Do you want to know my secret? I have two, actually, and they need to come out. First, I have been holding myself back for a long time because I have been scared to death of what others would think of me if I were truly authentic. Second, I have always imagined myself a Queen who could take on the world and rule her kingdom!
My Deepest Fear
In taking a new course on storytelling the other day, I had quite a revelation about myself. The speaker was talking about how to make your characters interesting with misbeliefs. You can also think of this as a character flaw. The more she spoke, the more I started recognizing one of my own misbeliefs that I need to conquer.
Because I am a pastor’s daughter (PK), I have been fearful that anything I do will be judged and that my needs should always come last.
OMG, I said it! Too late now, I let the cat out of the bag, and I’m bleeding on the paper. Hello, world Sabrina just admitted she isn’t perfect and doesn’t have to be.
I’m not going to dig into details about why growing up as a PK is complicated, but you can probably imagine. Why not? Because I am happy, and I do not want to go down that rabbit hole.
Growing up in a home filled with ministering to others is draining. Couple that with the duty-bound mentality that my parents have lived with, has an effect on a child. There are other dark and nasty things in there that I could spend years writing on, but as I said, I don’t want to.
Been there, done that, and spent 2 ½ years in therapy with a counselor.
“Oh no! The horror! Sabrina spent time in counseling!” Yes, I did, and the world should be more receptive to those who seek help. Mini-rant over.
Nevertheless, children are resilient and will get creative if they are left to their own devices.
Into the Land of the Unicorns
I didn’t find out until I was 20 that additional books were written in the series, but you can bet your next paycheck I bought all of them when I did!
I believe what drew me into this book was that the girl was the same age I was, and she was thrust into another world without knowing what to do. Yet, she was tough, brave, intelligent, and she never gave up.
My grandfather even bought me a necklace that reminded me of Cara’s amulet she used to enter the land of Luster. He didn’t know it when he bought it for me, but I treasured it up until I lost it in my 20s. I could still cry over that loss.
Ok, back to happy thoughts.
My Secret Kingdom and Yes, I am the Queen!
I learned to cope with my childhood issues by becoming an avid reader and giving my imagination permission to soar.
When no one was around, I loved to pretend I was a Queen who had conquered all of her fears, and I had magic.
I lived in a forest where I could touch things and make them come alive! I could mix potions and meet creatures like the unicorns above. And gemstones? They held a power that would whisper to you, and I could channel my courage into them and send it out to my people.
The arms-length plastic bit of black PVC pipe I found and kept in my room was a magic wand much like my gemstones. And let’s not forget the old maroon men’s housecoat my mom found at a yard sale! It became my royal robe, and I LOVED how it drug the ground behind me as I pranced around the woods, checking on my subjects.
I also defeated those villainous mushrooms that looked like giant zits that puffed green spores behind my grandmother’s house.
Everything went to a new level when my mom found a pink shiny silk robe somewhere made for my age. When I ran outside, it fluttered behind me as I rode my glorious unicorn stallion into the sunset.
I didn’t have any control over my world, and while it raged and brought sadness to so many, I entered my own where I was the Queen.
I’m Still Looking for Magic
Do you know what the best part of it all is? This private world I created in my mind has never left me.
Perhaps that is why I became a photographer. I am still looking for my fairies, stories, mythological creatures, and unicorns in the world.
Last November, I styled a shoot for myself that represented this inner kingdom I had created as a child. My Queen, I named Astrina, and I have been holding on to the images for a while now. To be honest, I have been struggling to write about it because I kept going back to old wounds and trying to write from there. So, I decided to spin it and use it to show you my inner mind.
I have many people to thank for helping me create the images you have been viewing in this post. All of them came together and jumped in when I needed help.
I can’t say that the images are perfect because I chose the wrong time of year to create them, but I can say that Anna Sorrells is a fantastic model. She knows how to bring power to her poses. Plus, she is a talented hair and makeup artist!
Anna and I rented the gown featured from We Are Reclamation out of Canada. It was my first time photographing a “traveling dress,” but it was so worth it.
And I also have to thank Sheri’s husband and son for jumping in there and helping me with whatever I needed carried around and more.
I also nearly bought out Three Oaks Studio in Waynesville, NC, preparing for this shoot over the course of last summer!
So, who is Astrina? I’m not sure yet, but I believe she is the grown-up version of my childhood warrior queen. Who knows when she will reemerge, but she still conquers the world and stands for what she believes in!
At the end of the day, I need to be freer to be me in my work. I don’t need to worry so much, and if fantasy shoots pop up or magical words find their way into my writing, it is ok.
Our own worst enemy is ourselves, and it can be especially crippling for creatives.
Dear readers, I will stop worrying about judgment and stop overthinking every word I write. Not everything I produce has to be lyrically written or solely about weddings.
Stay tuned because my next post will be all about fashion and a naïve thing or two you didn’t know about me. Trust me, it will be funny!
Until next time stay true to you!