Kelly Tarleton's portrait

Welcome to my blog! I am a Houston portrait and wedding photographer,
and I also custom design wedding and special event stationery.
This is where I share photos of my latest portrait sessions, design assignments,
and personal projects. Take a look around to see what I've been up to and
be sure to let me know what you think. I love comments!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My 26th year

By now, I’ve matured enough to realize that life never goes as planned. That opportunities present themselves in the scariest of ways. And despite the propaganda I’ve heard my entire life, I am not special. Meaning, I am not the only person to ever suffer the loss of a parent, to ever fear becoming an orphan before the age of 30, or to wonder if the path I’ve chosen will lead to disappointment further down the road. No, I am not special – pain, like love, is universal. It does not discriminate or choose favorites. So while I may not be special, I am also not alone. And knowing this and feeling the warmth and love from others has helped me through this past year.

Today is the first day of my 26th year of life. Today is also the first anniversary of my father’s passing. And, according to my adoption papers from the SPCA, today is also the third birthday of my pup Barley. The universe works in mysterious ways, and I’ll say it again: I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and has meaning.

My mother also celebrated a birthday yesterday, a milestone I wanted to make a big deal about. Not only is there a new number as the first digit of her age, but she plowed through her own health scare this year with flying colors. I can only hope that her strength is a genetic trait I inherited and is hidden somewhere deep inside of me. Yes, we have a lot to celebrate this November. A lot to reminisce about. And a lot of love to share. Last year, I was devastated at the thought of ever forgetting how Dad sounded, or looked, or moved, or the things that made him smile. And yet everyday, something is there to remind me. Today I will blast Cher in my car as loud as the speakers will allow, just for Dad.

I welcome this 26th year with open arms and will not make the same mistake as last year to say “next year can’t be any worse.” Because then I found all the comparisons to make to last year and found that it was almost just as bad. Looking for and emphasizing the horrible moments in my life is not how I want to live. I will not look back to where I thought I would be at 26 and focus on all the things I haven’t accomplished yet. No one wants to think that they could have done more with their life, but what’s the point if you’re keeping a scorecard and measuring your failures? I learned so much from Dad and have so many wonderful things to remember about him. Unfortunately, one of the last things I learned from him is that if you are determined to be miserable, you will be, despite what anyone else wants for you instead. We may not be able to choose or control what happens to us. But we can choose how we perceive.

This is the month of Thanksgiving, and I hope to recognize all that I am thankful for each and everyday. Because while it’s easier to lose sight of the beauty right in front of your face and focus on all that you’ve lost or will never have, that focus is still a choice. And I will choose to see the beauty, with just a little more effort.

One of my all-time favorite things about Dad was how he danced. It just always made me smile. That's him in the glasses with the plaid jacket. One-of-a-kind, he was. :)


Anonymous November 7, 2009 at 12:47 PM  

I've seen this attributed to Martha Washington. Dunno if it really was her, but, as they say in corporate-speak-- To your point, Kelly:

"I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition. "

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About Kelly Tarleton

I've always been a creative person, and the one who always had a camera on-hand at a moment's notice for any occasion. Photography and graphic design dominated my life in school and I loved every minute of it. I miss that constant creative outlet and want to share more of it with my family and friends through this blog.See more of my work at my website:

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