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I told myself I would never wear red lipstick. I don’t know where this phobia of colored lips came to play in my life but as far back as I can remember…it was something that I hated. I grew up with this beautiful woman as my neighbor that I knew as Grandma Rose. Her hair stood firm with half a can of Aquanet daily and her lips always adorned with a shade of pink or red. As much as I loved Grandma Rose…I hated her kisses. They left stains on all of her straws and cups and especially on my olive skin. She respected my phobia and would give me the biggest hugs or would wait to apply lipstick until after she spoiled me with kisses. Her kisses literally made impressions, were everlasting and full of confidence.

Fast forward 20 years and I recently purchased my very own red lipstick because of my own desire. To be honest, I haven’t kept it on very long. I think it’s going to be something of an acquired taste and I am definitely going to have to get used to seeing it stain everything my mouth touches, but it’s a start. Now that I think of it, I have slowly ventured into womanhood. I didn’t grow up doing lots of girly things like painting nails, curling hair or wearing different kinds of makeup. I have never dyed my hair and it wasn’t until a few years ago I purchased my first pair of high heels. Maybe I wanted to live this young girl, carefree life as long as I could or maybe I just never thought I would be very good at being a woman and I felt like I had to constantly search on what that looked like.

The fact of the matter is and if I can be corny for a second and quote Britney Spears…I’m not a girl, I am a woman. I have experienced the in between of “not yet a woman”. I feel like this year especially has been the biggest journey of that. The last few years I have been searching for what I wanted life to look like and who I wanted to be and I am finally understanding what God is asking from me.

He is asking me to put on red lipstick, leave an impression of love and be confident in who He has designed me to be.

I married young, at 21 years of age, and really planned what I wanted the rest of my life to look like. In “my dream plan” I wanted to be starting a family at 26, I wanted to have just moved into our home with the white picket fence across from the community park and I wanted a business that I shared just with my husband. The reality of it all is that I held on so tightly to my own dream that I didn’t allow or welcome in growth for myself, my partner or for us. I was forcing my phobias on life, like that red lipstick stain, and making my own rules for everyone to abide by. If it didn’t fit into “the plan”…it wasn’t even worth discussing. I didn’t know how to be confident, courageous or welcoming to Gods plan.

Present day? My ex and I divorced shy of two years of marriage, he actually just started his own family at age 26 as I have found my life partner and best friend, and the business I began is growing and so many people are involved in it. And all of these things, through lots of healing and forgiveness, are so amazing!! Once my own plans got knocked out and I learned to trust in God and what He has in store for me, living became this thriving activity full of so much adventure and freedom!

So as I have been searching the past few years… I have been taking many opportunities. I have been listening to my gut and allowing God to guide me through it all. I have met amazing people and seen amazing places. I have felt like “I had it all figured out” to only realize, that I never will. I have been learning to take it all one day at a time.

I am focusing on becoming the woman I want to be and that being a woman of God. I am trying so hard to focus less on me and more on others. I am keeping my heart open to taking risks and dreaming big but also coming first to the Lord and seeing what He wants for me. This year has been humbling. It’s been one that has stretched me, challenged me and allowed me to grow more into someone I could only have dreamt I would be.

Through my time in Uganda and giving up a lot to have that experience, I felt the strongest I have ever been. I remember leaving Africa feeling like I could do anything and I had all of the strength and motivation behind me to do so. When I stepped back on American soil, I felt the weakest I had been in such a long time…I felt so lost. My emotions have been on an absolute roller coaster ride the last 6 months. Falling in love and figuring out a future with your best friend will certainly do that to you as well as fitting “your own life” into that. I have felt the most loved ever by a human being and I have hated on myself the most from insecurities and fears creeping up on me from past experiences. I have learned time and time again to forgive and to love unconditionally…mainly for myself. Through every challenge, there is strength at the finish line. And that is exactly what I have learned this life is…a marathon of sorts.

So what kind of woman do I want to be and embrace for myself? I want to be the woman God has created me to be. I want to be strong, courageous and a whimsical dreamer. I want to live with a childlike soul so I can continue seeing His beauty from the eyes of a child but with the wisdom of an adult woman. I want to step up and take risks when He asks me to and I want to listen to His voice when He asks me to stay put and be present in my own community. I want to leave a courageous, confident impression of love…just like red lipstick kisses. I want to be available to others as I know over the past year, I have made myself the most unavailable.

That is where this post started from…being available. This year has been one where I have been continually reached out to. It is the biggest blessing and honor. It’s also been overwhelmingly beautiful. I find myself in tears every day reading e-mails from beautiful people around the world. I want so badly to sit down with each e-mail and devote an hour or so in reply, but then I see my list of editing and shoots that has to happen in between all of the travel going on in the midst of emotional lessons. I so badly am working on being as available as I can be to all of you. As the woman God has created me to be, I thrive off hearing stories and connecting to people. I believe we are all here to help one another and it’s my biggest honor that I could connect with some of you.

So as I move forward, I start small in dedicating time to you. If it is connecting for a coffee, skype session or simply replying back to one of the many e-mails one day at a time, I will be here for you. Forgive me as I learn to juggle it all but I feel the Lord asking me to find balance in making space for others. Whether that be a reply e-mail or simply being able to dedicate my time to building a volunteer program and community to offer unique giving opportunities…I am doing it for you.

Through all of my self discoveries, even the ones where I learn I really do love girly things, I am learning to grow and stretch to welcome the woman God wants me to be instead of constantly feeling I have to search for it. I will lay down my life to be available to others. I will take risks on people and opportunities. I will love myself and others as unconditionally as God does and I will always move forward hand in hand with my Father.

bda
  • November 6, 2013 - 10:49 am

    dorothy - Mary,
    I love you so much and feel extremely privileged to be a part of your beautiful adventures.ReplyCancel

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I am a broken individual who puts way too much pressure on herself. I am happy to bend over backwards and show grace to others but I find it quite hard to give that grace to myself. I am a lover and sometimes I feel that can be a flaw..I always question if I have loved enough. I have this crazy assumption that I am a bother to those around me..which I know deep down is not true..but my natural instinct is to keep to myself until I am approached or reached out to.

//

I am a believer in Christ, surrendering my life to Him has been the hardest and most amazing gift. I am a dreamer. I often find myself overwhelmed thinking of all the amazing places and people in this world that I want to be a part of my life. I am a natural host…I love taking care of people and making sure they have the best experience ever. I am a mother at heart and I believe children are the most beautiful things in the world. I take pride in being one of Gods children and that He loves to dazzle and woo me in ways no one else can because He knows my heart like no other. I am an adventurer and the thought of being on the road or traveling this amazing world non stop excites me. I am also a homebody who craves stability and a sense of belonging where community is created. I am a simple person and if you stripped me of everything but left me my loved ones…I know I will be just fine and dandy.

//

In no particular order I love hiking and being outdoors. The country of Uganda. Sushi. My loved ones. The color green. Audrey Hepburn, John Ritter and Lucille Ball because they feel like family members to me as I grew up spending a lot of time with them…they make me laugh. Reading and writing. Pairing quotes and pictures. Sea Lions. Buying greeting cards for people and collecting perfect ones for the perfect moments. When I am driving or getting lost in a new place and the perfect song comes on and it makes you think you are in a movie and the soundtrack is playing over your stereo. Jesus. When my stomach and cheeks hurt so badly from laughing. Getting so excited about something that all I can do is skip. Hot sauce. Collecting magnets from places I visit. Meeting people for the first time and finding Gods perfect connection between our two worlds. Common courtesy. Rice and beans. Getting lost in a book that you don’t want to eat or sleep. One on one dates with strangers. Small intimate gatherings with friends. Bonfires and hammocks. Moscow Mules in copper mugs. Mobile homes of all sorts. Snoozing my alarm for about an hour. Helping others so much that you are exhausted but mostly because of the amount of love overflowing from your whole being.

//

I share with you my weaknesses, my strengths and my random likings because all of these things make up me. It’s so easy for us to get lost in the hustle and bustle of this world striving to be someone we are not. Other peoples lives are intriguing…yes. Every single television station has at least one reality show where we can easily get sucked in on what other people are doing and how they are living their lives (which most of the time is unrealistic and frankly sad). We work harder to become stronger, richer, prettier, more successful, etc. Sometimes I am blown away at the thought that WE ALL come into this world the same way. Everyone was in a woman’s womb at some point. What happens after the moment of birth starts peoples unique journeys through this life…but we all came from the same place…with absolutely nothing and we will leave the same with only our memories and full hearts.

Even though we came into this world the same way, God created us uniquely. Everything I shared…I didn’t list it because it’s what a friend or someone I know likes, is like or is striving to be. I listed off some qualities of who makes me…me. Some I like and some I don’t like. Don’t get me wrong, daily I am faced with opportunities or temptation to be someone else. I can get lost in the possibilities of how I can dress, eat, look, educate, travel, decorate ( I blame pinterest), socialize….there are so many ways to go about this life! Some people embrace who they uniquely are and some people admire the unique qualities in others and adapt them to their own lives. There is nothing wrong with being inspired or inspiring others but this day in age…so many people are ignoring who they are because they like the thought of being someone else.

I want to encourage you to be YOU! No one else can be. Let’s stop striving to live a life out of just the influence of what others are doing…which it seems like they are all doing the same thing anyway. BE THE INFLUENCE! Follow the beat of your own drum…is that the saying? I’m not sure. Embrace the life that God is calling you to live. If you are not sure what that life is…ask Him. If you are not sure who you are…ASK HIM. If you are not sure where you got lost in the midst of conforming to other peoples lives…sit down next to Him and He will remind you of the beautiful, unique child you are…the one He loves no matter your weaknesses, strengths or interests.

//

You are one of a kind. You are amazing. You are unique. You are beautiful. Please be you.

bda
  • September 4, 2013 - 6:17 am

    Erika Chambers - Thank you for this, Mary.ReplyCancel

  • September 4, 2013 - 12:35 pm

    josh - Mary, it’s because you are YOU that I love the heck out of you. THANK you for being so amazing. For being so honest, embracing a little vulnerability and sharing YOU with the world. I know you’ve impacted so many lives because you just LOVE so much. Thank you for that…ReplyCancel

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Image by Dorothy Huynh

Dear Stranger,

You don’t know me but you helped bring me into this world and for that…I have to tell you thank you from the bottom of my heart. Our time together was limited but without those 9 months, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. It is now that day, April 25th, one of the last days we spent together but also the day you so graciously handed me over to two other people who would take over the role of caregiving for you. I can’t speak much on this experience, forgive me..my memory isn’t all that great, but I know this was one of the hardest things you have ever had to do.

I think about you a lot. There are times I get lost looking in the mirror wondering what parts of you I am looking at. Do you have green eyes? Is your hair also thick and brown? Does this shade of pink tint your lips as well? As I am getting older I find myself reflecting on what other traits I may have of yours that are not only physical. Do you love to travel? Are you an artist? Do you love children so much that you would do anything to give them the best life possible?

I want you to know how thankful I am for you. I understand that I wasn’t a plan for your life but acknowledging that I was a plan for THIS life…I can’t even express my gratitude. Thank you for those 9 months. As my friends venture into motherhood, I know it isn’t just a walk in the park emotionally, physically, financially, etc. For you to sacrifice yourself and your body for me is courageous. I see my friends on their journey and it’s something from the first day of knowing you are carrying life and growing a person, everything changes. I’m not sure if you knew all along that we weren’t going to spend more than that time together but it had to be somewhere in your mind. I just imagine everyone around you asking you how you are doing and possibly wanting to dive into those details (names, feeding plans, birth plans, decorations, baby showers, education, etc.). If we are anything alike, I am sure you wanted to run away and crawl under a rock to avoid these questions…to avoid those answers. Thank you for dealing with all of that…I know it wasn’t easy as it’s not the usual answer “I am giving this child up for adoption” when people see your growing belly and start asking questions with genuine excitement.

We spent a lot of time together, a lot of intimate time. I am sure a lot conversations were had…many promises you asked me to make with you…many apologies you asked me to accept. If one of those promises was to live life to the fullest and to follow my dreams no matter how big they are…I am keeping that promise. If one of those apologies was along the lines of forgiving you…I do.

I can only imagine where your mind can take you sometimes. I want you to know that I am doing great. Maybe you get lost in thought when you are driving or walking down your drive way to get the mail at the end of a long day and wonder how I am doing…I have always wanted to tell you that I am fine. This journey of life has not been easy but it hasn’t been the hardest. The amount of happy memories I have far outweigh the bad memories..and even in the bad times, I understand that those have happened for a reason. That’s the biggest thing I should tell you that might provide the most comfort for you…I know God has been in this whole situation with us since before you even knew I was in your life. Whatever events occurred to bring me into this world or to make that decision that we wouldn’t walk side by side after April 25th of 1987…it was all God. We can’t doubt Him and His intentions… if this is His will, it’s the best way.

So today might be one of the hardest days of the year for you. As the years pass and I grow older, I can’t help but think less about party hats and cake and more about how you are doing. I know it’s a big favor to ask of you and the dream answer would be that you have already, but I need you to forgive yourself. I can promise you that the decision you made was the best decision and the only one that could have followed through. Again, if we are anything alike and forgive me if I am more like the other half of this equation and this is annoying, but I can imagine walking away from this situation and holding regrets and I pray that you are not. We spent our time together and it was some of the most crucial and important times of my life and I have a feeling our time together was spent with a lot of love, caring and compassion.

I am sorry…I’m sorry that you had to go through that 9 month roller coaster. Sorry you couldn’t drink coffee or sleep on your stomach. I’m sorry that your body morphed into ways that only God could come up with. I am sorry you had to walk out of that hospital alone and I couldn’t be there to hold your hand. More than anything…I am just thankful and I have a feeling you are too. I know you learned so much through this whole experience of bringing me into this world and that has created a bond that I am forever grateful for. I may not know your name, where you come from, what you look like…or anything for that matter but you are my hero and I love you so much.

So today let’s celebrate life…and let’s celebrate you. Thank you for the most amazing present I could ever dream of.

I wish you all of the best.

bda
  • April 25, 2013 - 7:57 am

    Gail - Mary, you are so uniquely destined to live this vagabond life you are living. It’s inspiring beyond measure and it’s helping those of us proud to call you friend feel a closer kinship to God too. Proud of you and hope (as you’ve said) that that little RV tour of yours brings you my way in 2014. Much love, GReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2013 - 10:47 am

    josh - This is beautiful. You can claim the Solar family name. You already have the Solar family spirit of love and kindness…we’d love to have you in our family :)ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2013 - 11:11 am

    richard cao - <3 so moving and so powerful.ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2013 - 3:49 pm

    Annie - Happy birthday wonderful friend.ReplyCancel

  • April 29, 2013 - 10:10 am

    Sofia Draco - I LOVE YOU!ReplyCancel

  • May 1, 2013 - 8:30 am

    Stephanie - Mary – What a beautiful glimpse into your heart. My daughter, adopted at almost three months, shares the same birthday as you and turned 10 this year. I stumbled upon your post on your/her birthday and it touched me deeply. Your words contain much of the hope I have for daughter as she processes through her feelings for her birthmother. Thank you for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • May 2, 2013 - 9:46 am

    Oh, The Blended Web... | by Stephanie Rosic - […] Maybe it was because the author and my daughter share the same birthday, and I happened to read this on that day, that it touched me so deeply. But I wanted to share it with you because of  the sheer beauty of the words and the heart behind this marvelous story of life. […]ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2017 - 12:49 pm

    Andrea - 4 years late, but wow. What an amazing post. Happy birthday, Mary! And I pray that your birth mother finds joy today, too.ReplyCancel

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Dear 21 year old Mary,

I look at this picture and want to tell you so many things from your future self. Since I am turning 26 this year..you know I am full of so much more wisdom than you. 😉 I know how you are feeling at that exact moment in this picture…

It’s the first day of June in 2008 and you are celebrating your friend Bethanys birthday in a Massachusetts park. Your closest friends are by your side and you even just welcomed a cute little poodle into your family. You surprised the birthday girl with tickets to see Rilo Kiley that night and you are just so excited to go dance with your friends while listening to some of your favorite music. Your fiancé made the trip from Vermont to spend time with you all that weekend and even squeezed in some wedding planning, as the big event is only 27 days away. You are graduating in a couple of weeks and are ready to conquer the world. Your portfolio passed it’s final review and you are more than ready to walk across that stage. You are dreaming of photographing couples in California as you are moving there in a little over a month. Yes, California…no…you don’t know anyone there. Your whole life is about to change in such big ways and just when you think the whirlwind is over…God will show you He has a few more tricks up His sleeve.

You see..you will move to California. The first six months of that brand new place will be so incredibly hard. You will take jobs that you will dread going to every morning just to pay the bills. It takes some time to make friends in Los Angeles, the city of a million people just wanting to fit in. You will eat ALOT of frozen yogurt…yes it’s as amazing as it sounds. You eventually will learn to love the state you live in. You will make friends where ever you go and one day you won’t even have to use your GPS to get around. You will travel the whole state north to south and will even fall in love with a couple of places called Joshua Tree and Big Sur.

That girl Bethany that you were celebrating that day? Yes..she will become not only your best friend but your sister. She will call you every evening during those first 6 months you are in California and so very lonely. You will see her every year I promise…heck you are even going to photograph her wedding to Ryan..can you believe it? One day she will fly from New York to California when your heart is broken into more pieces then you could imagine and you will take a road trip to San Francisco together for a short getaway. You will meet in various places through out the next few years but it will never feel like a lot of time has passed. And just when you think that Bethany couldn’t be anymore awesome….she will surprise you on your studio door step the day of your organizations first event and make you bawl your eyes out because in that moment, you needed her more than you knew.

You know that poodle sitting by your feet? You ended up calling him Rilo. That dog will steal the biggest piece of your heart. You will go on many adventures and he will literally attach himself to your hip. There will be a time where you go hiking every day together and he will crawl up on your chest when the tears are falling at night. He will be patient with you, comforting and so excited to see you everyday when you open that front door. You will travel together and sometimes you will have to leave him behind….but I promise he will never forget you.

June 28th is the big day right? The sunny seaside wedding in Maine with sunflowers and picnic baskets and blankets for all the guests? Well…heads up…it’s going to rain….but it will still be fun. Your soon to be mother in law will surprise you with a horse drawn carriage to get you to the ceremony site and your soon to be father in law will help you down the steps. I know what you’re thinking…it’s raining…you’re going to probably slip on your butt and make a fool of yourself. Surprisingly, you won’t. You will make it down the aisle without any bruises to the lovely tunes of Feists Mushaboom that your friends are playing acoustically. Your hands will be shaking because of the cold or maybe just from the excitement of committing your heart to someone forever. You will be happy…really, truly happy.

I really don’t want to be the bearer of bad news on this next part my dear but you won’t even make it to your second anniversary. There will be a day that you just feel the pit at the bottom of your stomach that something isn’t right. You ask that question, wanting so badly to hear the desired answer of “yes, of course we’re fine” but alas…you hear the answer that only nightmares could be made of. It’s raining and you rode your bike to his work and you take off in the storm because this simply is not the time and place to have the conversation. Every morning you will wake up hurting and wondering “how can I make him love me again today?”. That month will be the worst month of your life. Finally, after 30 tortuous days…you will let go and accept the truth that there simply is no more “us”. Rings will come off, bags will be packed and separate ways will be had.

Oh man..I really didn’t want to tell you that. I thought that maybe we could skip over that part and continue telling you more about your future but there is just no way around it. Yes, you are a divorcee. Gross right? No one ever wants to be called that. But you know what? It’s going to be one of the best things that has ever happened to you. I know, I know…that doesn’t make sense now…but I promise you will understand it one day. Want to know something else? After some time and growing up separately, you two will actually be good friends who have forgiven and support each other to no end. He will even watch Rilo when you go to Africa for six months…

Oh right…you’re going to Africa for six months! Crazy right?! It will be your first trip overseas and in 2012 you will have gotten on a plane and headed to Uganda 3 times. You will fall in love with the people, the culture and even sleeping under a mosquito net. Your days will consist of loving a lot of children, taking pictures, telling stories and meeting incredible people. I would love to tell you more about this adventure…but to be honest, I am currently living it. Just know that Uganda will steal your heart and will always be a big part of your life.

Speaking of your heart…it will heal. You will try your hardest not to build a fortress up around it and it will actually get hurt a couple more times. Sounds exhausting right? It is..but you will always get up, pick up the pieces and slowly start the reconstruction process over agin. You will learn to be safe with it, for it is quite fragile but also because you will understand that it belongs to someone very special that maybe you aren’t even aware of yet and they deserve a strong heart that is open, forgiving, understanding, kind and patient…not scarred and wrapped in barbed wire..you are more than aware and hopeful that true love still exists. You will learn to love in a way you never thought possible…not only romantically but to everyone you meet. You will see the beauty that resides in each one of their souls and will humble yourself to them. Your life will be defined and driven by love and you will be so happy spreading it.

Yes, you are still taking pictures. You actually will travel the world and teach orphans how to do so. You will have that wedding photography business you were dreaming about night and day. It will actually involve many talented young people who truly love to capture the beauty of a wedding celebration…and you might have met most of them on Craigslist.

I know I told you that you were lonely for the first 6 months in California, but I want you to hang in there. Soon you will have an amazing group of friends that you will confide everything in. You will meet them randomly in the wedding industry but just know that they will be the biggest gifts to you. They will support you endlessly, be there through your hard times and celebrate with you in your good times. They will surprise you with not only one birthday party but two! They will pick you up and drop you off at the airport numerous times. They will support your traveling addiction and watch your dog and move your car on street cleaning days. You may even end up living with a girl you met on twitter that also takes pictures. Her name is Megan and she will be one of the most amazing people to ever step in your life. You will sit back at the end of so many days and just beam with joy thinking about this life that you live full of so much support and love from your friends…and I promise you will never feel lonely again.

You will keep dreaming big. You will desire to make the world a better place. You will stare at a map and figure out when and how you can see it all before you leave this beautiful earth. You will still have long hair and glasses. You will get braces though and will learn to love your smile. You will eat meat again…but then you will stop. Your sense of smell still hasn’t come back but who knows what the future holds. You still covet hot sauce and no the world is NOT going to end December 21st of 2012. You will learn to run to God for everything and will fall madly in love with Jesus that people will probably think you’re crazy but you don’t care.

You will be happy.

Love,

25 year old Mary

bda
  • January 11, 2013 - 9:52 am

    Natalie - Oh Mary, this is lovely. Retrospect is an amazing thing, isn’t it? Hugs from Calgary.ReplyCancel

  • January 11, 2013 - 10:04 am

    BreAnne - I absolutely love you.ReplyCancel

  • January 11, 2013 - 10:34 am

    julie harmsen - And I’m bawling again. Gosh, you’re so incredible and your story is made of pure gold. What a unique, beautiful woman you are Mary and I’m so grateful to be a part of your journey. You’re an inspiration to so many. Thank you for all that you do and for keeping your heart open and not wrapped barbed wire. That is a sometimes seemingly impossible thing to do and you embody so much grace. I love you.ReplyCancel

  • January 11, 2013 - 10:52 am

    Morgan Kidd - This was beautifully written! I really love this Mary and it made me cry!! I am so happy for you and continue to wish the best for you in all that you do. You are always inspiring me and everyone who knows you! Keep smiling beautiful girl :)ReplyCancel

  • January 11, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    RebekahJean - This is so beautiful. And to a 19 year old girl, it’s hope. I know that I may make many mistakes in the next 5 years of my life, but I hope to come out on the other end beaming with the love of Jesus as much as you do. Thank you for sharing, I am sure that wasn’t easy!ReplyCancel

  • January 11, 2013 - 12:38 pm

    ari - tears. so beautiful, my beautiful friend.ReplyCancel

  • January 11, 2013 - 1:30 pm

    Rache - I love you. like TONS. so many tears, just beautiful. xoxoxoReplyCancel

  • January 12, 2013 - 12:52 pm

    Megan Welker - and….I’m crying. YES. crying! This is so beautiful Mary!ReplyCancel

  • January 13, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    Pam Harmsen - Mary,

    This is an incredibly moving letter. I was moved to tears. Just as you wrote this letter to young Mary, your heavenly Father is writing His love letter to you in the chapter of His story (history) entitled “my lovely Mary”. How wonderful your passion for Jesus, for love, for orphans, for new life! Blessings to you as you grow in Him, PamReplyCancel

  • January 14, 2013 - 7:10 pm

    dorothy - oh mary. what an incredible blessing it is to call you a friend. this was such a beautifully written letter and so real. thank you for sharing. you are such a light and a testimony to who our Savior is. love you so.ReplyCancel

  • January 15, 2013 - 1:24 pm

    wreckless - i love you. you are a blessing to me, mary. always hoping and praying for you.ReplyCancel

  • January 16, 2013 - 12:25 pm

    Abbey - Hi Mary …
    I’ve been a long time follower to your blog, your instagrams, your photography … but a first time commenter. Your post made me tear up a little. But in a good way, because this is life. If only we could write letter to our selves, right? It would make things so much easier. I had no idea you’ve been through all of this and it only makes me love your work and you more. (Even though we have never met). The part about Rilo and him crawling up to your face even when the tears are flowing is what got me. I had one of those dog-friend-soulmates too. And they are absolutely more than just a dog. You inspire me, your photos inspire me, and your heart inspires me! Keep doing what you’re doing. You’ve got a lot of people (even if you haven’t met them yet) rooting for you and supporting you from wherever they are. (In this case, Michigan).

    -AbbeyReplyCancel

  • January 21, 2013 - 6:18 am

    Around the Web {January 2013} « Never Static - […] Advice From the Future – from  Wandering With Mary […]ReplyCancel

  • February 11, 2013 - 5:07 pm

    Dana - Words can not express how overwhelmed I feel right now. I’m 21 and moving to California at the end of this summer. I was married and divorced at 19 and every emotion expressed in this letter was once, and most days still is, felt by me. I can’t help but feel like you wrote this to me, the 21 yr old stranger crying her eyes out because for the first time in a long time she knows everything is going to be ok. The fears I have about moving to California, knowing no one, are a little more tamed knowing it happened to someone else wearing the same shoes and she is just fine. I honestly can’t thank you enough for these tear stained cheeks of relief. I am ever grateful.

    Xoxo
    DanaReplyCancel

  • February 25, 2013 - 12:52 pm

    Felicia - Tears are literally streaming down my face. And I can’t even freely cry because I’m at work. This was such a blessing to read. You are such a blessing to me and I cannot wait to be more involved in each others life. Maybe one day we will even live close to each other. If not, we have eternity. I love you sweet one.ReplyCancel

  • February 25, 2013 - 1:12 pm

    Kathrina - You are so loved. Thank you for this. Keep smiling because you are beautiful inside and out.ReplyCancel

  • March 4, 2013 - 12:17 pm

    Brigitte - This is beautiful beyond words. Incessable tears. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • August 14, 2014 - 6:29 pm

    Blair - This is so beautiful. You are an amazing soul xoReplyCancel

  • June 23, 2015 - 7:09 pm

    Becky - Mary, I remember taking this photo of you, sitting in the park in Turners Falls by the water. I think of you often and am always so impressed, jealous, motivated, and speechless by your work and the life that you are leading. I am not sure if you will get this message but I do hope that some day soon we get to see each other. Take care – BeckyReplyCancel