Reflections on Words

Marissa Southards

The Awakenings Project is a project that become very dear to me.  While I have spent years focusing on raising my children, activism, and my career, pursuing an artistic drive was always something I was truly afraid of doing.  I was so worried about what other people would think, or that I wasn't good enough.  Stepping into this project to express my creativity is, in all honesty, one of the most fiercest leaps I have taken in my life, to date.  As I close in on the age of 40, I could possibly look back with regret, but I will not.  I will not regret chances not taken, or avenues not pursued until now.  Let's be honest, regrets and a handful of "I wish..." would be a pretty easy, but miserable, way to be.  I have made a conscious decision not to dwell in the weeds, and to leave the past where it truly belongs.  I'm looking ahead now.  But with promise.

For anyone following TAP on social media, you will see a photo a day going up.  These photos are images of real women, taking a bold step in front of the camera to show that being in tune with who you are, and they inspire me each and every day.  This past week, some powerful images were shown.  These images came from Awakenings I, the first cycle of this project, and a highly impacting cycle for me personally.  This cycle was the first, and a learning experience for me, not just as a photographer, but as an empathetic woman.  As I look at the images, the emotions from those session days come back to me.  Words like Infinite, Brave, Home, Limitless, Healing, Hope, and Fearless, make me feel incredibly bold.  I can see myself in each word, and each image brings to mind all the things that make us what we are.

As woman, we are tasked with so much.  We are tasked with running households, birthing children, organizing schedules and logistics, keeping everyone in our circles loved and in harmony.  We run households, companies, revolutions, and circles around everyone else.  We are infinite in our abilities.  We are brave in our intentions.  We are limitless in our actions.  We are healing from the judgments placed on us by a society that doesn't understand us.  We are filled with hope that our daughters, our nieces, our cousins, will not have the struggles we have had.  We are fearless.  We are FEARLESS.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that are not.

Stay magical,


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