Text by Kitchie Ohh, Copyright 2023
This Time Last Year
This time last year, I made my grand debut here at Tony Ward Studio with a series of covers and writings. For the Vixens series project, Tony offered me a prompt which I took in a direction that was incredibly cathartic. Spilling my guts out in those pieces turned into a monthly thing and with this article, you have now been subjected to a full year of my ramblings. Thanks for reading, and also, I’m sorry! (Well, no, not really.)
A lot can change in a short amount of time. Sometimes, the change is good; other times, not so much. Sometimes, change is exciting; others, scary. Often, there’s a whole mix of emotion happening all at once. But that’s the thing, no matter how we feel about it, change is inevitable. Beginnings and endings are constantly happening. Big changes, little changes. Ones that shake your entire world or go barely noticed. We often hear the expression “the beginning of the end,” but what about the beginning IN the end?
I have always enjoyed writing. I loved creative writing assignments and book reports in school. Though I never kept an official journal, writing out feelings and thoughts was, and still is, one of the ways I process things in my life. A large part of my career for the last two decades has involved writing in some way. So when the opportunity came up to combine writing with my newer-found hobby of modeling, I thought, why not? And then I was terrified. This wasn’t a school assignment. This was me, my image alongside my thoughts, my opinions for anyone to read. And judge. And criticize. I sat at my computer with the provided prompt and the words poured out. The images and articles went live. Despite my anxiety, I shared the links everywhere, and was proud of myself. I had told my parents about the project but instead of directing them to the links, I wanted them to hear my words from me. It was important. I read all three articles to them at the dining room table. I didn’t make it through without crying. Even though the articles were already posted and people had shared positive feedback, it was reading them out loud to my parents that changed me. The days of bottling my feelings, of not talking about the things that hurt me were at an end. So, too, were the days of thinking I couldn’t or shouldn’t share my “non-professional” writing out of the belief that no one cared what I had to say. I’ve been writing monthly, now, for an entire year. My original thoughts and words are out there but I’m the one who doesn’t care now. I always hope that any piece I write evokes something in the people who read it, but I no longer obsess about whether it is good enough to be read.
At the time of my photoshoot last September, things had been extremely tense for some time at my job. It made me sad. It had started out as my dream job. The organization and mission were close to my heart, but the environment changed. It was affecting my personal life and that had to end. I put my love of writing to good use refreshing my resume and cover letters. It was validating and exciting to interview at multiple companies. Potential employers were interested in and impressed by my skills and experience. Things got very real, very quickly, when I had multiple offers in the same week. I panicked, but again writing came to the rescue through a handwritten “pro and con” exercise of each offer. Clearly, I came up with a winner. My new role is a challenge, but in mostly good ways. I no longer feel like I’m being set up to fail. Instead, I’m welcoming new responsibility, providing leadership and support to a whole team. I am trusting myself. I still get to write, too. This new chapter in my professional life couldn’t have been possible without the ending of the previous one.
Believe me, I’m well aware that not all endings can be viewed and associated with a positive beginning as I’ve laid out above. Like when we lose someone, such as a failed relationship or the death of a loved one, that ending is devastating. Everything you do after they are gone is a sad beginning, a first time without them. But it’s also a success; evidence that you CAN do those things anyway. As much as it may hurt doing them alone, you begin to heal through that persistence.
No matter what the end may be, the type of beginning it brings is your choice. There is time and space enough for you to both mourn the loss of what was and celebrate what comes next. You can be happy to stop something but scared to begin another. There is absolutely no way to prevent yourself from ever facing a change, a loss, an end; you might as well take control of it. Because without the ends there can be no beginnings.
And so this concludes a year’s worth of tolerating my ranting. Stay tuned for what next month may bring.
To Be Continued…..
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kitchie Ohh is a full-time professional fundraiser who has worked with a number of health and human services nonprofits in the Philadelphia area over the last 20 years. She found her passion for modeling after a pinup-style photoshoot in 2013. Since then, she has worked with many talented photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists in a variety of styles. She has been featured in- and on the covers of – multiple print and digital publications. Over the years, she has branched out from pinup studio modeling to serve as a figure model for live sketching, walked a runway, and was part of two campaigns for Philadelphia designer K. Vaughn.
In addition to her philanthropy-focused career, she has volunteered with art, historical, and community organizations, and even the events team of a local brewery for a while, pre-pandemic.
You’re just as likely to find her whipping up something deliciously plant-based in her kitchen or knitting a sweater as you are to find her on a photography set. Her motto is “be both.” The model and the homemaker, sultry and sweet, serious and silly. All the things, all at once.
To access additional articles by Miss Kitchie Ohh, link here: https://tonyward.com/kitchie-ohh-well-thats-embarrassing/