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Be Prepared to Stop

Los Angeles Holga toy camera film photographer

I took this photo a few years ago and thought the sign was a great reminder to slow down. When I broke my ankle last week, I had to quickly rearrange several aspects of my life, and this image came to mind.

In true Latin nerd fashion, I broke my ankle on the Ides of March, while photographing a wedding. After the ceremony and right before the family formal portraits, I took one small step and my right ankle twisted, then dislocated and broke when I fell. I also sprained by left ankle at the same time, which was minor by comparison but still made walking (and later crutches) difficult. Everyone promptly took care of getting me to an ambulance and the ER. My second shooter took over the rest of the wedding for me, and the couple was understanding and so sweet and the rest of their wedding went off without a hitch. Matt met me at the ER where I was in a lot of pain, but eventually got sedated and fixed up. A few more doctors visits and one surgery later, and I’m now in recovery mode.

Being prepared to stop meant quitting an editing job for a great show on a tight schedule that I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with. It meant contacting March and April clients and telling them I would no longer be able to shoot their weddings and sessions since I would be in a wheelchair, and finding other photographers to refer them to or fill in for me. It even meant I had to stop wearing jeans in favor of skirts and dresses that can accommodate a cast, but that’s not so bad. It means everything takes longer than it used to, and there are lots of things I can’t do for myself right now.  And it literally means just stop for a little while – stop trying to do so much all the time because right now my body needs rest more than anything else.

With all of the chaos that came with this injury, I’m so grateful for all the help I’ve received! My husband has taken amazing care of me, my mom came out from Florida for a week to help, and so many friends have reached out with offers of food, movie hangout nights, and car rides to doctors. My Western Light ladies sent me gorgeous flowers. So many of my photographer friends volunteered to take over sessions and weddings for me on very short notice. My clients have all been incredibly kind and understanding about the changes in plans. Everyone being so wonderful has made a hard situation much less difficult.

Now I just have to focus on healing, and being more patient with myself and the limitations I’ll have for the next several weeks; asking for lots of help and gracefully accepting help when it’s offered, even when it means not being as independent as I want to be. Stopping does not come naturally to me, but here I am slowly getting better at it!

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