October 18, 2019
I want to write to all of you lovely ladies out there that have been following the blog posts by Alyssa Michelle. As you probably already know, she is my daughter and every now and then she asks me write a post or two when I feel that I have something to say. Alyssa Michelle is all about women, self acceptance, and self empowerment. She encourages women to seek out their individuality and to embrace those traits and characteristics that make them who they are. From behind the lens of her camera, she has seen more about women than I will ever see in a lifetime.
I am not sure that she understood what the path of her journey as a Boudoir photographer would look like, where it would take her, and what she would get out of it. But I have seen her positively impact the lives of those she photographs just as I have seen her vision and philosophy formed by the women she meets.
Interestingly enough, she was not always the strong, self-confident woman that she is today. She was shy as a child and lacked the faith in herself to pursue her dreams. She was the kid that faded into the background in social settings, unsure of herself and her own capabilities. She was the child that needed guidance with schoolwork, a push to participate in sports (which she eventually loved), and lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement from her parents. She was the child I always worried about as a mother. What kind of a person would she become and what would she ultimately choose as a career?
As many of you know, Alyssa worked at my restaurant as a server/bartender for years. There she was forced to face her demons. Each day involved interacting with patrons and shedding the shyness she had held since childhood. Gradually, she became a much more assertive and confident woman. She saved her money to buy her first camera, and the rest is history.
Initially, Alyssa started out as a wedding photographer and then moved to fashion. Not satisfied with either, she started shooting Boudoir. Once she found that Boudoir photography was what she truly enjoyed, the rest seemed to come naturally for her. She formed her own business and gained an entirely new outlook on life in the process. There is a passion about what she does that I have never seen in her before. I believe she gets as much out of photographing women as the women that come to her get out of the experience. As a mother, I couldn’t ask for anything more than to see my daughter fulfilling her dreams.
Why am I telling you all of this? In July this year, I closed my restaurant after 25 years and it has been bittersweet to say the least. I find that so much of my time, energy and life have gone into my work over the years that now I wonder who I am without it. Evidently, my own feeling of self-worth was somehow tied up in what I did for a living. I find that I have been unsure of my own self worth for the first time in my life. Then again, as I am writing this blog, I realize that I am so much more than the job that I worked and the money that I made doing it. I can take a lesson from my daughter on accepting myself for who I am apart from anything that I choose to do. And I can also take great pride in the fact that my single biggest accomplishment in my life was having something to do with the amazing young woman my daughter has become.
Now there is something I can truly love myself about! HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY ALYSSA!