Thanks to YOU!
I must begin with this– I will be forever grateful to each of my clients who so fearlessly welcomes me into a day that encompasses a whirlwind of emotions. Allowing me to share in the excitement, document every fleeting second, and create art out of the milestones of your lives is such a cool and special privilege for me to label as my ‘work.’ I am so grateful for all of you and how your lives enrich mine. Thank you for allowing me to capture your love stories. Seeing how each of your relationships has been divinely designed is one of the greatest unexpected perks of capturing each of you; it reminds me how omnipresent God is- how beautiful it is to witness how He has created a person that so intricately compliments each of us. It’s honestly the coolest thing.
2016 Best Nine of Instagram
2016 – for me as a person – photographer and otherwise
**Full Disclosure: this is somewhat journally, a little ranty, and a whole lot of personal reflection. I just have felt like 2016 was so much more than the horror movie these memes have made it out to be, and I want to share how it has been good to me.
I can confidently say that in many ways 2016 was the best year of my life. I was single 100% of the time, didn’t travel out of the country once, I overworked myself to an unhealthy degree, and I have never been happier. Gasp! To a lot of women (or maybe just people in general) that sounds way less than ideal. If I’m honest, I can’t say I would order up a year like that again, but I do have to admit, I’ve never enjoyed the ride on a personal level quite like I did this year.
In 2015 I was in way over my head in a renovation I had no clue how to complete, I had a boss who literally made me the most unhappy person on the planet, and in September I quit my day job and jumped full bore into entrepreneurship. It was insanity.
Queue 2016 // It has been the best year for me as a person and here’s why:
- I focused on building a machine. If you know me at all, you know that I come brimming with passion. I’m either all in or all out. Even if I want to be chill about things, it just doesn’t work because I’m not wired that way. This is good and bad, but when it comes to building a business, it’s amazing. I by no means am saying I have built the most successful or profitable photography business on the planet, but I created something that makes me happy, pays the bills and then some, and provides something beautiful and emotionally impactful to other people. That gives me worth on a level that no one else will ever touch. I can’t be stripped of it, unless I choose to be. That is something insanely powerful that I don’t discount.
- I decided not to date. It wasn’t entirely off the table, but I just had bigger fish to fry, and didn’t need anyone bitching about me ‘spending too much time working.’ I would download the apps out of boredom, have half-ass brainless conversations with a dude for a week, and then delete and re-focus. We all want companionship, but I wasn’t putting energy toward it. I knew that if I found someone it was going to be the real deal- someone God would place in my life, not someone I would seek out.
- I renovated a house. – WHAT. – When I bought it in 2015 I owned a starter toolbox that included: a hammer, some pliers, a pry bar, and a few screwdrivers… I got a drill for my birthday, and borrowed whatever else I needed from family. I didn’t do it all on my own. I tried until I was scared, asked for help when I knew youtube wasn’t enough, and hired out what I wasn’t willing to botch. I did, however design it from top to bottom, learn to wire outlets, lay tile, use saws, nail guns, and all kinds random gadgets, and I staged and budgeted so that I could afford to pay for everything without a loan. (Blog of the Renovation coming in January – I SWEAR, it’s just my clients need their pics more than I need to blog it.)
- I learned to rely on myself. I think it’s funny how we all create these fantastical life timelines in our heads of how it will go. i.e.: I’ll find someone in college, get engaged a year or two after, get married between 26 and 28, and then voila! happily ever after. I’m guilty too, and I mostly planned this way so that I wouldn’t have to purchase my own health insurance. hah! That shit is so expensive, and don’t worry, my ‘plans’ didn’t quite come to fruition. In seriousness, I am grateful for the amount of time I have spent this year, proving to myself that it’s not scary to live alone (it’s actually very peaceful). I can afford the life I want, the house I want, the car I want, and I require no one to fill in gaps or bankroll my dreams. Damn I sound so feminist right now, but man, it feels good to be ‘I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that means?…’
I’m not writing any of this to brag. I’m just a little tired of hearing about how horrible 2016 was. It was horrible if you choose to view it that way. There are nasty things that happened to me, too. My social life is suffering big time because I prioritized building my business over everything. I gained weight because I worked so hard and slept so little my body revolted. I photographed wedding after wedding, sometimes impatient and wondering if it would ever be my turn. My renovation had a mouse issue– I’m not elaborating on that one. Oh! AND ‘Bye Felicia’ became the most common, dismissive phrase to implement when you can’t stand someone… let’s talk about THAT.
The thing is, your year is how you choose to view it. 2017 is the same way, and while it’s a clean slate (a beautiful opportunity in and of itself) at the first sign of troubled waters, don’t choose to condemn it. Weather the storm, and paint rainbows, dammit!
2017 is a new year full of new possibilities // Things I plan to work on:
- Make more time for people. This seems ridiculous. It is ridiculous, because ‘normal’ people who have social personalities (which, I actually do) don’t have to set this as a goal. Whatever, no one is ‘normal’.
- Having more fun. Stupid, I know, but I need to make more time for me, and find a healthier balance. I’ve adjusted my business model to allow for more play because to create inspired work is to live an inspired life. #fruitcakemillenial < that’s fine, I’ll own that title.
- I’m working on my travel bucket list ^^ which is pretty much an offshoot of objectives 1 and 2. More on this soon, and how you can take part. Yes, any ‘you’ reading this.
- Deciding on a new place to explore/live/grow in between all of my work/fun trips. I feel called to turn the page and grow in a new place. Don’t worry, I’ll be back in KC often for clients old and new, plus my family is based here! Yes, that means I’ll be selling or renting my beloved design baby of a house. Hit me up if you want to claim her. She’s a beaut and in about a week, you’ll be able to come to that conclusion for yourself.
- Simplicity. One of my first goals is to purge. I want to thin down the physical clutter that results in mental distraction.
This is far too long winded and I’m sure some will cringe at how open it is about my plans, my strengths, and my weaknesses. Who cares. Chalk it up to 2016 being so sucky. 😛
Wishing you all a better 2017 than 2016, and that no matter what lies behind you or ahead of you, you’re able to approach your life with a glass half-full mindset; grateful but never satisfied. (I will never by satisfied! – Angelica Schuyler)