(Disclaimer: Ash was the first to read this blog and has approved it's release. This has been released to clear some of the hatred and lies surrounding me and my new life. This break-up has been unfairly played out involving way too many people with some dishonest and false accusations which has many of you fooled...)
So as some of you may already be aware my life has recently changed, a lot!
I made the very hard decision and decided to part ways with my husband Ash. I'm not here to go into deep details of why, what went wrong and spill all the gossip behind the scenes. Nor say a bad word intended to cause harm or upset.
I'll let the future do most of the talking...
But for me, it was the right thing to do. I was loosing myself. I was loosing motivation and drive. I was becoming more and more depressed and became anxious each and every day.
A lot went on behind the scenes while we painted our picture perfect lives on social media. Everyone has their problems yes, but no ours could not be fixed. I tried for many years to do so and failed. Things became worse and to a point I couldn't handle the pain anymore.
It's not easy making the decision to leave a 10 year relationship. It's not easy at all. Deciding to hurt someone, break their heart, turn their life upside down leaving them lonely, depressed and completely heartbroken. All because you expect more from them, and they weren't giving you enough to be satisfied and feel accomplished in life. It was a very selfish decision to finally put myself first and was by far the biggest challenge yet!
How did I get the courage to do so? Well for the second time in a couple years I felt a spark with someone else. I felt something I haven't felt in over 7 years. I guess Ash and I became friends, best friends in my eyes and lost that connection needed to be truly happy as a couple, a happily ever after husband and wife. We stopped hugging, kissing and things became awkward and harder to fix as it very quickly became years since we were "coupley".
Now this particular spark was something special and initially very overwhelming and had me thinking of myself for a change. But my thoughts were to find this spark later once I found myself again and got back in control of my life and my emotions. I lost my independence, my freedom and me! I wasn't allowed to do any extra activities such as pole dancing, gym or martial arts as it was confronted with the words, "anything to get away from me". I wasn't able to see my friends without arguments. I was accused of being a lesbian with a girl I worked with because we spoke everyday and she called me sexy in one of my selfies. I wasn't allowed any unnatural colour in my hair, no tattoos and no piercings of any kind.... I couldn't even stop at the shops or go out on my days off without being interrogated. Things changed majorly when I had a day off and was supposed to be home as I lead him to believe while he worked. I was in fact at the hair dressers going back blonde as a surprise because he liked me better as a blonde. He arrived home for lunch, I wasn't there, he called me and abused me to tell him where I was, even after saying I'm fine, and safe and that I didn't want to tell, and that it was a surprised I was embarrassed in the hair salon by his rage and demand to know where I was, I had to tell him... I was feeling controlled, emotionally blackmailed and I just wasn't happy and couldn't find any more reasons to keep trying. Loving him wasn't enough anymore...
Obviously these feeling created many mixed emotions. With the hardest decision of my life in front of me. I had to finally decide if i was going to chase my dreams alone without Ash and if I was going to take the plunge and make myself happy or was I going to spend the rest if my life making sure someone else was happy regardless of how I felt.
If you've read my "I'm not depressed, I'm just messed up" blog then you would know I was at a point of no longer wanting to live and at that point Ash didn't do what most would do, what a husband should do. Rather than give me a reason to live he told me I was being silly and to just simply cheer up. I needed someone to make me feel like life was worth living, I needed to have fun, laugh, love, learn and grow. I needed to be trusted, respected, spoilt and feel protected. I really needed him to step up let go of his own problems and help me through that feeling of wishing one day I would fall asleep and never wake up. And that I was worthy of all that the world has to offer. It was a very serious few months that were not taken seriously at all. This combined with many other reason had me slowly loose faith in what was "us".
I had experienced an anxiety attack, my body was trembling, my muscles ached and tightened up and would not stop twitching, EVERY single muscle in my body, including ones I didn't know existed, it felt like I was on one of those fat jiggling machines. At first I thought I was having a heart attack and warned Ash to be ready to call an ambulance, I cried, I told him I loved him and that I was scared. Once I calmed myself down and spoke to Dr Google I soon realised exactly what it was. My body was exhausted and I was crashed out asleep an hour or so after. The next morning I woke to the normal, nothing mentioned about it, no comfort and no discussion. Just back to the daily grind. I needed a man, someone who will take care of me! I needed a friend and some comfort, some love. I got none of it...
After 10 years together still Iiving at home with the parents, a barely functioning business, arguments and mind games (by both, no single blame here) no savings, not even $1,000 to our name it was time I faced reality that we just weren't right for each other. If you've also read "it's not easy running a business with your husband" written January of last year you'd understand a little more. And this was written and discussed with Ash as a kind of public shame so to say as he said he needed help and motivation and nothing was working so we decided together if I publicly "shamed" him then he may find the power to step up and prove me wrong so to say.
But this step up was not happening, we had just spent 7 weeks in Japan and he planned one workshop visit and pulled the camera out one day! Which was SuperD, other than that I planned 47 days and 47 nights and every single shoot, meet up and garage visit as well as sights, routes and places to stay plus navigated our way around the country, it became work for me and was far from a holiday, yes he payed for 60% of it but I did 99% of the work involved, taking over 15,000 photos with Ash contributing a couple hundred. I was planning, shooting, editing, writing more planning and then trying to holiday and enjoy the trip together as a couple. It just didn't work, I didn't use him for a holiday as most of you are saying or have been lead to believe.
I spent over two years building friendships, talking with Japanese car and business owners, expanding my circle to supercars here in Australia to then go over and be accepted there in their scene. I worked hard at making myself "famous enough" that people wouldn't hesitate in meeting us and letting us into their personal lives and areas of business, and also trusting us to bring their cars out for photos... I worked very very hard for this trip. In more ways than one....
The one and only thing I asked of him the entire trip was to plan our 10 year anniversary celebration. Nothing. Not a single thing... Not a special room, nor meal or outing. But how could I expect anything, feeling special was something I don't think I've felt for a very long time. In 10 years we have eaten out once, last year for my birthday at a restaurant 2kms from home. Other than that single day I never ever been surprised with dinner, gifts, or outings/adventures.
I'm not a high maintenance kinda girl. I don't expect much. But I'm human. And I'm also a female who wants to feel loved and adored.
I was proposed to without a ring, that wasn't the problem, the problem was that I wasn't allowed to tell anyone not even my parents because he didn't want to cop shit for having no ring. Then our friends soon got engaged and I then had to keep it all under wraps so it didn't look like he copied them, loosing the special involved in getting engaged. To then having to pay half of my own engagement ring because he put a value on our love and I couldn't find much under $1,000. To then no engagement party, no celebration of our love. Our love was never special, nor celebrated.
Everything I wanted to do, see or shoot was an issue and a problem which required too much effort because he was always tired from work or wanted to sit at home and drink... I wasn't allowed to attend most events until I purchased him a camera and got him media passes so he didn't feel left out. I had had enough of feeling like I didn't deserve to feel special, I was done. I decided this trip was our final chance at making the relationship work to find that spark, feel the connection and create the full time business I had spent years working for. But you can clearly see in the soon to be released Japan vlogs and previous vlogs that we lacked this "coupleness" and this connection. I'd make jokes, laugh and get excited and not even be able to pull a laugh or smile. Instead He'd walk in the back looking sad, depressed and not even on the same page as me. I wasn't making him happy, it was what we were doing that made us happy. We became so distant which I can see now through videos. There wasn't ever any cute, playful, silly or "fun" moments had between us. And it's when the camera is on that the acting comes out and we tried to act cute and fun and like a fun adventurous couple, so imagine the silence and awkwardness once the camera stopped rolling...
I had even seen a doctor thinking something might be wrong with me or my hormones and begged for help to improve or find out why I was not interested in "romance". After passing out on very much feared blood test to then be told I'm 100% perfect and it's all emotional I was left lost and confused as to what now...
Ash had been well aware for over 6 years of my feelings and knew I wanted out many many years ago. And that I stuck around in hope one day all these promises would actually be kept. But he took me for granted. In every argument I would say the words, "I'm not happy, but as long as you're happy.... Id'd rather be miserable than watch you be miserable". Well it seems he'd rather me be miserable too.... which isn't right...
So I decided to give him a 7 page letter weeks before we left for Japan explaining how I felt, and what I wanted to feel and what I expected from a husband, a business partner, a best friend and a lover. Sadly there just wasn't enough of a change as you will soon see through photos and vlogs. And if I was to make this decision it had to be now. Before we had joint accounts, joint bills, a mortgage or even harder, a child. So I planned to slowly gather my things and be out in a few months, by my birthday in February to be exact. Except an argument broke out late one night, I slept in my car at work and didn't want to go back home. I took a breathe and went back the next afternoon after work as I knew I was going to be out soon and just had to stay strong. A few days later another argument arose and I was done, I had to go, taking what I could I packed all I could fit in the Silvia and left for my grandparents for a break to re-assess the situation.
A bit of this separation was played out on social media with him posting sad faces and broken hearts to his Instagram story before I had even made it to their house, 20 minutes away. Desperate for attention! A few days had passed and I decided firstly changes needed to be made to our joint Facebook account so I made him his own and posts were made unnecessarily sharing it with the world as 1: we were on a break to begin with and 2: no one else needed to be involved. After receiving many messages I decide to do my own post and let the following fan base, friends and family know what was going on in my words.
Now living with my grandparents times were tough, mentally and financially. Loneliness was also a big factor. Having been with someone for 10 years, never seeing friends, going out or doing my own thing made sitting in a room by myself extremely bizarre. Making things so much harder was the fact it was only two days before Christmas when I walked out.
Having been at work only hours after I left I was obviously quite down and depressed but also relieved in a weird way that I finally had some clear air to breathe and think things through. I knew what I wanted but I had to make sure it was the right decision first.
Working very closely with Dylan he tried to cheer me up and invited me out for a Christmas function at the brewery and wanted to introduce me to his female friends as I don't really have too many of my own. He also didn't want me sitting home alone and in my head as he was well aware of the damage this could cause.
After meeting his friends and getting along amazingly with them I was invited out to more functions and events as well as house parties. I was laughing again and having fun!
In these short few weeks I became so happy, like a weight was finally lifted from my shoulders, I knew I wasn't going back and wanted to make sure we both started the new year with a clear understanding of what was happening.
That it was finally over, for good... And it was time for us to move on with our lives.
So about this spark mentioned earlier...Yes it was Dylan, I had worked with him side by side for 8 months and every one of our shifts were full of laughter, banter and we were complete dorks. In my heart this fun became something I missed, and the laughter became addictive. I began to feel very bland when not in his presence. I developed feelings and a desire to laugh and be a dork 24/7. I originally never told him as I didn't want work to be awkward, especially if he didn't feel the same. I loved the fun, banter, jokes and games that we played. I loved the deep conversations that were had. I loved being around him and didn't want things to change. And of course I'd just ended a 10 year relationship and was still dealing with things. And then there was the age gap.
I am 7 years older than Dylan and didn't in my wildest dreams think he'd ever be interested in me! What good looking 20 year who could get any girl he wants, be interested in me and my baggage.
But like I said the goal was to find me first, which I was finding hanging out with Dylan and his friends. Then it was to find what I felt for him, but with someone else eventually.
Buuuuuut fate had other plans. One day I mentioned exactly the words above to Dylan. And then he replied with a comment I'll never forget. And that was, "what if I felt the same. What if I told you I really liked you" and that he didn't want me to go find those feeling for anyone else if I already had them for him. And that the age gap didn't bother him.
What happens now? Fresh out of a relationship, feeling an amazing chemistry, spark and having the best couple months of my life. Do I just ignore the feelings because it's too soon. Do I shut them down because of other people's opinions or do I chase the best damn feeling people spend years even a lifetime trying to find.
Either way we spoke about the future of photography and the business I had worked so hard to create. Working so well together at bunnings and proving that we work well as a team, we both have passion and are both extremely motivated we decided to join up and see where photography and media could take us.
We always spoke of places we wanted to see around the world and exchanged silly stories of goals, dreams, houses, family and of course the normal work discussion of favourite foods and outings etc with MANY things being freakishly the same. So with the growing connection between us it became hard to resist and fight. But with respect for the very recent break up we still held back on an official title.
That was until something happened I'm not sure I want to mention. As I said I'm not here to spill gossip but I want to explain my actions in taking my feelings to social media as a few people have attacked me for "rubbing Dylan and my happiness in Ash's face" which is so far from the intent. It was never to hurt Ash as many of you believe. It was not done in spite. I was actually extremely hurt by some things I read and heard about.
One of them being that Ash ran straight to a girl from work they day I left and was also speaking to an ex, telling my friend I was a mistake within days/weeks of me leaving (All of which I have screenshots of which I read every day, shocked my own husband could say such things within a matter of weeks). And how gorgeous and successful (owning her own home and business) his ex was and that she still loved him. He had also not only rung the girl from work the day I left for a BREAK (like seriously wtf, I leave for a break and he calls some chick he works with begging for attention like I'd just died, I could have been back within a day or two- mini rant but WTF) but not only that he had also taken her up the mountains in the Escort 3 weeks after I walked out, telling her EVERYTHING about me! Apparently I dirty talk old rich men, how much I owe his mum in board, that I used him for a Japan trip etc. Which she felt the need to message and abuse me about. WTF! I had also heard many bad things from a lot of you. And I'm sure if you're reading this you may well be one of those people who he said all these bad things to. As I've heard a lot from way too many people now... I was fed up, broken, hurt and disgusted in his actions.
It was time I stopped giving my heart and respect to him and finally accepted I had a chance to be happy and stop denying the fact I was head over heels falling for Dylan! And that he deserved to not be kept in the shadows because of another guy and his public poor me games. So I posted a photo bringing Dylan into my life, a very public, social based life. Again not to hurt anyone. But simply because I was happy and over hurting and showing respect for someone who was most definitely not showing any towards me. And the biggest fact being we had a few events coming up and adventures I wanted to share with you all which meant he would have been noticed as he would have been apart of these events working alongside me.
I know the way it looked, I know it was very soon! But would you tell any of your friends that it's too soon to fall in love. Especially after they had spent years in tears. Trapped in a rut, no longer wanting to live. Would you deny your friend's and family happiness because of an unwritten rule? Or because of other people's opinions?
I ask if you are reading this and you do or have judged me, please understand. And if you hear bad things about me. Please shut them down. It is wrong we are judged so quickly and easily when the full story is untold. But you won't ever know the truth and the behind the scenes. Up until now you've only seen the perfect life I played on social media and then heard his heart ache. But honestly why would I leave a 10 year relationship if things were good, or were able to be worked through. I'm not a quitter. And if you've followed me, my blogs and know my life story you know I'm strong, and I've been through a lot and most definitely not a quitter.
So finally I ask you to accept Dylan as part of my life and of course the new and improved business. To accept us as a team and push all your opinions aside. We are here to do what we love and work together in partnership.
I am keeping the business going but under a new refreshed name to suit the new found vibes (To be released soon). Photography always has, was, is and will be my passion, my hobby and my dream career. I own all the camera gear, computers, business title, and pay for all the editing software. I ran the website, Facebook pages and and all social media content. I also edited every single photograph and video ever posted, EVEN HIS! I wrote all content and planned most events, outings and adventures. I charged all our batteries and kept all the cameras and lenses clean. Ash was more of a second shooter to help me capture more from different angles. After 5 years of using the camera he still didn't even know what lens he used. Only recently asking me. Which really showed me the lack of passion and interest he had. To not even know what camera and lens he used for 5 years.
We seriously lacked the full teamwork to make the dream work.
Yes Ash could take great photos, I'll never say he's not a good photographer. But pressing a button is only half the work. Shooting over 5 years by my side he never edited his own work and often only shot with his phone. We have been to Japan 3 times a total of 3 months and he used the professional camera ONE of those 90 days (because he didnt want to sit on the sidelines while I had all the fun on track). In the past few years he has only shot DCA, DSA, WTAC and a handful of weddings. I have shot everything else and edited ALL our work! That's definitely not how to run a business as a couple....
This above is what I dealt with everywhere we went. THOUSANDS of phone photos. When only meters away in my backpack or in the car there was another fully charged, cleaned SLR, two GoPros and a vlog camera ready to use all capable of capturing quality photos which would contribute nicely to the business, website and potential sales of images. That's not the actions of a business partner or even a "photographer"... And I don't understand how phone photos were perfectly fine for the last 10 years but as soon as I leave all his posted photos are captioned with "phone photo" or mentioning how shit the quality is and wishes he had a camera and everyone saying he needs to get another camera.... 95% of his posted photos are and have only been phone photos, which were posted to his Instagram and story before I was able to release my own content, making my photos invalid as people had already seen them on his!!! (which was another decent fight of ours, these actions are clearly not “supporting” me as he claims) He would not even know how to take photos from a memory card and import them onto a computer, let alone edit, export and share to his phone to then share with you! EVERY slr photo he posted was taken care of by me, I removed them from my second camera he used, edited and share to his phone where I then spell checked every caption that went along with it… But he was taking credit as a “photographer”… ???
I’m so sick of reading post and captions saying he needs to get another camera, 1: he never had one to begin with they were all mine and 2: WTF for, phone photos have been perfectly fine for 10 years, whats changed??? I'ts just one big feel sorry for me episode... Or he’s missing the attention my business gave him..
So to those who have been told I took everything, I most definitely didn't, I took most of my own, paid for belongings. I also left a lot. I could have taken EVERYTHING including my double bed leaving him his single bed we slept in for the first 5 years together.... Don't believe everything you hear!
With all that being said....my rant is done. It's time to leave all that in the past.
Big changes are coming!
In the past 4 months Dylan and I have already worked together at a few events producing quality work, he has already mastered manual settings in the toughest conditions learning the camera and each of the lenses and what they do different to the other at one event and then stepped up to shoot drift school Australia with me the next. He has already worked face to face with clients and worked with them to create and capture the perfect shot. And not only shoot the day but I explained we needed to gee the students up, give them compliments and make their day really fun and be that friendly face who pumps them up! Dare I say he actually did this better than myself :/
We have shot the launch of a new Falken tyre and have our first shoot together soon to be published in a magazine!!!! Just in the first few months working tohether!!!
I actually now have competition to push my own skills and make me constantly step up. The cheeky bugger even pulled me up and asked why I shot from a particular side of the car and that I should have walked around the other side!!! Huh?!?! Who's teaching who here, huh, huh :P but this is what I needed, wanted and longed to have. Passion, commitment, interest, and desire to be the best there is! I needed someone who is hungry for success like me!
So time to shine!
Excitedly we have purchased a few toys and will spend the next few months learning new skills. Dyl has already shown so much passion and dedication. Charging his own batteries, shooting his photos, coming across an issue and resolving it on his own already and of course the best bit, Dyl took the initiative to download lightroom and photoshop and insisted on editing his own photos which cuts my computer time in half!!! Meaning we have more time together, and more time to create and get on with the next job!
I got to a point of giving you 50% of what I had to offer due to my mental state and life circumstances and now together you will see Dylan and I give 110% each!!!!
Stay tuned xx
Side note: I was going to leave all my Japan content in the archives to gather dust. Two years of hard work and over $7,000 of my money down the drain as just memories. I was afraid that my hard work, if recognised and appreciated will be depicticated as only achieved because I "used" Ash for a holiday. I have 15,000 photos and over 30 blogs (already 99% written) that I was going to simply delete and forget about. But it took great strength and courage to say stuff what society thinks I know the years of hard work involved, I know I deserve to share my work and that some of it is too good to just gather dust!
So yes I will still be releasing this content over time because I didn't use anyone for anything. I worked hard for it, I made it happen! And I'm not going to let some gossip and opinions ruin my passion!
Ash and I still speak, quite regularly. We are friends and as my best friend I still love him in a family, best friend kind of way. I helped him through his recent Japan trip and have constantly messaged him words of strength and have done my best to help him find the strength needed to move on and find true happiness, one I couldn't give him. I dream of a day we can sit with our partners and laugh and speak of the past where all involved appreciate what we did and the experiences we had and we can speak of our adventures to our kids and they love uncle Ash and vice versa. I don't hate him, I hate me for allowing myself to be naieve and blinded to the facts that we just weren't right for each other. There was no growth as a couple, as humans or as a team in business and life...
So all in all that's my insight into what happened. There are plenty more emotional facts I will not discuss with anyone, there is a lot of behind the scenes and I have only shared about 5% of my reasons for leaving....
Now I can be me, achieve my dreams and goals of love, happiness, family, life and business.
I hope you enjoy what's coming...