I’ve shared a small portion of my story before. If you missed it, I’ll recap. But first! Let me start with saying that I’ve been hoping to write this blog to you for a while. I have wanted to have this conversation with you so badly. But! I’m also a perfectionist and I needed everything to be right before I could start. Months later, here I am understanding and accepting that perfection isn’t necessary. I just have to start.
So! Back to that story. The short(ish) version is this..
I was 17 when I fell for my husband. He was such a saving grace in my life. I was in a really dark place. He helped me pull myself together again and smile more than I had in years. He gifted me my first real camera the first Christmas that we celebrated together. It was a super expensive purchase and I couldn’t quite believe it was all mine. I started my career with that same camera. (Who knew it would lead us to where we are today?!)
Flash forward to a a few years later when I landed a corporate job that I thought was the best thing in the world, until one day it wasn’t. I was miserable walking through the door at 9 am and I couldn’t get out of the door fast enough by 5 pm. Being behind the camera became a creative outlet that made me smile and seemed to offset the 9-5 grind. Eventually, I started taking on more clients. I started educating myself from other industry leaders, mastering my techniques, and building a professional brand.
A few months later, I went part time at my day job to continue growing my business. A few months after that, I took my business full time while I was 6 months pregnant. (That was extra terrifying- I mean, who leaves their corporate job with a new baby on the way?!) Flash forward to today and I can not even explain to you the gratefulness that I feel deep within my soul for the life that we have created together.
Here’s the thing- I could have stayed in that dark place when I was 17 and I could have stayed at that 9-5 and I could have just kept going through the motions of the life that I knew because it was familiar or comfortable or easy.
But I didn’t. I took a chance. I was brave. I made scary decisions outside of my “normal” because I wanted more out of life than what I had been allowing myself.
The really sad thing is knowing that so many people don’t see their lives that way. So many of us feel stuck in our patterns. Stuck in our routines. So consumed by the everyday tasks that we don’t see the beauty in it all. And that leads me here..
See, there’s this thing that I feel moved to share. It’s something that I know deep within my heart and its been tugging on me for a while lately more than ever.
If I can rise out of the shadows that once filled me and into a life like this, then anyone can rise up.
Read that again- now soak it in and know that I mean it with all my might.
Its not always easy to go along with the “everything happens for a reason” theme. But! I choose to believe that the darkness I once felt as all too familiar was always a stepping stone to really, truly appreciate the light that is now our reality.
I believe that it is absolutely worth it to create a life that you love.
Building a life that breathes love and kindness into your soul carries far more importance than we give it credit for but the reality is this- A few simple gestures, a few creative ways of thinking, some dedication, a few extra breathes of fresh air- some of the smallest changes can create the biggest impacts.
I want to show up for you. I want to walk through this with you because life is ridiculously beautiful and there is so much that we can do to soak that in a bit more.
So here’s our first task. How about we call it an assignment. It’s simple.
Make a list. In that list, write out what inspires you. What fuels your heart? What brings you joy?
Maybe lots of things immediately come to mind. Write them down.
Maybe you can only think of one thing. Write it down.
Maybe you need some time to evaluate. Totally fine too.
Dont rush this. Think it through. Be heartfelt in your answers.
Keep a running list this week. As you see things. Feel things. smell, taste, and hear things- whatever senses you are using at whatever moment- if that thing brings a little smile to your face and a little lightness to your heart- Write. It. Down.
Keep it accessible. Keep it visible. Maybe that means taping it to your desk or maybe its a note on your phone- where ever it is, just keep it close by.
We’ll chat more about your list in the upcoming weeks. But! For now- I just want you to use this exercise as a way to get to know yourself better. Really evaluate the good things that bring you happiness. And while you’re creating your list throughout the day, use it as a way to train your eyes to see the good. A way to look for simple happiness and see the joy in every day life.
A few things I know will be going on my list-
- My daughters laugh (especially those laughs that come from deep within her belly).
- Quality time with my husband.
- Early morning air hitting my lungs.
- The warmth of coffee on my lips.
- The way I feel after spending time with the Lord.
- The clarity I feel after a good work out.
I’ll share more of my list soon. But for now- are you with me? If so, drop a comment below. Reach out on social media. Shoot me an email. I want to cheer you on in this. I want you to know that Im here encouraging you to fight for a life that you love… Encouraging you to fight for what brings you joy and breathes life into your soul like never before.