Strength of my Scars: Girl behind the Lens
So here's the ugly truth. I grew up insecure, shy, stood out more than I fit in, cared more about what others thought about me then what I thought about myself and basically became that girl who couldn't figure out who she really was. For years I struggled with acceptance and the ability to feel somewhat comfortable in my own skin. You see in my teenage years I had curves and the body of a grown woman that always seemed to catch the eyes of grown men preying on fresh meat. It wasn't my beauty because back then my confidence was so low you could say anything and I would only believe... That was the problem and because my self esteem was so low it only made telling me I was beautiful that much easier to get in between... my heart that is. I said this was the ugly truth... well here's more. I was thick, slim in the waist not so much of a ten in the face but my ass made for a pass. I remember being teased for the way my teeth looked hell even now in my adult years they're still no where near perfection. "No need to fix what God already put his paintbrush on! What it's like to have a crooked smile" J. Cole couldn't have said it any better in his 2013 album Born Sinner. People were cruel and although it hurt on the inside one of my best traits and still until this day is never let them see you sweat. Makes no sense right? How could somebody with such low self esteem for herself front like the name calling didn't bother her? How did I portray such confidence but behind closed doors I had none? Ill tell you how... I didn't let shit bother me but bet your ass I'd cry like a baby later. I was sensitive as hell... no I am sensitive as hell just learned to deal with shit on my own time. Growing up was rough and this blog wouldn't be enough to air out all my dirty laundry. For years I've struggled, I've cried, I've kept secrets and even this blog wouldn't say much and will only keep you guessing, might even leave you wanting to find out or know more. Did I break? Nope! Not at all I was good at holding my head high and I've managed to find strength in all my Scars.
Fast forward years later, broken relationships: love, family, friends, single
mother of two, full time job, dreams, fears of failing, no college degree but in the back of my mind only wanting to finish and desperately wanting so much more and yet still no sweat just a true sense of what confidence began to feel like. September 17, 2013 I purchased my first DLSR camera. Red was her name and from there I began taking pictures of my son Jai'Dan. We were at a game can't quite remember who's game but I know it was at DSST a school close to where we lived. As we sat on the bleachers I had my camera and began capturing pictures of my son. I later posted them on Facebook and thought to myself dang not bad for my first time. From there I began shooting more for friends and family. More and more my images got better, my confidence grew and the birth of at that time what was my 2nd baby, Monaie Diamond Photography began. My name is Chermetra Monaie Diamond Keys, yeah not sure what my parents were thinking either when they named me but my middle name always sounded so unique and in fact at 18 it was my first tattoo on my right forearm and later became the name of what now is my photography business. The growth of my business was also the growth of me and later on that next year I found out I was expecting my 2nd child (3rd baby if you count my business) a baby girl and sure enough Jai'Monaie opened up another side of me I never knew existed....Strength!
Part 2 coming soon....