oh man. Where to begin…
I am SUPER hesitate to talk about this… it’s a little on the ‘not as fun’ side of me. But oh well!
I have some anxiety. It’s pretty normal. Like the kind of anxiety you get when you’re headed into a presentation or when you need to give a talk in church. I have 2 things that give me that anxiety… Flying on airplanes and shooting the first wedding of the wedding season. Let me elaborate about ‘flying on airplanes’. I’m actually NOT afraid of the flight… I know we’re not crashing and dying. I’m not stressed about that AT ALL! I’m afraid that I’ll miss my flight. Or that I won’t make it through security because I’ll accidentally say ‘where’s my gum’ and they’ll think I’m a terrorist and arrest me. Or trying to find my passport and my boarding pass. I’m constantly touching my pocket to make sure I have both of those things at all times until I get through security. I really put on an act when I’m around people, but honestly… I can’t stand that part! Seriously! I’m SO weird!
Secondly, ‘first wedding of the season’. Ok people… I have a stressful job. That’s why I get paid the big bucks. Being a wedding photographer is so amazing, but the first wedding of the wedding season is always more stressful than the ones I’m shooting in September. I’ve been out of the groove of it for a bit. I’m worried that I’ll not be posing them in a current modern way, or that I’ll slip into the rhythm of doing something old fashioned. It’s scary. AND (this applies to all weddings) If something goes wrong with the wedding day images… that’s on me. So there’s stress involved with this shenanigans. With this wedding, I was coordinating with one of the bridesmaids to pick me up from my hotel and take me to the Oakland LDS Temple. That was another stress… ‘What if she’s late picking me up!’ what if… what if… Blah!
On a side note: I have been helping some close friends and family through really hard times in their lives. It’s been an emotionally stressful time as well. I’m personally not going through things, but having long conversations about serious and life changing things can be a little taxing on my soul.
And that’s where we begin.
My flight was on Friday (wedding on Saturday). I left in the afternoon. I was a wreck! My anxiety was crazy. I asked my mom to drop me off at the Provo Airport 2 hours before my flight. The Provo Airport is itty bitty. When I get nervous I talk a lot. So I had my passport to the security attendant and start talking about how I forgot to wear matching socks. ‘Now errr body’s gonna see my fashion mistake!’ She laughed which made me feel SO much better. I was through security and sitting down waiting to be boarded with an hour and 45 minutes to spare. I felt instant happiness on the other side of security.
I made it to Oakland and I went straight to my hotel. I ended up falling asleep for 3 hours. 3 HOURS! That’s how much I needed a nap from the mad anxiety that I had earlier that day bundled with a little bit of being a mom and a photographer. 🙂
The next morning the cute bridesmaid (Jessica) picked me up. It was a stunning day! Perfect for shooting a wedding. Britney (my bride) ended up being almost an hour late to her wedding. Everyone around me kept saying that Britney’s motto is ‘Always late, but worth the wait’ And she really is! She is so absolutely adorable. Once we finished photos at the temple, we were trying to figure out what car I should ride in on the way to the reception. (2 hours away) Originally Britney wanted me to ride with her so we could stop along the way and take photos. Everyone else (including me) thought it would be super awkward for me to be a third wheel right after they were married… hee hee! I went with my bridesmaid, Jessica, instead.
We were starving’ so we stopped at a mall to find something to eat in the food court. Apparently there wasn’t a food court in this mall, but everything was sort of scattered throughout. It took us a bit longer than we thought to get our food and finish. We headed out. About 45 minutes into our journey, Jessica missed a turn off, so we started off the freeway to turn around. That’s when my life shattered into tiny little pieces. The wheel locked up and the car wouldn’t accelerate. A light came on that said ECL (I think). Thankfully, we weren’t on the freeway so we pulled off the road. I immediately grabbed my phone and started texting the bride. She could come grab us! Both of their phones were off. 🙁 We called AAA. They called a tow truck to come get us. They said it would be 20-30 minutes. At this point I knew I would be late. Hertz told us that the tow truck would need to take us to the closest rental car place which was in Sacramento. The reception was in the opposite direction. guhhhh. I felt like I was being punched in the gut. Jessica and I went over ALL of our options. We tried to call a cab to come pick us up to get us to the reception. It would take them 1 hour to get to us and we were still and hour and 15 minutes away. I had to be there at 5 pm to take the family portraits and the dinner/reception began at 6 pm. It was 5 pm and we were stuck on the side of a freeway in the middle of Central California. I became desperate and ran to the nearest gas station which was about 1/4 of a mile away. I started asking complete strangers to give me a ride. I asked people who looked like they would probably kill me. Tatoos and piercings… I wasn’t in Utah anymore… I probably could have been rapped and killed. BUT in that moment all I could think about was getting to that reception. All normal thinking went out the window. I even found a cute French gay man that was headed to San Francisco. He drove a Mini Cooper and had a mini black poodle in his car. I wished so badly he could have taken me. He told me he would but he was headed the wrong direction. He was so cute! Anyway, the tow truck ended up getting there WAY later than we thought, so I’m SO happy that we told someone from the reception to come get us. Kenny (brother-in-law) came to pick us up. During our drive I realized that I had gone to Canyon View Junior High with him and that he knew a lot of the people I did! Small world. He also told me that he had scored big points with the family because he volunteered to go pick someone up out in Tracy, CA. He was secretly happy because he would be missing family photos… little did he know that he was picking up the DANG photographer!
I ended up getting to the reception at 7:30 pm, just as the sun was going down. I was able to take the family photos and all of the detail shots. I worked quickly to capture everything I could with the natural light before I needed to use my flash. In all, I loved the photos. I was still able to capture those memories for them. The saddest part for me was that I KNOW what I could have been able to get if I would have been there a little earlier. I also understand that this was completely out of my control and that it wasn’t my fault. BUT I will forever and always be a ‘story’ at the Shiflet family table when they talk about Ben and Britney’s wedding. I added some unneeded stress. That was me. UGH!
I stayed until the very end! 10:30 pm. Jessica and I were without a car… So we asked the Videographer to give us a ride into Sacramento which is where he was headed. He was staying with a friend there. This friend (who happened to be bearded) was at the wedding too. So the 4 of us drove from Sutter Creek to the Sacramento Airport. I got into some pretty good conversations which these two. I can’t remember their names (which is embarrassing), but I’ll call the friend ‘bearded friend’. Somehow the topic of spirit animals came up. Specifically which spirit animal would you be. I answered first and said ‘Mine would be a stealthy foxy fox with purple hair’ Bearded friend replied ‘I haven’t known you for long, but I would guess that you would be more of a talkative chatty leopard.’ hahahahahaha! Then we talked about how tired we were and that we were both scared to drive from Sacramento to Oakland that night. Bearded friend offered his tent for us to sleep in. YES! Is this happening? A tent? Spirit animals? Where am I? What’s going on! AH! The hilariousness of it all!
I offered to drive to Oakland. We left at 12 midnight and I had a 2 hour drive ahead of me. I drank a rockstar really really quickly and I’m pretty sure that didn’t help my heart rate. We made it safely back to Oakland…
Here’s the annoying part… I was hyped up on the rockstar, so I wasn’t able to fall asleep until 3 am. I had to leave at 8 am to catch my flight… Yes. My flight. MORE ANXIETY! I woke up every hour on the hour thinking that I had missed my flight! Needless to say, I had no sleep that night. I bought some See’s Chocolates at the airport (Easter Sunday and all) and headed to my gate. I tried to sleep on the crowded flight… but that didn’t happen. When I saw Greg for the first time, I held back tears. I was on survival mode until that moment. I got in the car and my little babies were in the back saying ‘Hi Mommy!’ ‘We missed you!’ ‘Happy Easter!’ Then Greg asked how it all went. And I just couldn’t even speak. The kids found their Easter Baskets and then we went to Greg’s sister’s house for dinner. It’s so beautiful to be around the Jenkins family. They are seriously a celestial family on earth. I love them.
I was able to sleep that night, BUT the NEXT morning… I had another wedding…
I shot the wedding… No bigs. But when I got home, I had a complete 100% horrific panic attack. I hurried and put a show on for my kids and then went into my room to cry uncontrollably. The heart was racing and I felt like I was having a heart attack. I tried to sing songs, or watch tv, but nothing could stop my heart from beating out of my neck! I called my Mom and she calmed me down. It wasn’t until THAT point that I realized all of the stress I had gone through that weekend. Seriously. I think I’m SO used to juggling so many things that I didn’t realize how intense this weekend really was. At this same time, I was trying to suppress what I thought was really happening. I thought I was having a complete mental break. I wasn’t. No. Not at all. But the fear was in the back of my mind.
My family has some severe mental illness. So the family history is there. I laid on my bed thinking… This is it! The big one! I’m goin’ down! This ship is sinking!
I was able to talk about it to Greg and then I went to a family doctor the next morning. My Mom came with my (to hold my hand) I could have gone myself, I would have preferred that, but I think my Mom wanted to be there. whatever. The doctor said that I was under abnormally high amounts of stress and that I shouldn’t be worried about it. He prescribed me Busiprone, which I can take before I fly again. So, yes… I have an anxiety pill I take. Nice. It’s the only medication I take.
So thar it is!
All of that!
I’ve never ever written such a huge post ever ever, but I had some people ask about how it went, and I just couldn’t give a two sentence response. 🙂
I know I make it look like my life is just fun and games (most of the time it is), but there are struggles, and pain, and sorrow… When I overcome and grow from those challenges my life becomes wonderful.
Now on to the next.