Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography
"...If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud"
This dress is a cute metallic number that would be perfect for New Year's Eve parties or festivities! Would you believe that it was actually 29 degrees on the day that Deeana and I shot these pictures? We got all of these photos done in under 5 minutes... the weather can be very motivating- ha!
But today I actually don't want to talk predominantly about my outfit, or New Year's Eve style. I actually want to talk about something a bit more serious. Something that I haven't shared at all on my blog in 2016...
This year, I was the victim of a crime.
The crime was not rape or sexual in nature, but for discretion, (since the matter was resolved legally), the above statement is all that I'm going to share about the occurrence itself.
The reason that I am finally writing about this on my blog so many months later, is that there is something worth talking about for feeling like you have to hide an extremely painful and traumatic situation. For me, blogging is a big part of my world. To have literally gone through hell and back in 2016, and to not have shared the biggest occurrence of my life to date through the best means of stress relief that I know how- which would be blogging- was almost as unbearable as what I went through itself! For months, I felt re-victimized all over again. This whole summer, I felt that I was lying to myself and to all of you as I tried to make it seem in post after post like everything was rosy and sunny and happy in my world. I'm still thankful to God as there was much good happening and many blessings in my life to still be grateful for this year. The opportunity to stay in North Carolina following college, having a few part-time job opportunities so that I could afford to pay my own way through broadcasting school... just to name a few. But while good things were happening, I was fighting panic attacks and anxiety and random crying outbursts and days where I physically had to force myself out of bed. This was the pain and the reality of surviving the aftermath of the event that I went through earlier this year. And for many months, all of that had to be 100% hidden from the "Miss ALK" side of my life- aka my blog and social media.
The location that these photos were taken at is the Midtown Target parking deck near Uptown Charlotte. As many of my longtime reader friends know, this spot is my favorite place in Charlotte. (True story: I always told my friends in college that if I were to meet my future husband in Charlotte, I wanted to be proposed to up there!) And it's also a place that has held a lot of significance to my blog over the years. I first did photos up here for one of my very first product review posts, and that was almost three years ago! The first time that I ever shot with a professional photographer was on this deck, and the announcement photos for when I rebranded my blog two years ago were also taken here. When I began working with Deeana Kourtney Photography this past spring, we met for our first photoshoot up here as well. (That very day in fact I told her about the situation in which I'm writing about in today's post.) I knew after we shot this NYE look on top of the deck that it was finally time to share the words that have been waiting inside of me for the better part of 2016.
2016 has without a doubt been the darkest year of my life. I am so thankful for my parents- they have been incredibly supportive through it all. And I am also thankful for a few close friends who proved their loyalty and trustworthiness and stuck by my side through this journey. But it's time to let what's in the past be in the past, and to make peace in my heart with 2016. There are so many things that I wish I could change about this year, but I am ready to sparkle and shine my way into 2017.
I have not a clue where 2017 will take me. I finish broadcasting school this spring, and I am more certain than ever before that radio broadcasting is the field that I want to work in. When thinking about where I want to live longterm, Charlotte of course comes to mind. I still love it here, and many people that I love reside here. I would absolutely stay here longer if employment in my field should work out. But I'm also at a a place finally where I feel confident enough to leave Charlotte, or even North Carolina. No move to Maine is back on my radar, but I do feel like I could see myself living in another part of the South, or even a totally different part of the country, if a job were to provide that opportunity. I feel confident and excited in my future endeavors. I know that all of the hardships that 2016 brought were apart of God's plan to make me stronger. My story will help others, even if not right now... someday.
In more positive news regarding 2016, I will be sharing some of the happier highlights from this year (of which there were many of these as well) in Wednesday and Friday's posts! First up will be highlights from my favorite memories from this year in my personal life on Wednesday, and then on Friday I'll be sharing the best of this year for me in blogging moments. So please stay tuned this week for both of these posts!
Are you ready to sparkle your way into 2017 with me?
xoxo Miss ALK