This year, I wasn't at home for my birthday. For the past 3 weeks I've been driving across the country in my Prius, stopping by some amazing cities and camping in some beautiful places. Driving for hours on end gives you a lot of time to think, and lately I've been reflecting a lot about where I am in life and asking myself, "what am I doing."
Sometimes social media and the internet can give you a false perspective on someone's life. I always greatly appreciate when others share their triumphs ALONG with their struggles online, because it makes me feel normal and human. So here I am, sharing the same thing.
Life will never be easy
Things will always be complicated
I’ll never know what I’m doing or where I’m going.
If that’s not the case, I think I’m probably doing something wrong.
Once again, this past year hasn’t ceased to blow me away, sweep me off my feet, put me in my place, and show me how painfully human I am.
Around this time last year, I decided to start making money from filming weddings. I never thought it would take me to a place where I could financially support myself without working in the architectural industry I spent 7 years going to school for. I loved and currently love every second of it. Not a single day has been spent feeling like I’m “working.” I don’t dread Mondays, I don’t drag my feet to my computer and wish I was doing something else. I genuinely love what I do. My creativity has flourished since making the leap in January to doing this full time.
Through that transition, I was lucky enough to have someone by my side who told me to reach for the fucking stars, and who started his own career helping other business’ grow their online presence through social media. He helped me get my business of the ground, and wanted me to succeed, and I am forever thankful for all of the things Drew taught me. My expos and lead captures would probably have never been followed up with if there wasn’t someone there pushing me to get out of my comfort bubble and pick up a phone to make an actual call. Thank you Drew.
I started practicing yoga this last year as well, like more than just P90x yoga, and it has been life changing. Not just my asana practice but yoga as a lifestyle and mindset. I began meditating and practicing awareness in my everyday routine. When I walk down the street, I can begin focusing my attention on the movement of my feet, the sound the trees make when it’s windy, and the smells throughout my journey. Learning to focus has helped me build awareness in the present moment, realizing that the past and the future do not exist and that all I have is right now. This perspective has spread into so many aspects of my life and has given me the balls to make decisions based on gut instinct or intuition in the moment, and so far, it hasn’t let me down.
I learned to build human connection. I’ve naturally always been an extremely introverted person…which always comes as a surprise to the people that know me, but it’s because I’ve known those people for so long through school or work. But take me to a party where I don’t know anyone and I am quickly heading back to my car to leave. I started shedding that introvert when I started my business and had to meet with clients (aka, strangers) and prove to them I was worth a $2,000 investment. Once I realized that couples were genuinely excited to be hiring me, a sort of shift happened. I became dedicated and motivated towards my clients, many of them I would consider friends now. I also began networking with other vendors in my industry and when I booked a client from another vendor referring me, that introvert skin was quickly shed. It’s been a huge step forward for me in both my career and personal life.
It sounds like I’ve got my shit together…right?
I’ll tell you a secret… no one ever does.
In March, Drew and I mutually decided we needed some space, and shortly after officially ended it. We were honestly, pretty miserable. Our relationship quickly went from boyfriend/girlfriend to coworkers. I don't know exactly where things started falling apart, but we came to an agreement and I'm very thankful the transition has been so smooth. Leaving our apartment was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but every day that followed gave me more and more insight as to why we weren't going to work in the long run. I'm so thankful for that relationship and learned so much. Drew helped me find motivation, confidence, and courage that I didn't have before.
Still....breaking up sucks. Especially when your full time job is filming weddings. We broke up in the middle of Wedding season. I had a Wedding the day I knew we were going to split. Holding my shit together was rough, but I pushed through, and made something beautiful that this couple will get to cherish forever. Looking back at it now, I'm so incredibly lucky that I was so busy around that time. It gave me something to do and motivation to move past and find purpose.
Moving out quickly meant moving back to my parents house for a little bit. Living at my parents house depresses me. It has since I was probably 15. I crave independence. I like the responsibility of creating my own life and supporting it. I hate the feeling of being almost 27 and being “that millennial” that can’t get the hell out of their parents house. I have to keep telling myself that it's just a blip in time and that it will be ok. I should be thankful and grateful that I have a home to always come back to, and I am, but it doesn’t mean I enjoy it. But thank you mom and dad, for having a place for me when I need you. It's going to give me the opportunity to make some important things happen faster and I couldn't be more thankful for that.
So with all of the craziness going on in my life, quitting my job, starting my business, going through a break up, not knowing what my next move is, I said "fuck it, let's make it even crazier, what do I have to lose?" I took a nearly 2 month gap of time I didn't have a Wedding booked and set off on a road trip across the country. I was ready to see some new places and I didn't really care if I had to do that by myself. If I'm going to be honest, a big part of this trip is scoping out where I want to go.
I was born and raised in Tampa. I have a group of friends that I've known for over 20 years. All of my family lives here. I am very, VERY comfortable. And maybe a little bored.
I crave the challenge in life of placing myself in a situation where I don't know anyone. Where I have to start over. Where I have to create a new life. I think I am going to learn and grow so much through an experience like that. And I think I'm in the perfect place in life to do that. My business is doing amazing in Tampa, but I've only been doing it full time for 6 months. I would accept the challenge of starting over again in a new city at this point.
For my current clients....DON'T WORRY. I'm not cancelling any Weddings!
With all that being said, I think it's important to share with everyone how strongly I feel about the fact that no one ever has their shit together, or has life figured out. There is no right or wrong way. There is no better or worse way. There is no easy or hard way. Life is truly what you make of it, and really, no one can tell you how to live it. What may make someone else happy and fulfilled may leave you feeling empty and let down. Take everything with a grain of salt. Carve your own path in life. Do what makes YOU happy.