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Who I Am

The heat from the subway cars racing by

The steam rising up from the tracks

If I were a phoenix, then I would fly

Get out of this city and rise from the ash

I was a long-legged, skinny little thing, growing up. More bony little legs than anything, my parents used to call me Lexi Bird. Eventually, I was proud to note that my skinny little legs filled out a bit. These days, I'd even go so far as to say they could stand to be a bit more 'bird-like.' But the point is, as we all sort of know without being told, some things change, and some things never will.

A lot has changed for me in the past few years. When I started taking pictures, I went by "Written Light Photography." After that, when I got married, it changed to, "Alexis Ryan Photography." Then came separation. Divorce. Sad, dark pages in my life story, where photography was put aside temporarily to battle bigger demons. And when I was ready to reconnect, I had a question to answer. Who am I now? I thought about resurfacing as "Alexis Shea Photography." Seemed straight-forward enough. But my sense of identity felt a little shaken at the time. Well, I technically wasn't Shea - yet - the divorce wasn't finalized. And perhaps I wouldn't be Shea forever. Would I want to go back again some day, if love found me (and it did) and change myself all over again?

So many things changed. It became sort of a question of what hadn't. And I realized the answer had been etched into my arm for years. Lexi Bird. What kind of bird, well, that's changed a hundred times or more and it will continue. At the moment, I feel like a phoenix. Life persists from ashes, and so do I.

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