Photo Shoot Link Up & A Story About My Divorce

In early 2010, I made a decision that would change the rest of my life. After a year of agonizing over what the "right" thing to do was, I told my then husband that I wanted a divorce. A decision that had caused me sadness, stress and resentment for an entire year before I made it.

Unfortunately the marriage I entered at a very young 19 years old, wasn't the one I thought I was signing up for. Shortly afterwards I found out that he had been unfaithful. I stayed. I wanted to do the right thing. I had signed up for this marriage, I was going to stand by him and try to work my way through all of these emotions I was processing.

A year later my world began slowly changing when I realized that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life with somebody who didn't cherish me. Who didn't love and appreciate me the way I did them. I can't say enough how much I am grateful I had the strength to leave that commitment. After I told him I wanted a divorce, I was made aware of several other occurrences in which he had lied to me about other important things while we were married and had a sexual relationship with another woman when we were engaged.

As much as I didn't want to be 20 years old and divorced, I didn't want to look back in 10 years from now and realize I was miserable because I stayed with somebody who I wasn't a good fit for. We didn't want the same things in life, we didn't have the same priorities, and we certainly had a different views of what kind of commitment we were each making when we got engaged. The decision to get a divorce was one I took a great deal of time (over a year) coming to. That's how much I struggled with myself, trying to do what was right for both of us in either staying or leaving.

The phrase "just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, it became a butterfly," became one that I held on to tight. I needed to believe that even though this marriage was ending, even though my entire life was going to be rearranged, that I was going to become a better person after going through this experience. I had to know that I was moving on to better things for myself and this quote reminded me of that every time I doubted that I was making the right decision.

The month I told my ex-husband I wanted a divorce I went to a tattoo shop with my then close friend and decided to endure the pain and become "hard core." For whatever reason I thought getting a tattoo would make me less naive, less likely to be emotionally hurt, less myself. I was wrong. Shortly after getting the butterfly tattoo on my arm that reminded me of that quote, I regretted it. Of all the things I could have regretted- my marriage, my divorce, etc; it was the freaking tattoo I regretted.

I love that I embraced it for this photo shoot though. A reminder that I did move on to better things. I did learn how to take care of myself, love myself and work hard to support myself. I worked 60-80 hours a week for almost 2 years, I put myself through college and graduated with my associated degree after taking a semester off when I got married and year off when I got divorced. I fell in love again and I got hurt again. I moved on, again. The world kept turning and despite how sad I might have been during some parts of my journey, it brought me to such a wonderful place.

I am more than the woman I once dreamed of becoming. I am incredibly proud of how strong I was to get through all of that. I still love with my whole heart. I still jump in with both feet when I commit to something. I just have more dreams and goals for myself and for my life now than I did then. It's an ever-occurring process, but I am becoming that butterfly.
I had so much fun at this photo shoot. I was with one of my childhood friends and we got into all kinds of glitter, rhinestones, makeup, and accessories for this photo shoot with Chris Malpass Photography. Chris was so great (obviously, look at these gorgeous pictures!) His fiance Meagan was there too and thank goodness because she was amazing. She made sure we laughed and had fun the whole time. She also helped with all the creative makeup applications!

I hope you enjoyed this photo shoot as much as I did. This is just one look from our session but I thought it went great with what I wanted to talk about. I'll be posting a creative photo session every month on the 15th and hope you do too!
xoxo, Laura

I'm linking up with the Hope Engaged photo shoot link up party.