Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weird Week



It's been such a weird week. Someone who is very dear to me just heard she is terminally ill... She's been fighting cancer for years, had chemo twice and last year she was 'recovered'. I know it's terribly naieve of me, but I really thought she made it: she was going to live happily ever after.. But sometimes life just throws mud at you when you least expect it. What's weird about this is that though I'm having a hard time dealing with it, it has made me appreciate all the wonderful things in life more. I just hope I can give her as much comfort as I possibly can and help her make the most of the time that's left!

This week really has brought me back to the beginning. My love for photography started with my dad. I remember him, hanging upside down from a cliff in Switzerland, to take a picture of a blooming edelweiss, only to find that he forgot to take the lens cap off... Haha, I teased him for years about that!
When my dad suddenly died, now seven years ago, I really started to think hard about what I wanted in life. I made some of the best choices after that. We finally stopped talking about how 'some day' we would go to India and Nepal, we just went. I picked up photography, which turned out to be my greatest passion!
Ok, I made some bad choices too. Somehow wanting to 'prove' myself, I became a high school teacher, worked way too many hours and I just didn't want to see that I am much too soft for a job like that.
I couldn't sleep, I had too much stress, I kept worrying about kids that were being picked on and I just kept saying yes when people asked me to take on another class, until one day I just collapsed and couldn't do anything anymore. Just cry.
Looking back, that was a crucial moment in my life and probably the best thing that ever happened to me. I went to a therapist after that, a lovely lady who helped me embrace my artistic side and helped me block out some of the negative elements in my life. She lived on a farm and while we were talking, sheep were pressing their noses against the window... I loved it there :) Anyway, she helped me accept myself for who I am and finally I dared to do what I always wanted: be an artist. And, even more important, I found the peace that was necessary for me and my husband to choose to expand our little family and we had a beautiful baby boy! He is everything to me!

Wow. There. I've said it. To be honest, I feel much better now. It's good to be able to share things like this once in while :) I just hope you didn't think it's too personal!

Now back to the good stuff!

Chelsea of Loud Waterfall Photography is a wonderful photographer (and fantastic person!) and she was so generous to send her first 10 blog followers a wonderful gift! This awesome photograph is coming my way as we speak! Can't wait to frame this baby and hang it on my wall! Gorgeous, right? You can find Chelsea here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LoudWaterfallPhoto, here https://www.facebook.com/LoudWaterfallPhoto and here http://loudwaterfallphoto.blogspot.nl/! Be sure to check out her fabulous photos of Africa too!


And then there's the lovely Keri from ColorWorkStudio! She had a giveaway to celebrate her new blog and I won one of her beautiful photographs! Of course I had to choose the coffee ;) I'm already the proud owner of her lovely Winter in Central Park and I think they'll go wonderfully together! Find Keri here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ColorWorkStudio,
http://colorworkstudio.blogspot.nl/




Oh, I wish we could all meet up and have a cuppa together! Maybe go on a photo trip afterwards :)

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday!! Oh, and don't forget to enter the giveaway if you haven't already! There's still time! :)

xxx
Danny

10 comments:

  1. I like to think that what does not kills us, makes us stronger - I sometimes marvel at the fact that we survive so much - I'm glad you made the journey to becoming an artist and a momma - both rock! And I have a new friend and fellow *toddler survivor*!

    Thank you so much for both the lovely kind mention and for following my little blog-in-progress! I am very excited to send a little SF love to you!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend - I am thinking happy thoughts ...

    Gotta go - a dance party beckons - grab your tutu!

    -xo-
    C

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Chelsea! I can't wait till your beautiful picture arrives :) Have lots of fun at your party, tutu's sound great! :D

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  2. wonderful post Danny and it was precious to get a little glimpse of your past.

    My thoughts are with you and your friend and I will also be sending thoughts of positivity your way

    I also loved the photos you have featured on your blog!

    much love from Tami

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    1. Thank you so much, Tami! I had a hard time deciding whether to post this or not, but now I'm glad I did :) x

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  3. Hi Danny!

    Bugger, I just wrote a long post on my phone and then it crashed. Boo.

    First of all I want to say I'm sorry for the bad news in your life. The woman dear to you will need a positive and comforting person around her, and I'm sure you will be there. You have a talent to see the beautiful little things in life and I am sure there will be plenty of lovely moments you both can share.

    And then - a thank you! I was utterly surprised by your story... guess what, about 2 years ago I was working as a high school teacher. I have a degree in English, and in Germany we are quite desperate for teachers (I know now, why...) so they employ untrained people like me and from one day to the next you are the teacher to 150 teenagers. This was such a hard time - I never felt good enough, I couldn't tell people about my lack of training, so I felt like a cheat - about 3 months in I started having problems with my sleep. It got so bad that I couldn't sleep at all anymore, I was like a Zombie! I worried too much, cried too much, ate too much chocolate (at one point my husband came home and I sat there on the sofa with work on my lap and a huge selection of chocolates and cookies around me), I even took work with me to our Christmas trip to the family in Scotland - in the end I had a breakdown and got antidepressants and got diagnosed with burnout - that was quite a shock.
    I didn't have a therapy really, just talked to the doctor about 3 times - I guess a therapy would have helped a lot. Especially a therapist with sheep!! I spent the time after my year in the school more or less hiding away at home. I felt like such a failure, unworthy of anything, like there is nothing good about me, and nothing to like...
    At least I discovered Etsy at that time and the thought was born that I could try out doing something I actually love to do... I feel a lot better now, but I think I still need some time to get over it all. I'm not that successful yet (but maybe some day) - but it feels good to at least try to follow your heart :-)
    Thank you for sharing your story, it is somehow comforting to hear that I'm not the only one who is too soft for that job, and who broke down because of it.

    Lots of love,

    Ulli

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    1. Hi Ulli!

      Oh, thank you so much for posting this! Wow, we really do share the same story. I was diagnosed with burnout and an anxiety disorder and got antidepressants too (but only a year later, when I had another crash that came as a complete surprise to me). I know what you mean about feeling unworthy and like a failure... Now I know it's absolutely ridiculous to think that way about yourself (you are NOT your job and if you can't handle a job, it's just not the one for you!), but it takes time to get over something like this. Hell, there were times that I went grocery shopping in another city, just because I was afraid I might run into teachers or children I used to work with :S I think it took me almost three years to be able to step into the chip shop in my own street (!) and order something, just because a few of my former students work there! And these were really nice kids! When I finally did go inside, they were so nice I almost cried, lol.
      I'm glad this post made you feel better, it's great to share stories sometimes, it really makes you see that everyone has his share of problems.. Glad we had this talk :) Sending you lots of love and strength!

      xxx
      Danny

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    2. Hi Danny!

      I'm so grateful that you opened up about this, it helps me a lot, really! I was convinced I'm somehow unfit for the world and everyone around me has a worry-free life... I know that can't be true (although I wish everyone only happy days!) - but especially online it is easy to get the impression that the people around only have good news and that their lives always make sense and they go in a straight, sort of predestined line...
      I can absolutely relate to your story! I live in another city to where my school was, but still I was afraid to run into former pupils or teachers - although when it happened they were really nice (apart from a few 15-year-olds who didn't feel like having a teacher at the next table in a café and kind of ignored me - its understandable). I had fantastic colleagues which made it really hard to decline the offer to come back for the next year - but I really couldn't handle the job.
      It's great to hear you say this little truth 'you are not your job' - I know it somewhere in my head, but I don't quite feel it yet. To have some money coming in I started working as a sales assistant, I sell underwear and pyjamas and such in a mall, half way between my hometown and the place where my school was. One day my store manager made me hand out leaflets with vouchers to the people passing outside - and I happened to hand out one to a former student, I guess that was quite a low point for me. I have to keep telling myself that I am not my job... ;-)
      It feels good to be honest about it all, maybe laugh about it a bit, that situation was kind of funny, really :-)

      I wish you a great week, hopefully you get to share some good moments with your loved one :-)

      Big hug!

      Ulli x

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  4. Danny,
    So sorry for all that you have been through & are dealing with, as well as for your friend & others who have posted here. We all struggle in so many ways from time to time, and though we are in different places throughout the world, somehow the painful journey is what brings us together. As humans, sharing our stories & caring for one another, these things help us find the support we need and deserve. You are such a sweetie, I know you will be of great comfort to your dear friend, and we are here for you!

    Thank you so much for your kind mention of my shop/facebook/& blog!

    Your "coffee" is on its way TODAY! (Wish it could be real! Haven't figured that one out yet though :(

    Sweet thoughts & prayers for you!

    Keri :)

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    1. Thank you so much, lovely! You've said that beautifully and I really appreciate your support! And of course you're very welcome :) I can't wait for these gorgeous pics, I need to redecorate, haha! xxx

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  5. Hi Danny,

    Thank you for sharing your story, it was very touching! Also, I hope your friend will stay strong and get well soon. Your story about being burnt out resonates with me as well...I was stuck in a pretty unhappy job and I took the courage to leave. I'm now in a better place, less stress and more time to do what I love. I'll be checking your blog out more often!

    Pei Li

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