I haven’t really written in a while and I have so much to share. Last year was a whirlwind and it’s set me on a course toward a greater life full of meaning. Many of you are aware that last year around May my husband and I made the big decision to sell our home and move out of MA where we both grew up, and buy a new home more aligned with our way of life, up in New Hampshire. We started to look around and get to know the area and sooner than we both could have imagined we found our dream home tucked into a quiet neighborhood on just about 2 acres. It was close to everything yet nestled into the trees and would provide us with the view and the quiet our souls were desperately longing for.
At literally the exact moment my husband lost his mind finding our dream home for sale online I received an email that would prove the universe is watching and will smack you up side the head when you least expect it to. You see a couple weeks prior to this I was sitting in my back yard after work watching the dogs play and scrolling through Facebook when I saw a post to enter to win a trip to a 5 day photography workshop in Sweden hosted by some of the industries most admirable people. I filled out the form, added a sample of my work and hit submit all while enjoying the Spring sun on my face and hoping my neighbors wouldn’t begin their nightly scream routine. Fast forward to finding our home online and receiving this incredible email (I am not kidding, it happened at the same time guys!).
The email was from someone I followed online, bought tutorials from and admired more than I could admit and it offered me a discounted spot at the workshop stating “we really want to bring people in who would grow their lives the most with this opportunity”. I was of course skeptical but there were a few spots offered to a few people who they thought would benefit from it and I was one of them. But I was buying a home? In fact I’d be carrying 2 mortgages at the same time, I couldn’t afford to do this? The timing just wasn’t right. It wasn’t the responsible thing to do.
These are all the things which jumped to the front of my mind in this moment but guess what guys, I decided to say yes! That yes set me on a course which has snow balled so fast my head is still spinning.
Because I said yes to that email I traveled to Sweden and spent 5 days learning photography and retouching from 3 hugely amazing souls!
Because I said yes I met 7 creatives from across the globe all chasing the same dreams
Because I said yes I was able to be myself and cried and laughed with everyone for 5 unforgettable days
Because I said yes I was invited to NYC to meet new friends and guys, I said yes to that too!
I said yes to traveling to NYC alone and found myself hopping in a cab with 2 complete strangers to head to a party at a bar!
Because I said yes I found myself at the wrong bar with 7 fantastically funny kids who all had to hop back in cabs and find the right bar.
I found myself now at the right bar and introduced to a photographer I looked up to both personally and professionally.
I found myself introduced to even more amazing creative souls the next day too! One who I almost cried getting to meet because his teachings have grown my work leaps and bounds and he doesn’t even know.
I found myself laughing hysterically with a brand new friend over literally nothing then found myself meeting new people who brought me to a rooftop invite only party.
I found myself meeting even more people with even more laughing and pictures and the worst 2 a.m. pizza NYC has to offer!
I found myself at more parties on more rooftops with more new friends all because I said yes!
And guys, that’s not all! I then said yes to spending NYE in Austin with these same amazing people which meant I said yes to dancing on a rooftop to ring in the new year.
Yes to trying ramen for the first, then the second
Yes to standing in a shower holding a hair dryer to blow back someone’s hair for a shoot
Yes to getting my picture taken while lying on the floor in my favorite dress
Yes to laughing and listening to sage advice
Yes to goofy polaroids scanned and put online
Then yes to going to Vegas where again I’d see this same creative tribe
And yes to outreaching to an aspiring model and setting up a shoot
Yes to an invite and desert while creating some of my best work
Yes to having vulnerable conversations and open to advice
Yes to giggling with my new friend who better FaceTime with me or I’ll be mad!
Yes to breakfast with an LA friend because that’s they only time we could catch up
Yes to McDonalds which I haven’t eaten in 10 years
And Yes to being interviewed on camera to talk about my journey
All of these and more are experiences I’ve had in less than a year and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I moved into a new home and sold the old one. I watched dear friends get married with dear grazing around them. I met so many people who I consider my tribe now and it just keeps going. I found myself at a local camera organization last night hearing a woman talk about her year of ‘Yes’ and how it changed her life. I realized that I had started to do exactly that, choose to get uncomfortable and choose to put myself out there in ways I never had.
So how has this changed me? My business? I struggle just like everyone else does, to feel like you’re worth it and good enough. To strive to build your brand and learn new things along the way but what’s changed is my outlook on life, my attitude. I choose to live and to love. To laugh more and see the beauty even if everything is crap. I stood last week in a line full of angry travelers who’s flight was cancelled. No one was happy but many people just complained over and over to one another. I chose a different path. I put on a smile and listened. I joked and tried to make the best of a shitty situation and you know why? In the long run I would be fine, I would eventually get home. I was sleep deprived and annoyed but all along the way I made the best of it even making some friends at the airport bar.
I’m no longer afraid to outreach to strangers for a shoot or ask for feedback on my work from trusted new friends.
I share this with you because it’s okay to say yes even when that little voice encourages you to say no. Had I not gone to Sweden, had I not made just that 1 choice I would not have had any of the moments that followed. I would not know these incredible special people who now just can’t live without and I’d still be sitting in my new home wishing I felt my place in this world. Be open to yes, be open to trying something new be open to all that the universe is trying to show you!
*Special thanks to Pro EDU and Ken Yu for a couple of the non-selfie photos I am in.