Photography by Victoria Anne Photography
Meet Kalyn. She is Beauty Revived.
“I choose happiness.” Those are the words Kalyn Noland lives by. She is a vibrant and beautiful mother, full of life and plenty of love for those around her. She owns her own photography business, Captured Memories by Kalyn Noland, where she primarily photographs children. She greatly resembles her favorite Disney princess, Ariel, with her stunning red hair and desire for something more in this life. Unlike Ariel, though, things have not always come easy for her. No one looking at her could guess at the hardships and aches that have followed her throughout her life, leaving her with strength unmatched and a desire to be the absolute best mother she can for her children.
Kalyn was raised by a mother who suffered from a mental illness that often affected how she cared for her. She didn’t often feel the love and appreciation shown in most families. They moved frequently, which made for a hard childhood for Kalyn. Drug addiction was an escape for her, and many times she thought of suicide. She became a mother at a young age, only 17, and it saved her life. Instead of fear of being a young mother she experienced excitement, an opportunity to prove that she was not her mother. Knowing that she had a similar mental disease as her mother and grandmother before her, she vowed that she wouldn’t allow it to dim the love she has for her children. The cycle of emotional neglect, while never purposeful, would end with her. Kalyn was determined that she would never fail her children the way her parents had failed her. Many of the decisions she has made in regards to her mothering begin and end with that vow in her mind. While an honorable goal, Kalyn soon came to realize that living up to her idea of perfection, what she calls her “super hero complex” was harder than it had seemed. She has learned that making mistakes (often lots of them) is a part of parenthood. It doesn’t mean you’re failing your children or that you’re a bad mother. It simply means that you are human. In failing her kids, she healed herself. She is perfectly flawed. Even though she still battles anxiety and depression, she chooses happiness.
There is beauty in her scars, in damage that was caused that we try to hide, yet is revealed sometimes in small ways. This heartache, these scars, affect our decisions in the subtlest of ways. For mothers, it makes us worry that we’re doing a good enough job. It leaves us feeling overwhelmed, guilty, ashamed, left with a constant feeling of, “I can do better.” Many are swept away by these feelings, overwhelmed by the constant pressure of motherhood and everything that it encompasses. Kalyn, however, was left with strength. She overcame her trials, her scars, and the decisions she makes, although altered by the damage and the pain that isn’t quite ever erased, are decisions based most importantly on love: love for her family and, most importantly, love for herself. Love for self is hard won by, and Kalyn has fought incredibly hard to get to where she is today. Though threatened to be swept away by the tide, she struggled against the waves and resurfaced having scraped rock bottom. Being scraped by the shoals that littered the underwater environment sharpened her, shed off the old and revealed the new being that she had become, full of purpose and of spirit, unwilling to ever be dragged back down by those who had pushed her under before. Each day, every day, she chooses happiness.
About the Photographer
Victoria is a birth artist and lifestyle storyteller out of Clarksville, Tennessee. When she’s not celebrating a new life entering the world with a new mother, she’s at home, reading any choice books from her expansive library, and homeschooling her five year old son while her one year old daughter tries to eat the school books. “My sister ate my homework” is a common excuse in her home.