Pen to Paper

* 2 min. read

“It’s okay to help other people as long as it’s not at the expense of yourself.”

~ Eboni Rivera

This statement is something that I’ve repeatedly rattled off my tongue to my loved ones throughout the years, yet its a piece of advice that I’ve failed to take.

The past 18 months of my life have been a living hell personally, with only the last six playing out in a very public manner. With everything going on, I’ve still managed to give myself consistently and selflessly to everyone else but EBONI.

From volunteer projects to charity fundraising, mentoring people for free, being the class mom and a plethora of obligations that I’ve managed to pile on my plate.

So much has happened to me:
The tragic death of a loved one.
The near death of my grandmother
Financial stuff
Single motherhood
Medical assessments for my child
Physical Ailments
and good ol‘ fashioned stressing about all the things that I have no damn control over in the first place so I shouldn’t be worrying about it.

All this to say that I need a break before I break. And I have absolutely no shame in admitting that. I’ve been on the road to burn out for quite a while now and honestly, at present I’m running on fumes. I need to learn how to put my oxygen mask on first, then assist other passengers.

I read a quote the other day that found its way into my feed that was the wakeup call that my soul has been longing for this entire time.


You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy


Now, I’m usually the one doing the inspiring, but I guess reading that was like permission to stop giving to everyone else and to begin my journey of self-preservation and healing.

As much as it breaks my heart, I think it’s essential for me to take a step away from all the extra curriculum photography activities and focus on my health, my children, my business and the job that I love working for. Anything else will have to take a back seat (f0r now) until I’m able to refuel my charge back up to 100 percent. This goes for personal projects I declared doing earlier this year, volunteer work, charity events, and so on.

I can’t pour from an empty cup.

It’s time to silence the noise that’s been consuming my life and find a way to be comfortable in the silence. 

Anyway, these are just a few ramblings that I’m sitting and writing while I’m up at 3:48 am in the morning, plagued with insomnia.

I need to take my butt to bed.

Author: Eboni Rivera

I’m a hugger (shaking hands feels too formal). I began learning photography back in 1996, mixing chemicals and developing film in a darkroom. I've spent the past 20+ years observing and learning about different genres but Documentary Family Photography is where I feel the most at home. The best photographs are ones with a real story behind it – the kind that immediately brings you back to that specific time and place, no matter how long ago it happened. I'm a Memory Preservationist. For me, it’s all about reminiscing and feeling nostalgia when you look at photos that make them so incredibly special.

What's on your mind? Leave a Reply

  • I feel you – I soooo feel you on so many things you wrote. Currently sitting here holding Easton going on 4 hours now hoping he’ll stay asleep when I put him down. Among other “heavy” things on my heart and mind.

  • Eboni,

    this realization is one that I dealt with that summer. It’s hard to do and overcome the selfish feeling and the guilt. Focusing on how much more you can give at 100% verses .01% is what kept me going. You got this. And I know you have so many people behind you to prop you up when that one leg you have to stand on starts to give out. It’s time to sit. Rest. Grow and strengthen. You got this. You’ve got us. <3

  • Yes! I was there myself. I cut back on a lot and focused on myself and the kids. When things get tough I don’t tell anyone, but I also trudge along doing what must be done, silent with those burdens. I am happy you have something that saves you during these times. Outlets are so necessary, and yours creates something beautiful from it.