Diamond Head | Climbing Mountains + Changing Views | Oahu Portrait Photographer 

Sometimes it takes fully running out of breath and feeling like you are literally going to collapse to realize you need a change.  That is exactly what happened on Saturday when I climbed Diamond Head with my Kindred.  It was horrible and exhausting and I hated it the whole way up, but your know what? Once I got to the top and looked out at the view,  I had a huge realization!

For years now, I have been dealing with depression and anxiety issues.  Okay, so sometimes it’s less like “dealing with” and more like it has by the hair in a death grip and is rubbing my face in the sand.  Some days are fine, some days it’s all I can do to get out of bed (and stay out).  My poor husband is such a gem for putting up with me through all of this and doing everything in his power to keep me calm on my bad days.   It’s an uphill battle I fight every…stinking…day.

Lately, we have been dealing with a lot of personal issues and stress from other people in our lives.  It has brought out that horrible anxiety-ridden side of me far too often in the last 4 months.  I have seriously had migraines and anxiety attacks from the stress.  I have taken out frustration from other people on my family, which they never ever deserved.  And every time I thought the issues where dealt with, other issues arose and the whole process started all over again.  It was horrible!

Okay, so back to my revelation!  As I stood at the top of Diamond Head, I looked out over the ocean.  I started to think about that big ol’ ocean and all the feelings it brings me.  I love the ocean.  I grew up by the beach and as a teenager I practically lived there.  When I was anxious or stressed I used to park by the beach beach and just breath the salt air.  Before I joined the Navy, my best friend Kristy and I would run the board walk to train for boot camp (I hate running, but I will still gladly run the boardwalk with Kristy any time!).  The beach is where I feel I fell in love with my husband, where I go quiet my mind and my soul.  I remembered looking over the side of the ship into the deep deep blue of the Pacific; watching the sun’s rays cut through the clear water and the foam roll of the side of the ship.  I remembered a dark night when I considered jumping into that water.  I remember a higher ranking person telling “you are wasting my time” everyday for months and I started to believe it.  I thought of all the issues we have been dealing with lately.

Then, it hit me.  I didn’t climb the freaking mountain to not see that view and how beautiful it was.  I didn’t climb that mountain to feel sad or mopy.  I got up and put on my sneakers that morning to be with my family and my Kindred.  So what if I had to stop every 15 minutes!  So what if I was out of breath and couldn’t feel my legs!  I just climbed an f-ing mountain!  It may have taken me a while to get there and sure, a bunch of people passed me on the way up, but I made it to the top.  I did it with to support and help of my friends and family.  They saw me do it!  My daughter saw her momma climb to the top even when I wanted to give up (okay, so she slept half the climb, but she saw me at the top and that’s what counts right?)

My life and my struggle with depression/anxiety is no different.  I may not be at the top yet, but I have climbed too far to let someone else keep me from reaching the top.  Sometimes I will have half bad days and I’ll be a sobbing, angry heap, but my family and my friends will be there the remind me it’s okay to take a break.  I know I push myself too hard some most of the time.  Partly out of vanity and pride, but also because I know I can be better than I am today.  Why have I been letting someone keep me from getting up and continuing the climb?

Later on, I read a blog post by one of my favorite photographer/mothers Amanda Hedgepeth on Understanding Vibes & Energy.  It completely validated how I felt and spoke to my heart and soul.  I will always have a love affair with the sea.  It’s my happy place, the mirror for my soul.  Feeling the sand under my feet and the salt and sun on my skin is the best therapy ever.  I love listening to the waves and I miss feeling them rock me to sleep on the ship.  That  blue is what happiness looks like: deep, bright and shimmering.

So my goal for February is to continue my climb to happiness.  I am not going to let anyone drag me down or stop me from continuing when I’m ready to continue.  February is going to be lived on my terms, no one else’s.  This is my year to put make my life what I want it to be and I won’t let unworthy people take up space in it anymore.

Listen to my favorite uplifting ballad here.

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PROJECT 2015 Week 4-8 PROJECT 2015 Week 4-9 PROJECT 2015 Week 4-11

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