Right now, I’m sitting on my couch, in the same spot I edit your photos, and respond back to your emails. The same spot I search the internet for inspiration and read, and obviously, watch a whole lotta TV shows on Netflix. Tonight, it feels different though. There’s a Christmas tree sitting next to me, and snow is on the ground outside. I can feel the cold air through the windows I’m sitting next to because our little home is so old and the windows are from 1891, they’re beautiful, but a little drafty, so I’m wearing a big, chunky scarf and my husband’s cardigan. Heck, church bells just rang to let me know that it’s 8 o’clock. It hit me tonight… my life, my dream, the day I hoped would someday come, is here. I have so much to be thankful for and I feel so unworthy and unqualified to be living this life I get to live. And while I have a lot more I aspire to be, and achieve, I can’t forget to be thankful along the way. Sure, not everything is perfect. Trust me. A lot of days are really, really hard, but that’s just adding to the story. Right? How great could a story be without a conflict. Without some sort of tension in the middle to really stir something up in your heart, keep you on the edge of your seat, and keep you pushing forward, striving, and hoping for a greater end.
Tomorrow, I photograph my last wedding of the year. I fought so hard for this year. For this career. To be able to focus solely on this dream of mine. I thought that part was the conflict. The fighting, the pursuing, the climbing. I thought the hardest part was striving for your dream, climbing the mountain until you get to the top. That’s not it at all, though. It’s when you get to your dream, when you’ve reached the point you’ve been striving for, when you get to the place in your life you’ve always wanted to be, that’s the hard part. How do you keep up? Are you good enough? What if you fail? Where do you go from here? Is it everything you expected, or wanted? What if you want something different?
As I’m sitting here next to my Christmas tree, I remember where I was last year at this time. Dreaming of what it would be like to be a full-time photographer and to be at home during the holiday season. I wasn’t dreaming about how hard, or lonely, or frustrating things would be. At the same time tonight that I’m reminded of the many blessings I have, I’m reminded that now is the time that I fight. Now is the time that I work harder and push myself more than I ever have. With my business, my relationships, myself-spiritually, physically, & mentally. These things are worth fighting for. And even though things may seem really hard, this is the part that defines you. This is the part of the story that strengthens and defines your character, this is the part that makes the “end” great, and redemptive, and worth it.