Life is interesting. Everyday, every month, every year brings about new challenges, some expected, many unexpected. When I think about the story of my life, my experiences, my challenges, I often wonder what pieces of my life’s journey I will leave behind.
In my opinion, scrapbooking is a way to tell the story of our lives. Some choose only to include the happy moments, the joys, the ups, the good times. And while I think it is wonderful to remember the good, I think that is important to share the moments that leave an everlasting imprint on our lives. The moments that are hard, challenging, and sad.
The moments that make us truly human.
During the summer of 2014, my husband came out as transgender. The handsome, funny, smart, intelligent man I once knew felt trapped, living an existence that didn’t feel right. For years my husband struggled with gender identity; over compensating to muffle the deep yearning to be female. The time had come…the truth had to be set free.
I said goodbye to Bryan.
I said hello to Aubree.
The transition from male to female has been an education to say the least. Our new “normal” began quickly: wigs, dresses, makeup, shoes, a new name…a new existence. Some things remained the same while other things changed. This experience was both exciting and terrifying. I struggled for months trying to find the “perfect” words to describe what I felt about all of this. What was to be lost? What was to be gained?
During this time, Aubree and I sought counseling and began the work of adapting to this change. I played the role of emotional spouse and fiercely protective ally. In our most vulnerable moments, we questioned if our marriage would survive.
What would our lives look like as a divorced couple?
Where would we live? Would we be roommates?
We have a kid to consider. How would visitation look?
Millions of questions, thoughts, and worries flooded our heads until finally, one day while having yet another deep conversation about our future, we both raised the white flag and said, “No more.” We could not imagine a world or a scenario where we were not together.
We were going to walk through the fire. We were going to FIGHT for our marriage.
And so we did.
Today, we celebrate 7 years of marriage. And to think that we almost didn’t make it gives this particular anniversary more meaning. We have come so far and continue to have a long journey ahead of us.
We are stronger than ever.
And we are holding on.
Scrapbooking has been my therapy through out this process and without it, I do not think I would have been able to express my feelings. I have learned that it’s okay to be transparent with myself through this art form. I want to leave behind my life’s story…the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Here’s what I used for this layout:
- Gray and white card stock from my stash
- Title “Brush Script HT” cut from Silhouette Cameo
- Frames – Maggie Holmes (Crate Paper)
- Ephemera – Maggie Holmes (Crate Paper)
- Gold Puffy Stickers – Craft Market (Crate Paper)
- Chip board die cuts – Maggie Holmes “Open Book” (Crate Paper)
- Patterned Paper – “On Trend” by My Mind’s Eye
- Gold Mist – Heidi Swapp Color Shine
And here’s the process video! Happy scrappin’!