Marj Merges Beautiful. Honest. You. {and me}

Money, Self Worth, and Identity

This week Meg wrote a post over at A Practical Wedding that got me thinking.  And reminded me of the important, Part I post in her series.

I read that first post back in September the day Meg wrote it and it helped me decide to try this photography thing out.  It’s not that solely because of that post I’m here now.  But the post was an important piece of the mounting reasons I was encountering all around me to make the change.  And that I would indeed apply to that internship I’d run into right before our labor day backpacking trip.  I saw the internship literally the day before the trip and Eric and I spent the weekend talking it through.  We had it all planned out.  And then I kind of chickened out a bit.  I thought I was a bit crazy and I got a little scared.  But then I saw this post and I decided I would give it a try after all.  So Meg just helped give me that confidence to push me over the edge.  Where the edge was simply saying I’d apply.

I’ve noticed something about myself that’s changed recently.  For probably as long as I’ve been working I haven’t defined myself by what I do.  I’ve said that I am not defined solely by my job, I’m more than that.  That’s true.  But for me having a job and a career I’m passionate about really does matter.  It’s part of what I want for myself and it was something I’ve come to understand I need to feel fulfilled.  And to get that I’ve had to be a little selfish.  I’ve had to speak up for myself.  I’ve had to say, Eric, this is what I personally want for me.  I’ve had to find my own identity outside of that of Eric’s wife.  And now, if someone asks what I do I’m proud to say I’m a photographer.  I’m no longer sheepish and eager to avoid conversations about what I do.  And I’m finding myself mentally thinking differently about meeting new people.

The money thing, we’re working on that.  It’s strange to be so fully dependent on my husband right now.  It feels in that way like I don’t have that much power in our relationship.  Which is totally not true.  But still, he’s the one making all the money, allowing us to afford our house, all the food we eat, all the gas I have to buy because I live in Atlanta and everyone drives crazy distances here.  I am very grateful.

2 Responses to Money, Self Worth, and Identity

  1. Girl….sometimes I swear you’re living my life! Hahaha. I am moved and in awe of your strength to recognize it, vocalize and honor it! I fully appreciate your position and your ability to articulate all of it. FRIGGIN awesomsauce!

  2. Ellie says:

    Here’s to new found pride in your professional identity! I don’t think you ever need to define yourself fully through one aspect of your life or another, but I’m excited you’re pursuing something you’re proud of and excited about. It’s been such fun to watch the progress within your photos and your written confidence through your blogs. I can’t wait to see it in person in a few weeks, and continue in your work!

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