New Year: Part One

In 2012...

  • 1. Buy smaller jeans. 
  • 2. Go on a date.
  • 3. Take a roadtrip.
  • 4. Read a book a month.
  • 5. Sell my photographs.
  • 6. Walk for a cause.
  • 7. Be mindful about tithing.
  • 8. Sleep under the stars.
  • 9. Make a plan to go to Passion 2013.
  • 10. Color my hair.
  • 11. Go a day without my computer, tv, phone, etc.
  • 12.

These were my resolutions from January of 2012. My list of 12 things to do in 2012. I looked at it frequently throughout the year because it reminded me to live, to go and do things, to imagine and dream. To take risks, even if they weren't the ones on the list.

I may have not completed every goal, but I gained more than I ever imagined.

For my birthday, I invited my closest friends to watch movies outside (we have thing for projecting onto large white sheets) and then have a campout of sorts. My plans were thwarted by the remains of a hurricane moving inland. I didn't get to sleep under the stars, BUT I had one of of the best birthdays ever-- a campout in the basement and a lovely, lazy Saturday morning brunch with all of the people I love.

Yay, road trips! I got to make a solo drive to Atlanta for a photography conference. Everyone was worried about me making the trip alone, afraid I'd get too tired and whatnot. Whatever. I was so stinking stoked. I love driving alone. Just me, my music, and the road. It does my gypsy soul good.

I did not pursue any opportunities to sell my photographs, ones I take while traveling, etc. But this is what I did do: I worked HARD on bettering the business I do have. I read and experimented and researched. I shot 8 weddings and was kept busy capturing babies' first days or little ones' sweet smiles. When that got to be too much, I escaped to take photos that were just for me. :)

I unfortunately did not walk for a cause. But you know what I did do? I RAN a mile without stopping for the first time ever.

I did not make a plan to go to Passion 2013-- it was something I couldn't afford.  However, all my dreams of international travel came true. Sometimes I can't believe it really happened. It's a surreal feeling, really, to know that I've walked in all those photographs of faraway icons, touched history and tasted another culture. And not a day passes that my heart doesn't long to be back in the UK.

This is the one I'm most proud of: I BOUGHT SMALLER JEANS. For years, I was stuck in the same rut, making the same resolution everyone makes: lose weight this year. This time, I decided to make it happen. I gave myself goals, guidelines and rewards. And it was a challenge. But I did it. I only lost two sizes when I wanted to lose 3. I lost 35 pounds when I wanted to lose 40+. But guess what? I lost. I lost the weight. I lost some insecurity, the burden of having zero confidence.  I lost the feeling of disappointment. I lost the fear that I couldn't do it.

I've learned a lot about myself, about what I do and don't want my life to be. I've hurt and been hurt. I've laughed until I've cried and I've cried until I've fallen asleep. I've loved and longed and ached and missed. I've felt overwhelming joy and unshakable fear. I have basked in the blessings I've been given. I've learned hard lessons hard ways. And I wouldn't change one minute of it.

To sum up what I've learned in the past year...

Don't let the opinions and promptings of others, even if it's everyone around you, talk you into something you don't feel 100% sure of in your heart. Let your decisions be yours or you will end up blaming others for your failings.

Sometimes, however, you need to act in good faith.

Stand up for yourself. Learn your worth. Understand that you deserve more. And fight for it.

Sometimes you have to let go of what you want and wait for what you need.

Living your dream isn't sunshine every day. Some days your dream comes in the form of really dirty work. That is no reason to give up. It's always worth it.

"I've come to trust not that events will always unfold exactly as I want, but that I will be fine either way. The challenges we face in life are always lessons that serve our soul's growth." -Marianne Williamson