I am not talking about Fall here…I actually have an announcement about a new season in my life.
So, the blog post below has taken me a month to write. My fingers literally shake typing it all out. I expected to write a different kind of post for my business today, but some things change…..
I have always been really open about personal life with my friends/clients, and I want to continue to do that here. I feel like I owe that to the people who have been so loyal to me over the years. Please respect my decisions. <3
Let me start out by saying, it REALLY has been such a blessing to be able to "work from home". I have gotten to watch Carter grow up in the last 19 months, from behind my computer screen, but I have still been here. I edit during naps, after bed time, and during the late night sleeping hours. I could sit here and list everything that I do, but you don't want to hear that.That just goes along with your choice to work. Stuff just comes along with it. Stuff you like, and stuff you don't like. Just like every other job in the world. My goal here is not to talk about how hard it is, but just to shed some light on the fact that it may not be rainbows and sunshine like a lot of people think it is. I promise, I don't just frolic in flower fields and take pictures all day. ;)
Almost a year ago, I wrote a blog post on "slowing down." (HAHAHAHA) You guys, I am a Type A. CAPITAL 'A'! I don't know why I thought that I could do it. I do not say, "No", I am a people pleaser, overachiever, entrepreneur, reach for the stars kind of girl. I really felt, and still feel, that God is urging me to slow down, not just with my business, but in life overall. There is so much pressure to do it all. DO the job. DO the groups. DO the shopping. DO the trips. DO the extra commitments. I am just tired. I am tired of worrying and focusing on everyone else's happiness before my own. I am tired of comparing lives with people who have greener grass. I am tired of feeling so spread thin that I don't have enough energy to get through the day.
Part of simplifying my life will include lots of changes. Daily, hard, changes. To start, I will be taking a complete hiatus from photography. The only exception to this will be family. You have to understand, I TRIED to do it all, even after I felt the calling to stop. I tried to cut back, as mentioned above, and you see what happened. I am human. I am weak. I gave in to the temptation of the gratification of others! I gave in to the pats on the back, to the constant need and desire to make a name for myself, to the struggle to be in control of my life, to the constant need for "likes" and fans, and much more. When you live your life waiting for the feedback of others, it is really hard. I would pour my time and talent into my sessions and basically just sit and wait for people to tell me how much they loved it. I would watch the number of "likes" on a picture. I would worry if I didn't hear anything from the clients after they got their pictures back. I would compare myself to other photographers around me and try to figure out how I could be better. It is an obsession, a very unhealthy one. I realized that I was focusing all of my attention on the wrong things. While I worry and stress over little silly things, Carter is in the other room counting. COUNTING! He is singing the song I taught him, and smiling at me while I stare down at my phone. How sad is that? I can't even lift my head and live in the NOW. I always focus on what is next, what happened in the past, what I missed out on, and how I can make it better in the future. I don't just sit my phone down and smile back. That is a problem.
I do want to point out that this is a personal decision and not a decision that is right for everyone. I know that there are a lot of people who would love to stay at home and can't, as well as people who can stay at home that choose not to. I get it. Everyone has their path that they are being led down. This just happens to be mine. I have always been very career driven and goal oriented. I am ALWAYS working on something new and thinking of new ideas to run with. If you would have asked me 10 years ago where I would be today, I would have told you living in a big city, single, and successful. Funny how things change. I always envisioned myself with a Starbucks in one hand, and cell phone in the other. High heels, business suits, dinner meetings, and loft apartment. I had it all figured out. My path changed. For the better. It really all comes down to trust. I look back at the decisions that I have trusted God with, and they were all the best decisions. Why would I trust him up to this point and then try to do it all on my own? Well, because I am a stupid human. It is like the song from Unspoken-"You have brought me this far, so why do I question you now?"
Recognizing these issues and putting them out in the open is easy for me. I like to be real and show people that it is okay to have emotions. I have always been that way. If my ramblings help one person make a lifestyle change, or ask God to take control of their life, it is worth the vulnerability. Even when I cut back, I started to get comments about how I shouldn't quit something I love doing. Here is the glorious thing. I WON'T STOP. I will actually take pictures of my own family more. (gasp) I may actually bring my camera to a party and capture memories instead of wanting a day off. Yes, the money will be gone. The extra fluff in our bank account won't be there, but so what? The love of money disgusts me. I am kind of irresponsible with money. If I could, I would give away a lot of it. My financial advisor and husband, Scott, says we need money to pay the bills…so we keep some of it. ;) Will we have to cut back? Of course! I already told Scott, if we have to sell my car, we will do it. If we can't take two vacations a year, I am okay with it. I have FINALLY realized that none of it matters. The stress doesn't matter. You guys. NONE OF IT MATTERS! If I got rid of my home, or my car, or extra Target shopping sprees, I would be okay. Yes, it is a different lifestyle. It isn't what everyone else is doing, but get this....I THINK I WOULD BE HAPPIER!
Another change will be social media. Facebook will be at an all time low, if at all. I have already "un-liked" all of the photography pages that I followed and made me feel like my work was crap. Not on purpose, just my inner self conscious. My business page will be temporarily put on hold, and my personal page will be rarely checked. I am spending way to much time watching mindless videos, seeing what everyone is eating for breakfast (guilty), and comparing my life with the pictures everyone else posts. I need to focus on my family, and less on the junk. I have a dream of moving to the country, living on land with chickens and other animals, and getting a house phone again. Haha. Check your cell at the door. We are home, so we are going to be present! Maybe I should be a time machine and live in much simpler times. Times where I don't get an ad shoved in my face every 10 seconds. BUT BUT BUT YOU NEED TO BUY ALL OF THESE THINGS TO BE HAPPY! rriigghhhttttt
Those are my struggles. Do they look similar to yours? Do you struggle with the overwhelming pressure of society to work full time and take care of your kids full time and still be able to do it all without loosing your mind? Do you struggle with what people would say about you if you stayed home? Do you worry that people judge you by every flipping decision you make? Well, you are not alone. I don't know about you, but I am ready to start living my life for myself and not for other people. No, I am not having a quarter life crisis or anything, I think my eyes are just being opened. Maybe it is the fact that our world seriously sucks and it gets worst by the day. It forces me to realize that there is a not so nice world outside of my little pinterest idea of life. A real world where there are starving kids, Christian genocide, and war out people's back doors. There is a much greater life to live than the one that we just try to get thorough on a daily basis. We have it good, folks. We need to stop being miserable and change what is going to make our lives better. Those changes will look different for everyone, but this is mine. A hiatus. (Excuse me while I go have a panic attack for publishing this!"
I got pretty deep there. It is a vulnerable moment for me. I see really big things for my business in the future, but not for now. I am not the type of person who can handle part-time. It is all or nothing. I have my entire life to work and devote to my passion of photography, Lord willing. I am going to take this time to focus on what truly matters, and get a game plan for when I come back. It will be a good one. I trust God with the path of my life, so I know it will be a good one.