The Other Side of my Story

The Other Side of my Story

Life began by waking up and loving my mother’s face. – George Eliot


The more I have been asked to share my story, the more my story has revealed itself.  Over the years, layer by layer I have gone back to remember what events have shaped me, the messages I have heard over the years and what people have had the most influence over my life.

I have told the detailed accounts of some of the things that have made me what I am today. Mostly about the things I have come up against in my life; people that insisted on telling me  being “an artist” wasn’t enough or how the art I made didn’t fit in (it wasn’t bold enough, loud enough, political enough, edgy enough). These voices are the ones that I had to fight against for much of my early life are the ones that have remembered most. Maybe because they hurt the most and pain has a way of etching itself into our memory.

I have shared how I had struggled to drown out those voices so I could keep following my own inner-knowing; that living a creative life was going to be enough if I could just keep believing it and that my art was an important part of me and that what I had to say, create, make, share mattered and that the rest would fall into place.

But, even that’s not the whole story.

There’s a piece of this puzzle I have not acknowledged, until recently.  It’s that my “inner-knowing” was cultivated from some of my earliest memories. From the very beginning of my life, I had heard a different voice;

The one that told me that I could do anything.

It was this kind, loving, supportive, unconditional voice that had been speaking to me for as long as I can remember and it’s the same one that kept telling me exactly what I needed to hear to keep me walking my path regardless the obstacles, no matter what they were.

This is the part of my story that perhaps is the most important of all. The part I had forgotten. The part I now so vividly remember. The part that has made me who I am. That part that began with the voice of my mother.


Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I love you so.

  • mosey
    Posted at 05:13h, 09 May Reply

    A beautiful and eloquent tribute to our personal stories, and motherhood. Lovely, Tracey.

  • jennifée
    Posted at 17:15h, 09 May Reply

    This made me tear up. I have heard that voice too, telling me I can do everything from early on, but too often I let it drown in the other voices, my own and others', that tell me the opposite. Thank you for sharing this.

  • hillary
    Posted at 20:50h, 09 May Reply

    even though i have not had the pleasure of meeting your mom … if it was her voice that helped you create all you have created and shared with the world, then i love your mother, too!

  • Linda Goodwin
    Posted at 00:47h, 10 May Reply

    Tracey, this is just beautiful. I have seen only a little of your words and other work, but I'm so impressed by it! I know your mom and I recognize her voice in what you've written. Shine on, Ms. Tracey!

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 10:07h, 10 May Reply

    what a beautiful blessing that is to have in your life. I love watching you soar. xo

  • Jessa
    Posted at 22:59h, 10 May Reply

    I loved this. It choked me up, and I'm glad you had a mother who was so supportive and encouraging. We all need one of those.

  • Jessica New
    Posted at 02:42h, 11 May Reply

    Tear Jerker…. And oh so true…. She is a the one voice always whispering…. "You Can Do It"
    Even when everyone else disagrees. Even when we disagree.
    She's a good mom, and I'm happy to share her with you! : )

    Happy Mother's Day to you my sister!
    You've been like a mom to me my whole life in so many ways… Thank You. I Love You.

  • Chelsea
    Posted at 20:54h, 11 May Reply

    Wow what a touching post Tracey, so special!!

  • rawqueen
    Posted at 02:31h, 12 May Reply

    So lovely, sweet and salient Tracey. You are "a good sharer" as we say here in our home. Ahhhh, the synchronicity of it all. Blessings.

  • your mommy
    Posted at 08:19h, 12 May Reply

    my dear one your words have given me such joy and touched my oh so tender mothers heart. It has always been my belief that only you would know what was best for you and the best way for me to help you find out is to be ever so quiet so that you could hear you own wee small voice… It is an honor to watch you find your way and share the path with you. Godspeed… xox me

  • Andrea
    Posted at 11:18h, 12 May Reply

    Your words are really moving and it is so encouraging to read this part of your story and to see how you have reflected on your life, your journey, yourself. That you do not keep the difficult parts wrapped up in something nice and shiny but actually name the things that hurt. I can learn so much from your courage of dealing with and sharing these parts. Also, how you value your mother could not be expressed in a more authentic and beautiful way. Thanks for sharing these thoughts!

  • Rachelle
    Posted at 14:31h, 19 May Reply

    it weird that I'm tearing up? Beautifullly written commemoration of your mother's impact on your life, your "me." My child wanted to join the circus when she "grew up" – – and so we began a short career in gymnastics. I've no doubt her next important endeavor will meet with the same gusto of activity.

  • Kim
    Posted at 17:12h, 10 June Reply

    I just want to tell you how much your talk on the Playing Big call affected me. I too photograph the beauty of ordinary things and was so glad to hear you say that was okay and that there are people out there who like it.

    For one exhibit space, I was told that I was not "edgy" enough. They suggested I come back when I had edgier work and I remember thinking "I'm just not edgy." It was good to hear your story.

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