Good Evening Lovelies,
I am going down memory lane and I realized just how much I have changed. I just turned 25 in October and I thought that it would be neat to do a little write-up and show just how much I have changed as a person in the past 10 years of my life.
So here we go on this wild adventure. I will explain where I was at in each photo and see where my words go.
Well, what can I say about this photo... I was 15 here. Just a girl trying to start her journey into the world. I was breaking out of my shell and trying to distance myself from the mold that was built around me in the conservative groups. My family had just left the Independent Baptist Circles and I didn't want to identify with them anymore... as they had hurt my family and I deeply... It's actually because of them that I developed a resentment of jean skirts... and to this day I refuse to wear them... or ANY ankle length skirts for that matter.
I know that a lot of my depression and anxiety stemmed from the separation and confusion of that whole situation. I didn't know where to turn and thought I had to figure out the world in a whole new way. Those conservative circles to this day leave a terrible taste in my mouth and I don't like to talk about it very much.
My style at this point in my life was all very strained. I struggled with finding a balance of staying "modest" so I wouldn't be shamed by those around me, but still finding my own way to express myself through clothes, accessories, and makeup. I think that I gravitated slowly towards a scene/emo look; I couldn't be very obvious about it though, as before mentioned fear of being judged.
Alright, so here I was 16 years old. I had already started dating my now husband Philip and started to have a little bit more stability in my life. I had kept the shorter hair for awhile and had dealt with about a 2 years of serious depression and suicidal tendencies... I don't like to talk about it much... but I had really struggled with feeling like I was worth anything... I wasn't able to cope with the anxiety and depression well... I was recovering from cutting and Philip literally helped save my life. Stopping me from taking my own life.
I wasn't totally happy... but I was recovering and that was enough at the time. This was around the time though where I was struggling with eating... I felt really fat and wouldn't eat very much... it caused a lot of stomach problems and was hospitalized a lot that year for my migraines and dehydration because of my lack of food intake.
This was the year where I think I really took the first steps to finding out who I was in Christ though... making my own decisions as to what I stood for and not just what people around me believed. I realized that being a Christian wasn't just about following what my church, my friends or family, or even my parents taught me. I took the first steps of being myself and relying on the Lord to guide me through the turmoil of being a teenager... but He gave me self worth and that was sustaining for awhile.
Here I am at 17 years of age. Still struggling but feeling much better about life. Philip and I had been in a strong relationship for about a year at this point and I knew I was going to marry him someday.
My style mostly consisted of jeans, FOX RACING shirts and hoodies and VANS skate shoes. HAHA. Still, makes me snicker to this day. I would save all my money to buy myself "brand name" skate clothes and it made me feel good about myself.
I had taken up skateboarding though so I felt a little more entitled to wear the brands ... I took it (to my embarrassment) a little too seriously. I never pursued the hobby to anything serious, though, I was moderately good at it and could keep up with the boys my age in my town, which wasn't much an accomplishment, looking back now. But back then I was pretty proud of myself and it boosted my self-esteem to make some "friends" outside of the circles that I had grown up around.
I learned so much that year. I was interested in life again and started to have dreams of my future. I was sure that I was going to grow up and be an artist. I may not be the manga artist that I thought I would be... but I definitely found a career in the arts and that's pretty impressive for me looking back.
Here I am at 18 years old. Philip and I were already planning our wedding and it was probably one of the happiest years of my teenage years. I had completely stopped cutting and had learned how to start cutting toxic people out of my life.
I was experimenting more with mixing dress style with casual... but still was restricted in some sense mentally. However, as you can see in this photo... I had grown my hair out and had learned about the power of mixing belts into my day to day style... as primitive as it had become.
At this point of my life, I had turned to writing, furthering my art... and I was very interested in going to college for Fashion Design. I didn't pursue it, though... for reasons I don't feel like going through at the moment. I just felt guilted out of it.
Ah... 19 years old. The first year where I felt free from the judgment of others... I feel like at this point I felt like I could just do whatever I felt like. SO I had my hair streaked red and it was a liberating moment. Phil and I had just gotten married and I was looking forward to the future. Figuring out where I stood and what I wanted.
However, I didn't leave my skater clothes behind yet. I worked at a Ski Resort so that kind of just followed me still for awhile. I was a serious tomboy, so I almost never wore anything dressy.
That winter... I got into a big accident... a serious concussion that resulted in amnesia... I didn't even remember my husband. I got over it pretty quickly... but since then I still struggle with expressing myself using words when I get nervous or stressed, sometimes stuttering. As someone who was always very articulate, it bothers me to this day that I do not remember that day...
Ah, 20... now we are getting closer to the time that I really remember evolving into the human that I am today. I had almost shed all the restrictive thinking that I had held myself back with.
I got my first modeling gig, I had really gotten into gaming and building an online presence in gaming communities. I had started learning about how to dress up and not feel uncomfortable as much in my own body. Embracing my femininity and feeling happy in my relationship and life.
I still had not really figured out where I wanted to be in my career, but I really started working in Graphic Art and Website Design. I wasn't that amazing back then... but hey... you have to start somewhere right? I actually miss the 20-year-old me. I feel like she was way more innocent and trusting than I am now... but hey... that's what life does to you right?
Here I am in 2012... I was freshly 21... this was the start of the years of hell for me... the year where I first discovered hate, anger, loss of trust, and my depression resurfaced.
I don't remember much from this year... I think that I blocked 2012-2014 out a lot... I started cutting again, and I turned my back on God because I believed more in the actions of others than in trusting in the Lord. Oh, and I had chopped all my hair off again and gotten my first tattoo.
I worked in jewelry so my fashion evolved drastically. I think that I viewed work as my get away... it taught me so much about myself and I worked with amazing and inspiring women who taught me to believe in myself. But I'll get there in the upcoming years. I don't remember anything about 2012 though... I just remember being very very ANGRY.
22... man... okay... maybe this was the stormiest year of my life. If it wasn't for the few people who loved and cared for me in that period... I don't think I would be here to type this out right now. I was very, very sad. Every bad thing from 2012 had burst out of it's corked jar and I trusted no one.
My marriage was falling apart... my soul was crushed and felt like there was nobody to talk to. However... the Lord was there and I thank my Mama for being my rock through that year... she taught me to surrender myself to Him again... in my darkest moments... my Mama was always there to help me through it all. I love you, Mama.
It was so hard to wake up in the morning and slink off to work. I needed a break from life... so I planned a trip to Philippines, to be by myself to get away from everything and take a moment to focus on something other than myself.
Enter 2014, my 23rd year of life! Looking back... I am thankful the most for this year of my life.
I was blessed so much by my choice to go on a mission trip to my mother's country and meet my family there. It was right after Typhoon Haiyan and I went there to help out in the relief effort... the experience healed me and helped me out more than anything else.
I finally let go of my hate, anger, and self-loathing... My family and the people I met on that trip gave me so much time to think and appreciate the blessings that God had given to me.
It was a few months later when I found out that I was pregnant with my son Adrian. It couldn't have been more than perfect timing... God knew that I was emotionally ready to tackle a child in my life.
WOW! We have reached 2015... I was 24 years old... I think that this year was the biggest and most drastic year for my evolution into the person that I am now.
After Adrian was born... I again chopped my hair off to the shortest that it ever has gotten. It was liberating and empowering. For the first time in a long time. I felt in control of my mind, my body, and my life. Adrian was God's greatest gift to me... and I didn't want him to see his mother as a weak woman.
God blessed me with the start of my career in film... I cannot express in words how thankful I am to him for giving me such an amazing chance... after so many years in darkness and feelings of despair... I finally can be proud of myself. I felt so strong, and my faith has never been as strong as it is now.
Anyways, I chopped my hair off. Took a bargain in purchasing a course on Social Media and Fashion... and I was elevated to a new way of thinking. I cannot even recognize the Esther of the past... I recognize the Hadessah of now.
I have lost many people along the way, but wow... the feeling of triumph that I have now makes it feel like the hurt wasn't such a big deal anymore. I have an amazing best friend in my life as well that elevates my spirit every day.
I have learned to really love... my insecurities don't exist anymore... the confidence is something I never imagined for myself... but I thank God for the year 2015.... it molded me and helped me grow into a woman.
Meet Hadessah... the person I have become now.
The girl who thought she wouldn't make it this far. The girl who defeated the odds. The girl who didn't end up in the gutter... the girl who deals with her anxieties and fears with the people who care about her.
The girl who is no longer scared of the future, but sees it as a challenge...
The woman who has been blessed with so much, that all she wants to do is pass on the love, the encouragement, and strengthen the people she cares about.
The mother who finally feels like she's become someone her son can look up to. The woman who has finally learned her worth and won't accept anything else.
The girl who is working in an amazing career that I never dreamed I would be in now... God is good. I may be tattooed, pierced, and have green hair... but I have never appreciated my freedom in Christ more, or understood his unconditional love and mercy than I do right now.
I look forward to the future... I have the right people around me now... God's helped me conquer my demons and rise above them.
All I could ever hope for is that for anyone reading this... that they may be inspired to believe in a better tomorrow. I hope that God richly blesses you and that you might find happiness and security in your life.
Be loving, be kind, and be generous in your life.
I love you all,