Hey girl hey! My name is Melissa Kilner (middle name Mae). My short story? I’m a photographer, mom of 3 (with two pups), and I’m on a quest to help men and women everywhere feel confident, brazen, and empowered in their own skin. Want the long version (including all of my deepest darkest secrets)?

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The Biggest Fight I Ever Got In

There have been many moments in life in which I found myself in places that I never thought I would be. I was 17, homeless, and sleeping on the floor of an empty apartment and trying to finish my senior year of high school… in contrast to my 27 year old self standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris for work, and pinching myself as I didn’t know how in the hell I got there… To right this second… a single mom to three amazing kids, hustling until my fingertips bleed just to make ends meet. And right now? They don’t meet. I’ve gone hungry. I’ve stayed in places because I couldn’t afford the gas to leave. I’ve never been more excited about terrible, yet free, continental breakfasts at hotels I stay at for work, and have never been more terrified of emergency dental work or car troubles. And while I hate every second of it, I truly feel like it’s okay.

 First let me say, I’m not writing about this because I’m looking for pity, help, or attention. I’m writing because I want you to know that there is no shame in the struggle. It’s these moments that we find our fight. It’s these moments that we realize just what we’re willing to do because FAILURE ISN’T AN OPTION. And don’t get me wrong, I have thrown many pity parties along the way. There are days that I want to give up. So many days that I want to give up. But I truly believe in the deepest parts of my heart, that I needed this. I needed to see how strong I could be. And I believe the same for you.

Sometimes life kicks us in the balls, and we don’t know what we’re doing, or how to make it better. And at times it feels absolutely unbearable. We waste so much time and energy going down the deep dark spiral of “I’m a failure” “poor me” “what does this say about who I am?” But the thing is, struggle doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with who you are. What you DO with the struggle does. Life can be hard, in fact, it can be miserable at times. But it’s these experiences that forge us in it’s fire. Because when we realize our own strength and courage, and how hard we are willing to fight, we find out how powerful we can actually be.

 

xoxo, Melissa

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