When I found I was pregnant, my whole life got turned upside down. All of a sudden, I found myself cancelling all my travel plans and photo shoots for the future. I still did a lot of shooting in the early couple months, but due to my morning sickness and being on high risk, I wasn’t able to travel full-time anymore. (I give mad props to those girls who still model and travel during pregnancy! It can be long, hard days for a regular person, let alone a pregnant woman! You go girl!)
It was so strange not being a nomad anymore. I’ve spent the past decade traveling around and creating art, so I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself at first. All my friends lived all over the world, I didn’t have many who lived close by. It was hard seeing all my model friends travel plans and all the awesome photographs they were creating. I felt so confined and helpless. I became very antsy quickly (I use to stay at home for a week, maybe two, in between trips. But I would never stay in one place for too long), so staying at home for months upon months became very frustrating. I tried to plan a couple short trips to see friends and family, but it became really difficult as my morning sickness got worse and my belly got bigger and bigger.
Needless to say, most of my model friends quickly forgot about me. Of course we’re still friends and everything, but it’s different now. I’m not in the immediate circle anymore. I’m not traveling and in the loop of what’s going on. I don’t know who all the top models or photographers are anymore. Sure, I get it, but it still sucks. I spent hours scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram feed just wishing I could be in Peru with Brennan or Japan with Keira. Seeing all my closest friends shooting together in amazing locations with all my photographer and designer friends, having everyone sending me photos and videos saying they missed me and wished I could be there. Man was it hard. I miss them all so much. I miss traveling around the world and randomly meeting up with someone for lunch in their city or staying with a girlfriend for a few days while I was in town. I miss letting my creativity flow with amazingly talented photographers and body painters. I miss seeing all of our work come to life in a final image. I miss being a top model and having artists seeking me out and begging me to come to their city next. I miss it all. I can’t lie. Of course I love my new life with Lucy, but ending modeling so abruptly has been difficult.
Even my non-model friends seemed to have tons of things going on and didn’t have time for me anymore. It didn’t help that we moved across the city to a more “family friendly” neighborhood. (We went from Russian Hill to the Outter Richmond.) Even though it’s only a couple miles further, it takes an extra 20+ minutes and costs significantly more for an Uber. Trust me, I get why everyone doesn’t visit more. Heck, when I didn’t live out here, I didn’t want to come out here either! But it doesn’t make it any less isolating and difficult, being new parents especially. We try to make it a point to make it out to the other side of the city often, but planning something with friends seems to take a lot more scheduling now. We literally email friends about setting up lunch dates or picnics months out.
Naturally, I found myself getting closer with my family and other pregnant/mom friends. I never realized how isolating the early months of motherhood could be. Looking back, I feel so awful for not reaching out to my mommy friends and offering more support and love. Or even just to watch their little one so they could nap for an hour. I get upset with some of our friends who haven’t come out and met Lucy yet, but then I remember that I STILL haven’t met some of our friends kids, and they’re almost 2-3 years old! (I’m terrible, I know!)
Luckily, meeting new friends and other moms is super easy now. Lucy is so cute, she just draws people to us, making small talk and introductions easier and less awkward. It’s so nice having friends with babies the same age so we can talk about the struggles and positives of mommy life. Between all the classes we do and just being out and about, we meet new moms and babies daily! It’s so great getting to go out with them and spending time with everyone. I’ve got a whole new group of friends, which has made the transition into motherhood so much easier. I will always love my other friends, but my new mama friends have a special place in my heart. I love being able to stand next to them and watch out littles grow up together.
I’ve now started having standing Presidio: Off The Grid or Botanical Garden picnic days every month so friends can come out and see us. It makes it easy for them (no commitment) and easy for us so we can already have it planned and just show up and see who ever. And that way if no one ends up showing up, we just have a little family picnic, and it’s lovely. Being able to invite old and new friends, gives us a chance to mix our two worlds and have all our friends meet. And having a designated spot makes it convenient and hassle free. There is nothing more frustrating than driving across the city to have the location change or have people bail last minute. It also makes planning things easier with set days, so you don’t have to go through tons of dates that could potentially work for everyone.
I also now love getting out and meeting friends for lunch or coffee with Lucy. It’s fun to get downtown to see friends during their lunch breaks, or to meet up with model/photographer friends who are visiting for a few days. Even though I’m not traveling anymore and in the middle of everything, its still nice to meet up with people and catch up. I love hearing about all the new drama and craziness in the industry. I love hearing about collaborations with mutual friends, and I especially love getting to introduce them to Lucy. I’ve known so many of them for so long, and me with a baby is the LAST thing a lot of them pictured me with, so it’s a fun little banter usually.
Now I look forward to the day I can start modeling WITH Lucy. (I mean, she’s stinking cute enough, no?) I can’t wait to travel with her for photo shoots and events and to see both of us in print for our favorite companies and magazines. I look forward to sharing my passion and creativity with her and am elated to be able to share such a special bond with my baby. When she’s older, we can look back at all our photos together and remember this special time.
I never saw my life going in this direction, but I couldn’t be happier it did. As much as I miss traveling and shooting, I love spending every day with Lucy more. I love exploring the city and showing her new things. Spending hours at a park just laying together has become my favorite thing to do with her. I may have lost some friends during this time, but I gained a best friend for life. And I wouldn’t trade that for the world.