I don’t know why, but it seems as though my mom stores pictures in picture frames. There is the picture that is seen, then there is a picture or two behind it. I used to love stumbling across them when I was younger. Well as it turns out I am kind of similar. I gave my boyfriend a couple framed pictures earlier this year and in one of them there is a second photo (not that he has found it yet). As it turns out, I also did it with a collage I made in 2005 when I was going through a particularly rough time in my life. It is a collage of the most important women in my life, as of mid-2005. And when I opened up the back, look what I found. It is a note to myself, to remind myself why I chose to put those seven women in my frame:

This is my collage:

As you can see, there are 7 women: My mother, my sister, Michelle, Dawn, Emily, Kristin, and Erin. Two are still proud to be related to me and we talk daily. Two still call me best friend and we speak every few days. One I rarely, if ever, see or talk to, but when we do it’s like there was no time lapse. Two I have not spoken to in more than 4 and 2 years, respectively, although for years they were very important people in my life and I would never erase those years or the memories. Nor would I regret or forget the break-ups, because both led me to discover more about myself. Maybe not immediately, but eventually. But I digress.

Surrounding the photographs are quotes I cut from a daily calendar that had a very feminist, Inner Bitch persona. See the quotes around me and Michelle:

“Sometimes I wonder what the difference is between being cautious and being dead?” _ author Sue Grafton
“Laughter is the shortest difference between two people.” -Anonymous
“Your Inner Bitch knows that the path to true love begins with knowing what you want – and not settling for less.”

I figured tonight was as good a time as any to dismantle the collage. I want the shadow box for another project, but I also want to put the past where it belongs; in a memory. But luckily, four of those women have starring roles in my daily life. Whether they know it or not, I ask myself “Would (Mom, Amanda, Michelle, Dawn) approve? Appreciate? Hate? this particular decision.” I love being alone to read, to be alone with my thoughts, to study…but I would not be able to go on another day if not for the support and friendship of these four women. So for that, I thank them. And don’t worry about the dismantling of my collage; my dresser is currently covered in nothing but photographs and reminders of these women.

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