Slowing down, when life give you an opportunity

Written and Photography by Monica Lopez / Model: Hannah Rangel

submitted piece to Bella Grace Magazine

It’s nice when you get a chance to stop and take life in, sometimes it can look like a set back; unemployment, or even an accomplishment; the day after graduating school, or sometimes it’s something beyond your control.

Last January, I wasn’t feeling well , I left work early to  see the doctor. After the medical check up the nurse walked in casually and said, “Congratulations, you’re pregnant”. I sat there trying to picture what my life would look like with a baby. I’ve always been a free spirit, traveling around the world, or spending all day at the office. My husband and I been married for two years, and we talked about having a baby all the time, he would warn me how much our life would change.


Every month I was psychically changing, and so was my life. I couldn’t move as fast as I once did, my productivity suffered as I slept most of the day. I could no longer focus reading, multitasking on my phone made me nauseated. I was forced to slow down.

The pace of my fast food, running out the door, grabbing a coffee  and climbing towards success  was on pause. Once my daughter was born my focus was on taking care of her. I was lucky if I was able to get out of the house. I no longer had the luxury of spending hours in front of the computer making things, the moment I would start a project she would wake up from her nap. When it was time to go back to work, I had the expectations life would go back to normal, but my normal no longer existed. I couldn’t help and feel my new purpose in life was to take care of my daughter. It’s a decision that every new mom has to make whether she wants to work or stay home with the baby. To my own surprise,  I made the decision to resign and be a full time mom.
After a few months at home, I started to see someone else in the mirror looking back at me.  I no longer had a title with a team to lead to make me feel special. My inbox was zero and days would go by without receiving a text messages.

I wondered what else could I do with this new pace of life. I now had time to give attention to the things I always said I’m too busy for. I started to ask myself questions; What do I enjoy doing? How can I help others? What do I want to do with my creativity?  For the first time in my adult life, I could use my skills of photography, and producing videos for the pure enjoyment.

When I would take my daughter to the park, I would take my camera with me and take photos of the trees.  I would film my daughter when my husband and I would take her out for walks and edit videos about her. When she was busy playing with her toys, I started to spend time writing on my blog.  After her bath, we would discover new stories as we read together. Because I was home all day and trying to save money I had to learn how to cook healthy food for my daughter and us. I also had to think of new things to do as entertainment now that I was on a written budget. I started to scrap book and document every month. I returned to my love of journaling and writing about the things I’ve learned.


My daughter gave me the gift of slowing down.  I was discovering how passionate I am about creativity and the role it plays in our health.


My life is completely different from a year ago. My daughter is growing so fast and I’m able to take the time to be with her, teaching and playing with her everyday. She is seeing the world for the first time and showing me how to the same. 

I needed to lose myself in order to start all over and rediscover who I now am. My younger self never thought this far, now that I am living it, I’m not sure where to go from here. My story isn’t done. Life has given me the opportunity to create adventures I haven’t even dreamt of.

——————-

Bellagrace is a magazine written by its readers. The magazine accepts articles and photography submissions so I wanted to adventure out and tell the story of my transition to a baby centered world while staying creative.

Behind the scenes photos:


A Book and Spring Flowers

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You know we all have our thing, the thing we are self conscious about that seems so large in our own mind. For some reason the feminist movement has made being a woman confusing, should we or shouldn’t we be proud to be a woman. The modern world seems to encourage us to be more like men, and to ignore what makes us different. For years, I avoided wearing dresses, or to wear too much make up, afraid it would make me look weak, but it all goes much deeper than that. Now that I am in my thirties, a department director and soon to be wife, being a woman seems like an impossible achievement to master.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThe book Man and Woman: A Divine Invention by Alice Von Hildebrand came to me while listening to Eric Metaxas interview. I would be lying if I told you the pressure of becoming a wife isn’t freaking me out a little bit. Is there a wife bootcamp I can attend to get me ready for the challenge I’m about to face? Probably not, but reading more about my new calling would give me an idea on what I am to do.
I know becoming a wife is deeper than cooking or the classic 1950’s woman. In fact, while reading the book , I began to see being a woman is a divine gift given by God – which I never really looked at it that way.
“[Male & Female] They are two beings of equal dignity, but complementary; therefore, they are mutually necessary for enriching one another.”
Reading about the power of a woman made me embrace being femine. The weeks following completing the book, I bought flowers for the video office. It was a small act, but for me it was part of embracing the fact I wanted flowers because they are beautiful. It brighten up the room and I enjoyed looking at them while I rendered.
It was interesting to read about the influence a woman’s heart can have on society. I thought about when developing a video project, what heart can I bring to my work that I usually ignore?
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“Without feminine, contact, men will never develop their “human side.” They become inventors, creators, and producers, but their own being remains an uncultivated field.”
She quotes another fellow writer, Adolf Von Hildeand,  “So it is that we love a woman as our holy ghost; through womanhood we develop our most human element into full sensibility; the rest of our being belongs therefore to the outer world.”
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“We live in a world that has become more and more dehumanized, more and more heartless, a world dominated by technology, by machines…The machines cannot smile or utter a word of comfort to the sick, who are desperately in need of understanding, patiences, and compassion in order to carry well the cross of physical and psychological suffering. Human persons are made of body and soul, and the body cannot recover when the soul is neglected.”
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“Feminist forget that to be a wife and a mother, to create a home and to be there to give love, and to listen to the little woes of the little ones who crave for tenderness and affection is like being the sun illuminating a dark world.”
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Something Gus told me when we first met, he said I bought color into his world.
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“Each sex has its role; each has its talents;  each has its mission.”

I loved learning about the beauty I hold and the call on my life to deliver it into the world.

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I don’t think I would have been able to embrace my femininity without falling in love with my future husband’s masculinity. Our different strengths together make us better people. I’ve never had so much confidence like I do now, and its not because I’m no longer alone, it’s because his perspective are my blind spots, and my perspective his blind spots. We help each other in so many ways.
Male and Female, how beautiful they complement each other.
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What an adventure we are about to take on. Its going to be fun.. says the happy engaged woman about to marry the man everyone said didn’t exist.
Two months to go..

A Gift to an Editor

As I was trying to take a Sunday nap, I heard a bird outside singing. The more this bird sang the more I realized how unique it’s song was. I remember times when I was in the office all day and I hadn’t seen a sunset or heard a bird singing. I would actually Google or YouTube: birds singing, or sunset.

I figured I would record the bird’s song as a gift to those editors who are working hard.

Enjoy.

 

Ps. Everything is going to be okay. You’ll meet the deadline and “they” will love it. 🙂

Spring Makes Me Think of You

The birds are singing,

The sun is shining,

but I can’t help but notice you are not here.

The flowers are blooming,

the butterflies are leaving their cocoons,

watching life pass by makes me miss you.

My darling friend,

where in the world are you?

Even though time has passed

I wonder if you notice I’m no longer in the room.

Oh, how spring makes me think of you.

No matter the distance,

No matter whats going on,

you and I will be forever young.

**dedicated to Veronica.