Today is my birthday! I've been around for 26 years now, and it feels pretty good!
I don't know about you, but birthdays are a big deal in my house. We love to celebrate and go all out on the day! As much as I love spending the day with friends and family, I always try to take some time to myself and reflect on the past year. I like to look back on the good things that happened and be grateful for them and ponder all the ways I have grown through the hard times. So much happens in a year. We sometimes change a lot, and sometimes we don't change enough. I love that every year our birthday comes and it allows us the time to acknowledge what the past year has been about
So to kick off a new year of life, here's a shortlist of a few things I am grateful for from the last year:
A new home in a wonderful neighborhood. This past March we were given notice that the house we were renting sold and we had a month to move out. Yikes! Praise the Lord, we found the perfect place in time and I'm so grateful!
The Rising Tide Society. I could go on and on about this group cause it is so awesome! I have found a wonderful community with local creatives and dear friends that I don't know what I would have done without in the past year! This movement's 'Community Over Competition' is truly making waves in the industry and I love that I get to be a part of it!
Our TWO brother kitties we adopted. Kilian Jones and Dobby bring a lot of chaos and joy to our lives, and I love it.
Photography workshops. I attended the What's Next Getaway with Justin and Mary and the Explore North on Lake Superior. These two workshops fueled me in motivation and confidence to manage my business and I am so grateful for talented folks in the industry that care about others and helping them reach their potential.
New friends. As I mentioned prior, I have made some dear friends in the last year which is such an answer to prayer cause it can be really tough to find a strong community. Around this time last year, I was really struggling with this and really wanted to move. Lo and behold I met some people, and I'm so glad we have stayed. So grateful for friends that support me, make me laugh so hard my stomach hurts and can be honest with me. You don't always get that everywhere you go.
Saw Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour. Yes, this is a highlight of last year! I'll leave it at that.
First travel to help shoot a wedding. I assisted my friend for a wedding in Philadelphia and my oh my what an awesome experience. We had way too much fun and I loved helping my friend capture her friend's wedding day! Philly is a pretty awesome place and I hope to experience the wonderful city again!
Got a new job. About a year ago I was in a bit of a rut with my work. I was thankful to have a job but knew that I wanted to be doing something more. I received the call from the founder of a non-profit organization I had interned with in college that they received funding for a full-time position! It has been an awesome experience. Part two to this though is that recently my hours have reduced so I could pursue my photography business more full time! I never thought I would be where I am when I was in that rut a year ago, and I am so very thankful!
Rest. I have learned a lot about rest in the last year and the importance of sometimes quitting the hustle. It's so hard to not compare yourself to others and feel like 'so and so is doing this, I should work harder to keep up!' While ambition and working hard is very important, sometimes - and more often - it's really important to just stop and simply be. To breathe in the breaths your graciously given and appreciate the moments you're in. This is hard to choose, but I've really been seeing the freedom and reward in slowing down.
Every year, every day, every breath is a gift. I don't take my moments for granted. I'm still here and have so much to be grateful for. I am truly looking forward to the next year ahead, thank you for coming alongside me!
Let,s do this 26!