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I often think about my life and how different I am today, than from who I was before. It’s not like I am a completely different person but I have grown tremendously. My BFA show, back in May of 2006, was an accomplishment I will always be proud of. Not just because I was finally graduating after 7 years of school but it proved that all my hard work truly paid off.

I explored my subject a few years early and really learned a lot about myself as an artist and an individual during the process. I always knew my work would explore my life and experiences but I really needed to feel comfortable with doing that in such a way that was true to who I was. When it came down to it, the show has to be honest and raw or it wasn’t going to make the statement I wanted it to. Opening myself up for the world to see through my love for photography, as well as my skills as a designer, was the most honest I could be.

My show covered life events and thoughts expressed through the seven deadly sins. This was the platform I chose to connect with the viewer, something familiar. Each one included a manipulated photo and some text that described that event/time in my life. As I look at these today, it’s like I am visiting an old friend. This show acted as a closed door and then my future from then on was a new one opening.

One particular piece, Envy, is a special one. It’s expressing my love for the future me because I know in my heart she will be more confident and wiser. In addition, the issues that remained at the time in my life would no longer take hold of her. She was beautiful and strong. Today, I feel I am that woman. It is just so awesome to look back 7 years ago and know that the future me I envied back then, is the woman I have grown to be.

“I look at her, satisfied. Envy undertones. The future me, beautiful.”

I hope this inspires you to peek into your past and see how much you’ve grown as well. We all have moments of awakening and realization. When they come in as clear as they should, it justifies everything you have lived up until now. In another decade I hope to look back and feel the same way I am now. As long as you live your best life and be true to who you are, the future you will always be the person you wish to be now. Why? Because that person lives within you and just needs a little light to come alive.

{For more information on my BFA show, Mind Evolution, click here}

Inspiration Photo Friday: Envy - © Melissa O'Connor-Arena