Saying Goodbye to a Dream

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Iman is a photographer who, through her unique process of coaching and photography, can show a woman what other people see when they look at her. She is passionate about teaching other photographers how to live and be a professional and making change in the world. She dreams of changing the way women look at their bodies and how the world defines beauty. She also thinks being an instructor on CreativeLIVE would be incredible. Iman battles Lyme disease and shares her unique view of dreaming while fighting for her health. Her post day is Wednesday. Iman Woods If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.
Saying goodbye to our dream house.

Saying goodbye to our dream house.

Saying goodbye to a dream is scary when you don’t know what’s coming next. Even if you’ve tried to plan and picture what the changes will look like, you don’t know until you live it.

For everyone in the beginning, middle or end of a life change. This blog is for you. Whether you’ve ended a relationship, a marriage, or a friendship. Whether you’re moving, finding a new job or launching a new career. This blog is for you.

I was driving home from a family dinner in Boulder, trying to figure out HOW we were going to get the house empty in time. I kept worrying that this whole move was impossible. I was struck by words painted on the side of a building. I posted it on Facebook and my friend Sidney said it was Nelson Mandela.

It always seems impossible until it’s done.
-Nelson Mandela

The quote struck me as apropos while I contemplated the mountain of seemingly insurmountable change waiting at home.

Moving. Across the country. After divorce. Starting my business over from scratch.

I’m struggling to say goodbye to many dreams. The divorce has been final for awhile but seeing the house as it empties out is hard. The dreams we had when we bought this house are gone. Dead. Never to breathe with hope again. It’s almost like processing the divorce all over again. Though separating our belongings is actually the last step in this process.

I nested with abandon.

I nested with abandon.

When we bought this house we were married, loved each other, and eagerly expecting our new baby. We bought furniture to fit all of our family for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. We painted. Decorated. Well, let’s be honest, I was the force behind making the house a home. I “nested” with abandon. Paint chips, fabric swatches, the whole nine yards. This Army brat was going to PAINT and install stuff on walls.

Saying goodbye to a dream. Moving across country after divorce.

My son’s beloved room with hand painted bamboo. Those are paper lantern and firefly night lights.

I hand painted a bamboo forest in my son’s nursery. He has a giant giraffe and palm tree that he adored from infancy. There are monkeys, elephants, and lions and to this day he rejoices in showing them to me and re-telling the story that mommy made this room special just for him.

My studio.

My studio. Sigh. So pretty and fun. And so much laughter was enjoyed here.

I created a studio. An oasis for my creative spirit and for clients to feel comfortable. I always exhaled and enjoyed coming into this space. So did clients, friends and family. Everyone would come down the stairs and be shocked that a whole other world of vintage and feminine fun was nestled here.

The boudoir in the studio. The whole space was geared towards feeling pretty.

The boudoir in the studio. The whole space was geared towards feeling pretty.

Saying goodbye to the tree my ex-hubby’s family planted in honor of my son’s birth is so painful. Saying goodbye to all of this is painful.

In this house I overcame post-partum depression. The team from the Boulder Community Infant Program came to my home when the Bub was six months and saved my life. They got my son and me through these three tumultuous years. I wonder how I will flourish without them. Will I remember how much I’ve overcome when I’m not in the house?

Today my ex-hubby and I sat at the beautiful dining table I thought we’d share many holidays at, shoulder to shoulder, sometimes sharing a pen, and to any outsider would look like any couple. I couldn’t help but feel sad to revisit the many dreams we shared when we became homeowners.

The table I thought we'd share holidays, birthdays and many many milestones at.

The table I thought we’d share holidays, birthdays and many, many milestones.

I’m trying to name what I’m feeling. And honestly, I’m scared. I’m scared to start over. Scared my business won’t grow. Scared I won’t make friends. Scared I’m making a mistake. Fear of the unknown is making me want to hide in my bed under the covers. Then the movers come to take the bed and I’m forced to open my eyes.

Now it's just a room.

Saying goodbye to a dream. Now it’s just a room.

I’m pushing past the fear and saying goodbye to my dreams… Albeit tearfully. I hope the things I perceive as mistakes will be the best choices I’ve ever made.

It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on. It takes a lot of strength to let go.
-J. C. Watts

And of course I’ll update you all along the way. Here we go.

Resources for postpartum depression
The Boulder Community Infant Program: for anyone in Boulder County, CO. Even if you’re not there, they can help refer you in the Denver metro area.
Postpartum Progress: a blog and amazing resource. I looked for help locally and my own doctors told me I was fine. Katherine Stone referred me to the Boulder Community Infant Program.
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  • kellyswanson1

    Dreams don’t die – they just take on a new shape.

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  • Karen ‘Bechtel’ Becker

    Oh Iman. I have tears in my eyes. Trying to understand it all. Although I do feel it all, and can understand it to a point. I haven’t been thru all of this myself, but been thru enough scary change, that I sure can relate. We all have gone thru crap. But the fact that you are open to sharing it. I think this will help you overcome and see how the next chapter in your life will bring great things your way! Even though you can’t see that all now. I am SO proud and amazed at how you are moving on. I know you don’t want to hear that you are strong, as you don’t always feel that way, but girl….you ARE strong. There are going to be big things headed your way. And the fact that you’re NOT just hiding in bed says something. I am praying and sending the best vibes I got for ya. You are an amazing woman. And one day you will realize that again. It’s gonna take time and patience, but wow hun. I am sending many virtual {{hugs}} your way. And look forward to your new chapter in life. I wish you nothing but success. You are amazing and amazing things are bound to happen soon!!

    • ImanWoods

      Karen, your support means so much. It’s hard to bare my soul this way. It’s cathartic for sure, but hard nonetheless. I don’t think I’m special. I just try to make it through each day. I don’t think I’m strong… I just push myself past what I think I can do. Thank you so very much.

  • Rayne

    The Universe ALWAYS rewards courage. And New Beginnings are often disguised as endings.

    • ImanWoods

      I’m holding onto that belief, Rayne! Thank you!

  • lexi

    Iman ,

    I have to say first off that you are an amazing amazing person . I have followed you for awhile now . I commend you in all that you have been through and all that you are trying to do . a year and a half ago i got divorced also. It was a hard time but it was also a good time for me. I knew in my heart that even though it was hard and there were friends i was saying goodbye to it was a new chapter in my life, in my sons life. i was single mother of almost two boys . I did the only thing i knew , go home , and be with my family. I am glad i did. If i hadnt i wouldnt have met my husband. All things happen for a reason and I am sure there is a reason all of this has happened with you.. no matter how hard :) .

    • ImanWoods

      Thank you Lexi, I so appreciate your support by commenting. I want to hear your love story! How unexpected and exciting!

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  • This is amazing girl… thank you for sharing your journey Iman. That is the hardest feeling to let go of – the feeling of being home – even though in your heart you are heading to a new place where so many loving memories will blossom.

    Sending you hugs and energy for the move :)

    • ImanWoods

      I know good things are coming. It’s just SO hard to let go of what you’ve built. Thank you, you know I’ll keep y’all posted! Hugs! I need to come see you all soon.

  • Kelly Harbadin- Hogben

    Just had to shut my office door to cry when I read this post…. I cried for you and I cried for me. Though your fears are valid, I must take this moment to reassure you.

    My dear, Iman, Today I have hope for you. The hope may be blinded at times by the despair that accompanies such great life changes. But each day you will learn to better embrace the uncertainty and allow it to lead you places. Beautiful places.

    I have no doubt that your search for happiness will render peace and contentment. I speak confidently as I say- In life we eventually get all that we deserve and I can’t think of a person more deserving of happiness than you.

    Don’t waste time with regret. Today is the day that you start over, start looking forward and stop looking back.

    And lastly, know that you will never walk a day in this life alone.

    • ImanWoods

      Kelly, I don’t even know how to respond without crying. Thank you. For someone who’s never actually “met” me, this is an incredible affirmation. I have the same hopes and certainty for YOU. Xo. We’re gonna hug in person someday.

  • Remy Gervais

    you will thrive Iman. Get through this time, and land on both feet over there on the other coast! Business will happen. Love will happen. With you in the center of it all, how could it not? xo Rem

    • ImanWoods

      Thank you Remy. I hope you’re right! Xo.