First off let me say that I am ridiculously excited and beyond proud to finally launch this website and show it to all of you!
Today is my 35th birthday.
A lot has changed (for the better) since my last birthday, and I invite 35 with open arms! I genuinely believe this is about to be my most amazing year yet!
These last two years have been full of so many valleys interspersed with a few amazing peaks… and the closer and closer I got to this day, the higher my peaks became. I’m stronger than I ever knew possible. I learned that no matter what hurdle may be thrown my way, I will overcome it.
This day, launch day as it’s been known around here, I’ve never been more proud of anything in my entire life… this website… this um… well, just me thing… the new brand… ALL OF IT!
…and I can’t even express how much I love that it’s happening on my 35th birthday!
Okay, now I’m on to share with you something deeply personal. Something that is quite obvious given the brand change. Soooo…. ummmm…..
Just. Write. Words. YOU CAN DO THIS BOBBI!
Standby, Imma pour myself a glass of wine.
For the many of you who guessed, assumed, worried, Googled or gossiped… I’m no longer part of the husband-and-wife wedding photography team known as “bobbi+mike.” In other words, my husband of twelve years and I are no longer married.
Oh gag. Writing that just made me sick to my stomach.
I’ve been through so many crazy things in my life but nothing, I mean nothing, could have possibly prepared me for divorce.
I never in a zillion years thought this would happen. Never. No one ever goes into a marriage and says “I do, but only for a little while” But still, after over a decade of what I thought was a great marriage to someone I was blind enough to simply expect to be married to — no matter how tumultuous or sad things got — it happened. Whoa.
And now here I am, half of a successful husband and wife wedding photography team, telling the world about her marriage breaking. I think I’m going to puke.
I don’t do gray areas
The friends of mine who knew about it have been asking me, quite often actually, “so how are you going to handle this publicly?”
I’d always respond with, “First I’m going to rebrand and then I’m going to tell the world my story as authentically as I’m emotionally capable of.” most people thought sharing the sad news was a terrible idea.
“No one cares Bobbi! You can’t be a divorced wedding photographer!” However, to me, there was no other way. I’ve been writing this blog since 2006 and I’ve always written it from my heart. It simply isn’t on brand for me to have a gray-area out there.
After all, questions about my marriage status had become a Google auto-complete… yeahhhhh….
I owe it to you
Ohhh blog readers…. you’ve been by my side for so many years! You’ve rallied behind me when I struggled with my weight. You laughed when I talked about how great Mike’s butt was (I still stand by that). You listened when I talked about my unconventional upbringing. You were “mom style” proud when my work was featured in magazines. You guys, in a way, had become my family.
Many of you were figuring it out and reading between the lines. I was getting so many emails from blog readers whom I’d never met. Their messages would say something things along the lines of, “I don’t know you but I’ve followed your blog for years and want you to know that you are loved by many and I know, without a doubt, you’re going to be just fine.” Thank you. Really and truly, from the bottom of my heart… thank you for caring about me.
Then there were those awkward comments on my Instagram or Facebook biz page, “Ummmm…. where’s Mike?”
You see, I was filled with so much anger and resentment that I didn’t want to include Mike in ANYthing. Furthermore, I didn’t want to be living a lie… signing my blog entries with the usual “Much love friends! ~bobbi+mike” felt incredibly disingenuous. So I just stopped. Many of you noticed that I left out any and all references to him.
In reality, we both shot every wedding together in 2015. We’ve been doing this whole “business mode” and “husband-and-wife mode” for nearly a decade so code-switching is one of our specialties. I genuinely believe that every single one of our couples still had the full bobbi+mike experience on their wedding day. I mean… I even wore my wedding ring on Saturdays so that no one would feel uneasy or draw any attention to perceived tension.
I think that the work I’d been producing in 2015 had been some of my best ever! However, those first few months… getting out of bed daily was a struggle. For those who’ve ever experienced grief or depression… you get it. I’m now supposed to be running a business solo that used to be ran by two… all the while I’m struggling to get out of bed?! Yeah… it was baaaaad. I turned into a recluse and fell behind. I all but quit posting to all social media outlets. After all, what do you write about when most of what you’re thinking isn’t meant for public consumption?
Side note: shout out to MurphyMo and the newest addition to my family ZoBelle for loving me no matter what. My bed was never empty thanks to you two.
UGH! Why did I just write that?! Now I’m crying. That was dumb.
Divorce has changed me and matured me – perhaps more than marriage did.
I’m no longer a wife which is so foreign to me. You can’t easily erase 12 years of auto-pilot. My habits sometimes still bend to accommodate the preferences of a person who isn’t there. For example, soon after he moved out, I was shopping online in West Elm’s sale section for new shams for my bed. I saw these bright pink ones and thought to myself, “I can’t buy those, Mike will hate them.”
“Wait a minute, he’s not my husband… EFF that guy… ADD TO CART!” Truth be told, I don’t really even like pink!
Even though it is for the best, the loss of my life teammate, someone to share goals and troubles with, felt like a messy amputation. I keep trying to use the missing arm. “My dad lost his job. He just asked if he and his son can move in with me. What do I do?” Call Mike. “I just found 18 piles of Murphy vomit in the living room, what should I do?” Call Mike.
Except these are no longer his burdens. My troubles are now mine alone.
Grabbing some tissues and another glass of wine… brb…
I don’t hate Mike… not anymore.
I’ve spent far too much energy in 2015 doing just that and I don’t want to anymore. Furthermore, it takes two to make a marriage work and it takes two to make a marriage fail. I can’t just sit here and point a finger at him and play the role of the victim. Let’s be real though, I’ve certainly had my moments!
We’re actually in a pretty good place. I still call him if I really need something and he does the same for me. Just last week I sent him a text, “which way do I put in the furnace filters?”
YOU GUYS! We’ve been together since I was NINETEEN! Soooo… pretty much our entire adult lives. There were SO many minor things I didn’t know how to do because Mike had always handled it.
You know… like that awkward moment when you’re a 34 year old woman in line at a Jiffy Lube and they ask you what kind of oil you want… and you panic, “THERE’S MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF OIL?!” …and thennnn I ask, “Am I supposed to stay in the car or leave?” followed closely by, “am I the one who drives it into the garage and on top of those very narrow wheel things or do you? SOOO MANY QUESTIONS!
Living in a world without him in it is unimaginable. I know deep down that Mike, regardless of where we are in life, would be one of the very few people who I can count on to drop everything within a moment’s notice to be there for me if I needed him to be. How many people in your life can you count on like that? Seriously, think about that for a second. That person, quite frankly, isn’t someone that you should hate. You don’t just throw away a friend who would be there for you no matter what.
Annnnnd now I’m crying the big big BIG tears… ohhhh boy…
Third glass of wine. Don’t judge. Oops.
I still love love!
I’m optimistic about my shot at future love. I loved being a wife and I love marriage. I’m not so bitter that I’m closing my heart. In the beginning of this journey that was my biggest fear (bitterness). But I think it would be nearly impossible for me. I mean… I AM a wedding photographer! My job is to watch people so ridiculously in love that you can’t help but want to squeeze them! Sigh… I still love love.
I got this.
Many of you may remember that I started this business on my own in 2006. Through this process of self re-discovery and self doubt I had to keep reminding myself that this business started out as my baby, not our baby (with his support and encouragement of course). I did this then, I can certainly do it now. Psh, I GOT THIS!
It’s taken a lot of hard work and introspection but I genuinely feel happier, more in control, and motivated than I’ve ever felt in my life.
When it comes to the business, I no longer have to make compromises and that’s incredibly exciting. I mentioned earlier that since this whole mess started, I’ve been producing work that I think is my best ever… I attribute that to feeling empowered, and taking control.
For anyone who’s worried about the future state of my photography business, I can confidently report that I’ve been running this biz on my own for over a year now. Were there some hurdles along the way? Absolutely. How am I doing now? SO GOOD! I like that it’s mine again. It feels right. Team, I am so incredibly excited about the future!
Want to know the best thing to happen to me all year? Megan. She’s now my full time second shooter and office manager. She trained with Mike at a few receptions in 2015 to master his use of flash and to learn how he and I worked together. I’ll be honest, we’re nailing it…
You may have already noticed her on my Instagram feed or Snapchat. Side note: if you don’t follow me on Instagram (@bobbiphoto) and you haven’t seen the video of Megan in the wind from our April wedding, stop everything you’re doing RIGHT NOW and click on this! I cannot stop laughing at it!
Side note: I bought LEGIT top hats for the office she and I jussssst so we could periodically feel important… the good news? It works! Why am I sharing this with you? To let you know that she’s just as crazy as me. The difference: she’s an on-the-sneak goofball. I’m more of a no-shame-in-my-goofball-game kind of girl. 😉
To those who’ve made it through this very long blog entry, thank you for caring enough about me to make it to the end, I owe you each a BIG hug.
Thank you to those who’ve reached out and to my 2015 clients who’ve been patient and to many of my friends and family for loving me unconditionally… I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.
For those who didn’t read all of that and just scrolled to the end, here it all is in a nutshell:
- I’m no longer married.
- Telling the world about it was important to me, but very difficult.
- I hated Mike. Now I don’t.
- I still love love!
- I’ve been running the business solo for over a year, and I’m now rocking it like a boss.
- I rallied and am more confident and empowered than ever.
- Megan is my new second shooter and office manager and she’s a game changer.
- I couldn’t be more excited about the future of bobbi photo!
I’ve now drank an entire bottle of wine to write this. Phewwww….
To all of that I end with this…
Much love friends!