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Welcome to my blog. I’m a photographer + writer based in Montclair, New Jersey.

Kayleigh, Begins

Kayleigh, Begins

The ocean at Asbury Park Beach in New Jersey. Photo by Kayleigh Ann Archbold

Do you ever feel like a different person? Or maybe someone who has lived multiple lives in the span of just one? When I think of 17 year old me, all I want is to wrap my arms around her thin frame as she sobs hysterically. Because no one should experience that much trauma in a lifetime, especially alone. And then there’s 9 year old me sitting at the dinner table, thinking about suicide for the first time. And I wonder how such ideas found their way into her head. 

But more recently, there’s 29 year old me. Experiencing possibly the worse year of her life, and then somehow, like magic, the cloud lifts and she feels more herself than she ever has before. 29 year old me last year verse 29 year old me now feel like two entirely different people. And yet through it all, they have always wanted the same thing. To know that they would live to see 30. To be honest, I wish I had had all the answers for the younger versions of myself. I wish people had been more observant and taught me love. But most of all, I wish I could have comforted them when no one else could.    

But maybe without all that suffering, I wouldn’t be the woman I am right now. And that would be such a disappointment because I’m finally learning to love her. She’s strong, resilient, and a complete badass. She’s also sensitive, empathetic, compassionate, and kindhearted. She doesn’t apologize for being human and understands she may never fully heal.

But most importantly, she lets me in. When she’s scared, I comfort her and tell her it’s okay to cry. I make sure she laughs often and feels comfortable in the spaces she finds herself. I allow her to express herself in all ways she deems fit and I no longer hate the home her body has become.

And though she has always needed those things, more than anything, she needs a new beginning.  Because living a life hating yourself is no life at all. I’m ready to begin anew.

Kayleigh, Begins.

Woman photographer sitting on rocks as Asbury Park Beach in New Jersey. Photo by Kayleigh Ann Archbold
Asbury Park Beach, New Jersey

Asbury Park Beach, New Jersey