Thoughts on the New Year | 2015
Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!
Well, it's 2015! Time flies... I always heard the older you get, the faster it goes, and I'm starting to realize that's true! Like most people around this time of year, I've spent some time looking back on 2014 and deciding how I want this next year of my life to go (if I could actually plan it, ha!) I know that things never go as we plan, and I would much rather follow God's plan for my life (and that usually ends up being much different than I could imagine for myself), but I know that there are some things in my life that I can control... ME. So this next year I want to focus not on becoming a "perfect image" of myself, or earning or receiving things that would make me feel good about myself and my life. Rather, I want to focus on my perspective, my thoughts, and my attitude towards myself and others. I believe positivity and staying aware of what's truly important will bring positivity into my life. Negativity and focusing on things that have no value will bring very little good into my life. Are you with me? :)
Okay... So for my New Year's Resolutions. I'm not the type that likes to do this, because after the first week I forget all about what I was so excited to start working towards. I took a more systematic approach this time (Yes, I'm a huge nerd... Don't make fun of me for my process!) I love being structured and organized, which sometimes leads me to be a bit of a perfectionist (which is one thing I hope to STOP doing this year!). So, I made two lists of things I feel are most important for me to start off this year on the right foot... One for my personal life and one for my photography. I won't list those out for you in detail because you have your own resolutions to work towards. What I realized after scratching out all my thoughts, though, was that it all involved how I think and what I focus on!
So, in 2015 my goal is to stay focused on what's most important. God and my faith, my husband, my family and friends. I want to be fully present when I am with those that I love so that I can truly cherish the moments we are together and the memories that we make. When I look back one day, what will matter?... That meaningful conversation I had with someone I loved or getting on my phone to check out what everyone was doing on Facebook, comparing my life to theirs? I think we all know which is most important... I am guilty of this, and I don't want to be anymore. I want to pour as much love, encouragement, and support out to others (those that I love and even strangers) so that I can hopefully spread some hope and love when someone needs it most. In order to do this, I must appreciate and soak up all the love, hope, and strength I get from those that love me, too... God, my husband, my family and friends. It's there, I just have to focus on it and in return live each day with gratitude because of the blessings in my life (even through the struggles).
As for photography... I've got a long way to come with this one. Can I be honest with you? I have a LOT of self-doubt. It is very hard to look at other artists' beautiful work and not compare myself to them... Resulting in feeling like I'm not very good and never going to be! There have been many times when I wonder if I take pictures based on what other people want, or based on what inspires and moves me. I hate the question, "What's your style?"... Because I don't know! My style is what makes me feel something inside, I guess. And I fear that what inspires me won't inspire other people, resulting in them being critical and not liking my work. Do you see how negative and insecure thoughts can impact a person? This girl right here is guilty of letting insecurity and negative thoughts lead to self-doubt and feeling like I'm not good enough. Well guess what? No more!
I am promising myself that this year I will be nicer to myself, stop self-doubting, and stop comparing myself to others. Do I have a lot to learn and a long way to go? Absolutely. But, I have to remember that it is normal. I just started and I will always be evolving, growing, and getting better. I will build my business based on what inspires and moves me. If I don't do that, I will get burnt out and my dream will be washed down the drain. I have to accept that other people may not be inspired by what I am inspired by. And that's okay. It's very hard to put my work out for everyone to see because I feel like it is a piece of me and I'm opening myself up for criticism. But, that's okay. I'm going to stop caring what other people think! This is easier said than done, I know, but I've got to change my thinking if I want to follow this dream of mine. Lastly, I want to build relationships with the people I work with. People are opening their lives up to me so that I can capture what's important to them... That's a big deal! I feel that my clients become my friends, and they deserve every bit of my time, attention, and energy. I want to ensure that I create an enjoyable and meaningful experience with all of my clients, and that means I have to slow myself down and stop taking on more than I can handle! It also means I have to restructure some things in my business, which I'm very nervous about doing. (hello, self-doubt and fear of criticism again!) But, I feel that I owe it to those that I work with. "Taking pictures" is so much more to me than having a disc of images or a file folder on your computer full of pictures you never get printed out. It's memories. It's your history. It's your children's and your children's children's memories that they will look back on one day and cherish.
I have to stay true to my passion. My passion is God, people, and preserving moments and memories. So, this year that is what I'm chasing after. Time to think positively, not be afraid of what others think, and give my all to what I truly care about.
I have a couple personal projects I've been stewing over that I would love to share soon... My hope is that some other people may want to jump on board with me! I'm still working it out in my head, though, so I'll share as soon as I've got it all figured out. :)
Typing this out and sharing with others is what helps hold me accountable, even though it's a bit scary. For those of you who stuck in there and read my ramble, thank you and sorry it was so long! Feel free to comment and share some or all of your New Year's resolutions! I'd love to hear and be your cheerleader!