I can't believe it's been 365 days! I'm so grateful for the last 365 days. So many things took place and I am so curious about what took place behind the scene to lead me where I am now.
My heart changed. My mind grew. My work took on a new direction. It's been a ride!!!
I had some hards days that went into weeks. I had fear try and take me down. Anxiety dust storm tired to twirl me up. But once again I turned to my beliefs and also to those words my mother etched on my heart. Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained!
I set goals in 2018 and I wrote them down in the front of my notebook. I looked at them daily to see what I set into action and what I had to keep my attention on.
I pushed boundaries both internal and external. This means I had to step out of my own comfort zone.
I took the studio on the road. The gear... all 200 plus pounds of it! I got to know TSA agents very well and became comfortable with the extra love they gave me. Ronnie would watch the agents quickly grab one of my light bags and yell "who does this belong too?" How quickly they would grab me and pull me off to the side. Give me an extra pat down and then look at me waiting for me to pop off yelling. I would smile and thank them for being so careful and for taking the extra step to make sure we are all safe.
I had the pleasure of photographing people I have wanted to for years. I also was honored to photograph a few I have before. Such a wonderful experience seeing how much growth some of my clients have had.
I spoke in three states and different venues and at one venue I had a woman wait to speak with me. It was one of those moments I refer to as a God moment.
I had just stepped off stage and had a line of women waiting to talk with me. Ronnie (my Finance) was approached by one radiant soul that had to leave and just wanted to quickly introduce herself to me. It happened, that God-sized moment. After she quickly introduced herself she had to leave and I had to return to the line of women wanting to talk with me. The next 24 hours I felt like I had to reach out to her. I can't explain it other than I felt this sense of urgency in talking with her. More of this later.
Taking the studio on the road means I had to be prepared if I failed. What if no one booked. In some cities the fear was real. Money spent on airfare, hotel, makeup, and hair paid for with only one of two sessions booked. I would be at the airport ready to fly when my phone would go off with text messages saying Is it too late. In fact, in a couple of cities I had just a few sessions booked and within 3 days I would do 12 or more sessions. Exriallared and exhausted all at the same time. My faith grew. Every single city we went to was sold out!
I photographed four heroes of mine this year. One I can't talk about until next September and it's a REAL struggle not to say who and what she has done. But that's apart of being hired for this type of work. You don't always get to share until it's on the cover. The next 8 months will be hard to keep my lips sealed but I will!!!
It's not easy soaking up a new experience like a rapacious sponge. I shifted the direction of my business and my work went deeper. I received phone calls that went on for hours with beautiful beings expressing what their photo session has done for them. Facebook messages that had me drop to my knees. A child looking so deep into my soul and sharing a smile and glance I have never seen before. A look of such love and from a child that I don't even know. That my family sharing J-day helped families deal with their own grief.
I witnessed first hand that random act of kindness have a greater impact than we can see.
I watched others learn to love themselves.
I watched a 10-year-old girl stand up for her right to feel loved and to not be bullied.
To the woman that waited to speak with me. I went back the following month to photograph her story. Many of you donated money to make this happen. In the session, I was overwhelmed with so much love for a stranger. For someone, I didn't really know but yet felt like I did. Her kids had me rolling from laughter. One image from her session touched my heart and every time I look at it I see pure love and joy. Her mother sent me a thank you card. Her words resolved so much doubt I had in my life. Being an artist your work is so much of your heart and soul. Her mother got that and she also could see and feel how much my heart aches for my mother. How in her absence I lost so much of me. How I have fought to find purpose again. life. love... How I did!
I have my forever family. I am loved!
Thank you 2018 for so many gifts. I will remember this year as the year I stopped fighting the dragon and simple showed it, love!