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Hi there! I’m a Wedding & Anniversary photographer based in Virginia Beach, serving couples throughout Hampton Roads, the Outer Banks (OBX) and beyond. A wife to my handsome firefighter husband, obsessed dog-mom to my precious pup, Bodie, and lover of the sand, salt, and sea. I’m a creative soul who finds a deep joy in capturing your love story throughout every stage of life; preserving the memories you experience along the way. A lifetime of love isn’t always calm waters, but it’s always worth the ride.
Something has been on my heart. Something that a few in the industry have talked about but I wanted to share a personal struggle that I know may not be popular but will hit home with a few. I whole heartedly believe that when one starts a conversation, sparks an idea, comes to the table, we can bring light to something that people struggle with in silence. I know I have for more than six months. I chalked it up to seasonal depression but I think it runs deeper.
In this season of life, we are quick to compare. Quick to look at these perfectly curated squares and think we are less than. We look around us at this “thing” that we have been sucked into, that consumes our time and our energy and we tell ourselves that we are less than her. We think we are doing it to ourselves and then a cycle of feelings just spirals downward. We compare clothing, business, bookings, material things, experiences, how we spend out weekends, what we eat… holy moly friends… it is exhausting. Life was so much easier before social media. We cared about our own lives and didn’t get sucked into worrying about other’s and how ours stacks up.
This season I have felt less than for a number of reasons and felt that the cards were just stacked against me to chase my dreams. But you know what it doesn’t matter what she does or how they run their business or how they live their life… we don’t see the struggle… we don’t talk about the struggle. It’s not pretty. It doesn’t get likes. Because for some reason likes are what matters. People will unfollow because they don’t want to read the negative. There is already enough negative. But friends… we are all human and we should speak to the realness that happens behind these squares. The time it takes to come up with these captivating captions. The doubt and fear that goes into our perception online.
So today…Dear Self, I am throwing up the flag and surrendering. I know I am not alone because I have had conversations with others who feel the same way. We post pictures of ourselves when we are all done up to maintain an image or photos that fit within our brand story and that is okay (for the record, my Instagram isn’t going to change, I just may get a bit more real with my posts) but know most days… I struggle to live a life at my 8-5 while I work my butt off to make this business something I know it can be and for it to serve my couples the best way I know how… from my heart. So yes, I will wear my heart on my sleeve and I will fall on my face… as long as I get back up! I don’t always look put together. Most days my hair ends up in a weird top knot or a “croissant bun” and not on purpose. My makeup is done half ass and my home life looks a little less curated and a lot like piles of laundry and office threw up a pile of who knows what and for the life of me I have all these ideas but the excuses get in the way to get it all done. But self, I’m doing okay.
I always imagined my life would be a little different by now but o man am I thankful for what I have…please don’t take this the wrong way. I write this to share a piece of my heavy heart lately. I got this journal in hopes when I turned 30 that I would write words of encouragement to myself because I don’t give myself enough love. I try to pour into others but forget to pour into myself. So together let’s stop the compare, lift each other up and just do us. Get to work and focus on being happy and less on all the other stuff that gets in the way.
I want to encourage you… encourage us all… we are doing okay. Let’s lift each other up. Let’s focus less on what she is doing and what we are not. Focus less on what they have or what their business looks like. Focus on you. For only you live your life. It has become a world that breaks my heart where we get down for this concept of “keeping up with the Jones” but in an escalated way that is completely toxic that stumps productivity, growth, and overall happiness.
What is important is that we talk about it. That we acknowledge it. Pull our eyes off the screen. Focus on our present and focus more on how our lives feel on the inside vs. how they look on the outside.
Who is with me… I know I’m not alone with this!!