The Women We Meet

We meet many different versions of ourselves throughout our lives. As women, we start as young girls who are ambitious, hopeless romantics, who are excited to begin our journey into womenhood. We have a dream of how we want our life to be. While my life is wonderful, it did not go completely as expected. I had to trust myself and allow change in my life to get where I am now. Some uncomfortable change... I have decided to open up, and be honest in this post. I want you to meet the women who helped me become the woman that I am today.

The Young Girl

I believe I was about 20 or 21 in this picture. I remember being at a bowling alley with friends. I also wish I was still as fat as I thought I was in this picture! When I look at this girl, all I see is fear. She had a fear of failure. She always wanted to choose the safest routes, and was afraid to venture out and try anything new. She was not confident in herself. If I could talk to this girl, I would tell her to spend the next few years focusing on herself. She should go away to college and do some exploring. She wouldn't listen though. She would tell me that she was in love with a boy, and she wouldn't want to leave him behind. She would tell me that she had her friends and family here. The truth was, she was scared. She was scared to take any leaps. What she didn't realize was that she was holding herself back.

The Explorer

This is one of my favorite pictures. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of this woman. She is going through a tough year. Remember that boy that the young girl above didn't want to leave? Well, she married him. She married him and realized that he was not her soulmate. He did not like to travel, but she always wanted to. She longed to grab her camera and set out on adventures. She realized that she was not happy being married, and something had to change. She struggled with herself. She didn't want to hurt him. She almost chose to stay until she realized that she had to leave. It was the best decision for both of them. She was scared. This was the first time that she was on her own. She planned this trip to Nevada. She grabbed her camera, and set out on this adventure. This picture represents the mountains that this woman will face. She will climb them all.

The Conquerer

This woman just turned 30. She just finished her master's degree, works at a local community college, and is on her way to great things. She is figuring herself out more and more each day. She is happy with the decision to put herself first. She chose happiness and has vowed to put herself first from now on. She is in the Mojave Desert and is with the love of her life. She doesn't know it yet, but he plans to propose to her on this trip. I posted this picture to Facebook with the caption:

"Hello Thirty,

Oh my, did you sneak up! I feel like I was just turning twenty-years old yesterday. I was pretty upset about turning thirty, but I have quickly gotten over that. I realized that my best years are ahead of me. I am no longer a young woman struggling with her identity. I finally know who I am. I found my soulmate, have a pretty kick-ass career, and could not be happier with the woman I am. You were great, Twenties, BUT the Thirties are where it is at."

The Career Woman

This woman has spent a considerable amount of time getting to know herself. She finished school, and was offered a career as a Dean. She is a dean of a college at 30. She is confident in herself. She knows what she wants and will figure out how to achieve it. She is happy. She feels accomplished and is ready to take on the world. She is so proud of herself and all that she has accomplished in this short time. I posted this picture to Facebook with the following caption:

"If I told you my life was a breeze, that would be a lie, but I absolutely enjoy every day of it.

I am happy to report that I accepted the permanent position of Dean of Career and Technical Education at Nunez Community College. I love working with our students and faculty, and even though these last few months have been a whirl wind dealing with COVID, I wouldn’t want to be working anywhere else.

I also run a photography business Katie Scarlet Photography, and that has tremendously picked up these last few weeks. It isn’t easy balancing these two jobs and my personal life, but my wonderful fiancé, Ray Fourtunia, makes it so much better!

I promised myself three years ago that I would make decisions based upon what made me happy and would help make me a better person. I haven’t let myself down yet. 

My advice, keep your eye on your goals and once you achieve them, make new ones.

The Mother

I now leave you with the woman that I am today. I am a mom. Let me be honest, I am scared again. I feel less confident in my skin, and I struggle with my identity. I left my career behind so that I can spend more time raising my baby. There are times that I feel like I let the career woman above down. Everyone keeps telling me that I made the right decision, but I wonder if that is true. I have vowed, however, to continue to put myself first. I am more dedicated now than ever to building a successful photography business. People say that I am in that "new mom stage" and that I will feel like myself once again. I am hoping that I don't feel like my old self. I am hoping that this is the beginning of a new version of myself.

I love and appreciate every woman that you have met above. Each one has contributed to the woman that I am today, Each of those women cried, laughed, loved, and lost. Each were scared and proud at one point in their time. Each one is now gone. Their legacy remains and I will forever be grateful.