SMALL SECRET THINGS
A photo series that I am proud to have taken part in with photographer, and Atlanta local, James King. There was an Art Show in Atlanta, Georgia on May 12th 2017. Some of my writings were featured alongside James' art and other performances.
This video was created by a team, featuring James, myself, and some of the other artists who were involved in the art show.
Below are some of the photos we collaborated on together, as well of some of the writings I felt lead to go along with these images.
"The demons from her past never left her. She was consumed, and they just became a part of her."
James King delivered! After talking to this guy and getting to know him over the few weeks leading up to this shoot, I couldn't be happier with the results we collaborated on. The concept for this shoot was a very personal one, and James helped me tap into it, whether he realizes or not just how close to home this was for me. It was below freezing, and I was so into this I couldn't even feel the cold while shooting. I can't wait to show you more of these. This is an outtake under consideration for James' Small Secret Things series and upcoming art show! He was an amazing guy, and this project has been therapeutic for me.
"... And for what it's worth, she didn't know any better. Those demons were all she had ever heard. The secrets that she keeps, smouldering in the caverns of her chest, weren't meant to hurt anyone but her."
I've been thinking about how transparent I want to be with what I write alongside these images. How vulnerable I want to allow myself to become. When James King initially told me his idea for this project, I started becoming overly excited about getting to use my modeling for something expressive, emotional, meaningful. I started thinking about my own mind, the things I live with on the surface. My biggest mental blocks, struggles. For me, it's always been my self worth. This voice in the back of my head that's always telling me I'm not good enough, I never will be. The voice that tells me everything I do is wrong, that I'm useless, worthless. Nothing. It never stops. Even on my good days. But as I was talking about these things with James, he said a word, that I will leave out for now.. but that word alone struck something inside of me and I realized the source of that voice was something else entirely. It was a seed that was planted at the age of 4, that grew and blossomed into a grotesque and poisonous ivy, consuming my young mind, and changing who I was for the rest of my life. For a very long time, I let that control me. I let it win.
"Hypersexual. Homosexual. Bisexual. Sexual exploration, exploitation. Sexually delusioned and desparately reaching... for a glimpse of light and a taste of love."
Some times in life, you don't get to choose. Some things choose you, even if you're not ready yet.
I've realized over the years that there are some things that happen to us in our lives, that always stay with us. If we allow them to, they control the decisions we make, the way we view ourselves, the way we interact with other people. The way we raise our children. They control the voices in our minds, and the reflection we see in the mirror. Some things will never truly leave us, but it's the way we choose to react to those things. We have a choice to let it control us, or a choice to make a change. There have been so many days where I felt like I couldn't possibly get any lower, but I want so much more out of this life than to wallow in self pity. To be held back by the lies I hear in my mind. Eventually, I had to make that choice, because after so long, the darkness became far more exhausting than trying ever was.
Thank you, James King for working together with me on this.
"Deconstructing thought processes, smearing the image in the mirror. Spitting in the face of the ones who stole her identity, the ones who raped her innocence, the ones who tried to steal her soul. She was taking back what should have been hers from the start."
The first couple of times I talked to James King on the phone, we spoke for probably about 2 hours. But those conversations are what fueled my emotional connection to this project, and he unknowingly helped me realize a few things about myself, of my past and my present. There are a lot of things I still deal with now at 27, that I thought I'd gotten over a long time ago. James helped me to realize that a lot of my struggles with self worth, with negative inner voices, were a long term effect of things that happened to me as a child, which in turn made me act out in a lot of different ways during my "developing" years. For a long time I allowed myself to just sit in that state of mind, I believed so many things about who I was, who I'd become, all the things I could never be. About 5 years ago, I decided I had to make changes if I was going to continue living, and living for someone else. I knew what I didn't want to be any more, and I knew that I was the only person who truly had control over the outcome of my life. I didn't want to be a victim, I didn't want to hate myself, or suffer from depression. I had dreams that I'd never even attmepted to persue because I believed I would fail before I''d ever even tried. I'm not gonna lie, you guys, depression doesn't go away like that, but I realized that I could combat those thoughts and feelings with positive ones, and a lot of the time it makes it easier. I realized that there were people out there who enjoyed my writing, who enjoyed my art and my expression, despite the many people I was surrounded by who did not. I realized that I, just like anyone else, am capable of greatness if I choose to be great. I chose to do a lot of things that, at the time, were absolutely terrifying for me. I doubted myself constantly, but I didn't give up no matter how screwed I thought I was. I don't view myself as very strong on most days, because I do still have to fight those imaginary voices, the real ones are gone! But when I look back on everything I have been through in this life, and the fact that I'm still fighting, that I haven't given up... I feel like a warrior.