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.