January 18, 2019

18 things I learned in 2018

Bare with me… this may be a long one. But for the past few years I have written a reflection post on things I’ve learned or taken away from the prior year. More of journal entry than anything but I feel compelled to share some of my thoughts on 2018. Mainly for me to reflect on later but there are some nuggets in here that I hope are relatable. These are in no particular order.

Here we go….

1. You can’t forget to take care of YOU!

Life gets busy and I often forget about ME. I don’t function well from an empty cup and for the majority of the year I was running on E. That is because I didn’t create enough margin in my life or a focus to take care of myself. I am a people pleaser and a go getter but I need to center my focus on myself by eating right, getting enough sleep, and working out. Taking time to read, journal, and take more beach walks. 2019 is the year for me to create white space to just be myself so I can serve my couples, my family, and my husband better.

2. There is much more to life than instagram

We, well I spent entirely too much time on instagram. It has become a habit I hate but I have little self control. I obviously use instagram for business but get lost in stories and scrolling. In 2019 I am implementing more of an intentional focus when on the app. Less mindless scrolling, more interaction on and off the app.

3. Fear is holding me back.

Yup! I said it. FEAR has always been my down fall. I am my biggest critic and I let my fear of not being good enough hold me back in a lot of areas of my life. Part of taking care of myself and switching my perspective is helping this side of things but there is always work to do!

4. I need to learn to step out of my own way.

As in Fear, I talk myself out of things. Of big ideas, of plans, of silly things I want to accomplish. I procrastinate and literally stop the process. I need to learn to step out of my own way as I am the one holding myself back. No one else. I have and you have the ability to change your mindset to be more positive, uplifting, and change your inner dialog. I am working on this but boy is it hard.

5. Saying no is okay.

I often get asked about different sessions throughout the year. With a full time career, running my business, and my life… I can’t say yes to every session or opportunity that comes my way. While I would love to be the jack of all trades, I have found I am best with following my best ‘yeses’ and saying no to the things that lead me down the path I want to go. I said yes to a lot of family sessions this year that I normally don’t do. You don’t see much of that work as these are friends I know or past clients that I have a bond with already. I don’t advertise I am a family photographer as I find my strengths are in couples and weddings.

6. Business is important but it shouldn’t always be the center focus.

While chasing dreams of a super successful photography business and climbing the corporate ladder is important, it isn’t everything. There absolutely needs to be hustle in these areas but not to the detriment to my marriage, family and relationships.

7. Relationships are what matter

At the end of the day, the people you surround yourself with are what matter. The people who unconditionally whole heartedly love you know matter what. They stand by you, lift you up, and push you. These are the people you want to be around. When it comes to business, I surround myself with women who encourage and push and who are a positive. influence. When it comes to my couples, the connection with them is the most important part, not the details but the people I get to serve the the people who love them well. That is what matters. People won’t remember the details but they will remember how you made them feel and I hope I make a least a small impact on the people I have the honor of working with.

8. Getting your mind right is vital.

Some of this all ties together but without a great inner dialog, I set myself up for failure. I have to tweak my mindset and change something internally to achieve my goals.

10. Anxiety for me is a real thing.

I never really thought I had anxiety until this year. But looking back, I see similarities on many instances through my life that seem like anxiety, while not medically diagnosed, I can tell I get mild doses of anxiety from time to time.

11. People over things!

This is a huge wake up call that consumption of things is an addiction and is super unhealthy. The idea of wanting more and more is disheartening and toxic. While the American dream is always to have a better life with the dream home and the beautiful things, it is a pressure to live up to ideal and expectations that down right unachievable. Not only is my unhealthy shopping addiction bad for my wallet, but it is not ideal for living a joyful life. Things don’t bring joy… maybe temporarily but as I am in the process of decluttering our home, I’ve realized that if that were the case, I would be the happiest and most joyful person in the world. But why I do I feel empty sometimes? Things don’t bring happiness, getting centered in who you are and relishing in the wonderful life you’ve built is what matters. Not the material objects that society tells us we HAVE to have.

12. Being a maid of honor is hard.

This year I had the honor and privilege to be co matron of honor for my best friend. Let me tell you, Its hard work lol! I loved every second but I have never been one. I think the hardest part was delivering my speech. Cheers to all the besties/sisters out there rocking the MOH role!

13. I am a people pleaser to a T

I want to make everyone happy. I try to go out of my way to do the right thing, please my couples, my husband, my family, friends. I just want everyone to get a long and be happy. Sometimes in a detriment to myself. I am working on it!

14. I need to make more time to capture MY life.

I spend a lot of my time outside my day job capturing other people’s stories and memories. While I love it with my whole heart, I leave little room to capture my own moments and when I do, I tuck them away to someday edit. My story matters too and I need to make it more of a priority to take photos of my/our moments and we all know, time is fleeting and tomorrow isn’t promised. Whether that is getting photos done once a year together or making more of an effort to capture little and big moments for us needs to be at the forefront too.

15. It isn’t always about me.

This life and this business isn’t always about me. What I do is not for me but for others. To make a small impact in their lives and share their stories. It isn’t about the likes, comments, and other superficial things that some define as success. It is about making lasting relationships with those who trust me to capture them. It is about THEIR stories.

I play a key role in designing my life but maybe it is all bigger that us individually.

16. Balance is a unicorn.

Some say it can be done but in my experience, I am still on the hunt for balance. It ebbs and flows as life goes through waves. It can be calm and it can be trencious but the way you handle it is what matters most. When one area of my life is up, others are down. And then its adjusts back and forth. In 2019, I am focusing on my personal growth and treating my body better in hopes that will trickle down to have positive impacts on all areas of my life.

17. Beach walks are good for my soul.

If you know me at all, you know that the salt air has positive and lasting affects to my soul. I take our dog Bodie to the beach as often as I can. I crave that salt air even if it is brief. It does amazing things for me no matter the weather. In 2019, this needs to be a priority as well. Since Bodie was fixed in 2018, he is much better off leash and listens while we run around. He only cares about the ball which is a whole different ball game than before.

18. Dreaming is great but living is better.

I spend time dreaming of the next thing. The next house, the next vacation, what parenthood would look like. Looking ahead of something MORE but living in the day and showing gratitude to what is happening NOW is a much better place to be. I have started a gratitude journal and that is truly helping.

Maybe some of the resonated, maybe you stopped reading a while ago but if you are here, thank you for diving into some of my thoughts and learnings from the year. This online space that I get to call my home is as much for myself to tell a story… my story as it is.

A look back at 2017 and 2016!!

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