You Have the Power - This American Girl

the killing fields


How strong

is your will?


tonle sap river


Do you bend

to the demands

of others


tonle sap river



of being true

to what you want

to what you need?


the killing fields


Do you relinquish

your power and control



the killing fields


lacking the passion

to pursue

what’s best

for you?


tonle sap river


Do you lose

your drive

to actualize your desires


tonle sap river


and instead allow consequence

to dictate your life?


tonle sap river


Do you lose sight

of who you even are

and what makes you special


the killing fields


because it seems safer


to just follow the crowd?


tonle sap river


Do you question

your instincts

your abilities

your possibilities?


tonle sap river


Do you fear

that by following

the voice inside your heart


tonle sap river


you will fail

because what could you

possibly know?


the killing fields


Do you seek


outside of yourself


tonle sap river


always questioning

the worth

of what is inside yourself?


tonle sap river


Do you feel

so lacking

in control

of your life


tonle sap river


that you seek to control

the organization of your home

the calories you consume

the people you love?


the killing fields


How can I tell you

that you always have a choice

and it belongs


to only you?


tonle sap river


How can I show you

that you are effortlessly



and strong?


the killing fields


How can I empower you

to follow your dreams

and live a life

we both know you deserve?


tonle sap river


See yourself


in the warmth

of the sun.


the killing fields


Feel the fire

within you

motivate you

to pursue.


the killing fields



that you have the power

the strength

the intuition

the will.


tonle sap river



that you have it all.



I captured these images boating down the Tonle Sap river passing smiling locals living in floating homes and at the Killing Fields outside of Phnom Penh where over 20,000 people were killed under the Khmer Rouge. You may recognize the bracelets if you’ve been to this memorial, which commemorate the lives that were lost.


Visiting the Killing Fields, I felt overwhelmed with sadness. I asked myself again and again “how could people let this happen?” It seems like every person, from the soldiers to the civilians to Pol Pot himself, reacted based on their own fears from feeling disempowered. A shocking example of how important it is to recognize, embrace, and nurture your own sense of power. 


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