’t sure I’d even want to become a mother, but motherhood has become something I’m so passionate about now and I couldn’t be more thankful my husband and I made that decision to start a family of our own. It’s good to see there are other women out there with the same situation. Thanks for sharing your story!

Grzegorz - “Three things we have left of paradise: the stars, the flowers and the eyes of a child” – Dante Aligheri. I know, that when You look into Ramona’s eyes, You are in Paradise Julie. And You can’t be depressed in Paradise.

Sarah Weinberger - Seriously crying right now! SO beautiful and meaningful! I love this SO much!!

Mom - Julie Darlin’… No one could have told you about all that you are feeling now – as a mama to our beautiful Ramona! I think the love we feel for our babies is the closest we can experience to perfect love. It is un-earned love. It is love that grows because we give so completely of ourselves, expecting nothing back. It is unmanipulative love. I believe heaven will be full of that kind of love. I am so grateful you and Jesse chose to be parents. You are wonderful at the job!! xo

Jodi - I just love these…I want to squish that little face and cover it with kisses. These are some of my favs….so Julie Harris, soooo Ramona!

Christa Chatham - Wow Julie! This is beautiful! I am so happy for you and Jesse!!! I have noticed a very big change in the both of you… I feel your energy is lighter and you seem very happy! Ramona is so precious and growing so fast… I am truly going to miss that little smarty pants… She will surpass most and very quickly! Mua!! Love you and your dear family!!!

Kailee - I love her. And you and Jesse 🙂

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