The end of year is always exciting for me.
Not that I have anything amazing happening, but I look forward to a clean slate.
January 1st, 2018 will not hold any magic powers nor will it immediately throw some glitter into my life.
But in my mind its a new beginning.
Making the new year positive or not, well thats 100% up to me.
In life we have amazing years & lame years.
We can feel on top of the world or we can be hanging out in those low valleys.
Life is strange like that.
With good times, comes bad times.
We can’t expect everything to be happy/perfect every moment of our life. How would we grow if we are never faced with hard times? How boring would the world be is everyone lived a perfect life?
I say adios to 2017 because it was 75% valleys.
I won’t go into each and every thing that happened, but lets just say it was a hard year, especially personally.
We also lost our home to hurricane Irma this past September and our home still hasn’t been rebuilt. The past few months I have wanted to pull my hair out from the overwhelming frustration & sadness that I have felt due to us being displaced. I had finally accomplished a dream, which was to buy a home for Asher & to have that taken away from us less than 3 months after moving in, well it was too much. Lots than most could handle.
I have continually remind myself that I am a single mom, who has a small business to run/nurture and playing the role of 8 million other hats. I have done my absolute best to keep my head up and remain hopeful. I mean…it can’t stay this bad forever?
I will say I am super proud of myself, for holding everything together like I have. Family & close friends know the instances of grief that I was faced with in 2017 and to think that I am still standing, well I should give myself credit for that.
Day after day I am constantly telling myself…
“You’ve got this!”
“You are doing the best you can!”
“You are loved!”
Now for the flip side of all that!
There is so much beauty in pain.
So much light in darkness.
Endless love in tragedy.
I remember when our home first got flooded & at the time I was driving back from my Moms house to continue the flood clean up…driving down Atlantic Blvd., I just started crying, not tears of pain but tears of love/warmth. I had so many people offering their help & support that I was nearly floored. I never knew how much people cared for me until Irma. Let me also add that 70% of the people reaching out to me were clients…that spoke volumes to me! In that I knew I was right where I was supposed to be, doing the exact thing I loved.
When times get rough you see who really cares about you versus who doesn’t. I realized who my true friends were versus the ones who were only there during times of convenance. I had many bad days with that but ultimately we live & learn.
I have so many stories to share about the beauty in tragedy but I think writing about each & everyone would be too much to cover here.
Giving public thanks isn’t something I did a lot, I know when I do something for someone, I keep it between us. And then I always remember that boasting takes away from the blessing itself. But so many blessings indeed & I made sure to let everyone know personally what it meant to me.
Between my moms daily pep talks to my friends encouragement, I truly couldn’t have gotten through this without all of you.
Hoping we can start rebuilding our home very soon, keeping all my fingers crossed.
Business & creative life will be morphing as well.
I am hoping to take the next couple of months to grow & concentrate on the things I want to change.
Also looking to start a side project, trying to pinpoint which road I am supposed to take. Once I get that pinned down, everyone will know about it, promise.
Personally I feel like part of the reason I am on earth is to encourage others & share. There was a little quote I found that summed it up, “You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.” If one person feels a little less alone, then my job is done.
So how will I mix up PHOTOGRAPHY + PEOPLE?
Thats what I am working on.
I also want to start photographing & creating more editorial/artistic work.
My mind never stops coming up with ideas but I need to just pick one and stick to it, see where it takes me.
I literally have endless amounts of business ideas but money is always an issue & in all honesty, staying motivated in 2017 was crazy hard for me. My career is creative, obviously, and when you in a pit of sorts, its hard to get creative and stay inspired/motivated. I know this happens easily, so it’s important that I take the time this year to really feed myself with lots of joy & art…family/friends.
Hoping that once our home is rebuilt, Asher [my son] and I will be able to get a little bit of normalcy/routine back into our lives.
So yes, I plan on being a little selfish this year…getting healthy, physically & mentally, taking time to travel, building memories with my son, absorbing myself in more off the wall ideas/art wise & continuing to build my business, hoping to bring something fresh to the table.
My 2018 word is: SELF
I would just like to wrap up 2017 by expressing my thankfulness & love to each and everyone of you that have hired me to photograph intimate moments for you, that have held me up while I cried, loved me through the pain & for the people that have brought so much sunshine into my life. Forever indebted.
For the people that have always believed in me, thank you.
A few notes for some of you…
Mom, thank you for always being my biggest supporter, my rock & the best Grammys to Asher, you are everything to me and I love you so. Dad, for showing me that everyone needs to know that they are loved & not alone, for passing on your love of photography to me, I love you. Asher, for being my absolute sunshine, giving me countless reasons to keep on shining and for the late night snuggles, I love you more than life itself. Ant, for continuing to fuel my love for Star Wars, and letting me know that being awkward is ok, love you. Keith, I am thankful we have crossed paths, you have been a true mentor/friend/second Dad and I appreciate more than you know. Peter, you’re one of my best friends…thankful for our [long] text messages, allowing me to vent/cry/dream/listen to my random thoughts without judgement, love you. Chris, for believing in me when I didn’t feel I deserved it, you’ve been such a good listener, means so very much. Mr & Mrs. Stitt, you all have been such a shining light & encouragement to me, you guys feel like family. Joe, Devon, Emily, Neha, Kasey, Trent, Teresa, Lisa, Thomas/J, Daniel, you guys did’t hesitate to come & help me with the flood clean up, brought drinks/snacks to keep everyone fueled, saw me cry/break and those actions meant the absolute world to me, so much love for you guys. Friends/Clients/Strangers, for all the letters/cards of encouragement, the special gifts, calls offering us love & hope, places to stay…please know I am forever thankful. You guys made me feel like gold & I will forever remember each & every one of you. The sweet care packages that were sent to Asher were so amazing, you guys took the time to give of yourselves and that meant so much to us. We love each & every one of you. xx