I’m not one to choose a word-of-the-year (I think I’ve mentioned that before), but if I had to choose one for this year, it would have to be “incredible”, and this is why:
1: I’ve journeyed so far out of my comfort zone that I can’t even see it anymore.
2: I’ve learned to take a deep breath, plunge in and swim for the deep end.
3: I’ve decided upon my goals, wrote them out on a pretty piece of note paper and thumbtacked them front and center on my bulletin board above my desk for me to see every morning.
4: I’m slowly allowing myself to believe that I am good, damn good, at photography.
5: I hit upon my “style” this year and the things I love to shoot: bright colors, joyful scenes and people, deep shadows, negative space, and a clean edit.
6: Mountain bikers are some of the coolest and happiest and most encouraging people I’ve ever met.
8: When I’ve felt overwhelmed and pressured by commitments, I’ve learned to ask for help. Nothing wrong with leaning on family and friends for an assist.
9: It’s also okay to say no if I simply can’t (or don’t want to) do something.
10: I’ve begun to stop worrying about the “what-ifs” . Those only get in the way and cause me to lose track of my end goal. In fact, I’ve begun calling the “what-ifs” “The Middle Man”, the guy that stands between you and what you want. I have to remind myself daily to not focus on The Middle Man, and I’m slowly beginning to listen to myself.
11: I’ve discovered that I love to photograph Life - - - my kids (when I can), scenes around town, the camaraderie of bike festivals, local parades, the girls at the sorority house and so much more. All those bring me such joy and lift up my spirits.
12. The thing I learned the most this year is that the only person holding me back is myself. Once I figured that out, everything got a little easier, still scary, but easier to walk into a business and leave my card, easier to write those “cold call” emails to race directors, easier to walk up to strangers at a photo session, smile and introduce myself.
13: On December 31, 2018, for the first time in my life, I’ll be able to look back over the year and say that I finally accomplished what I set out to do. And that’s a pretty incredible feeling.
I can only wonder what 2019 holds for me, but whatever it is, I’m ready to take it up a notch and swim even deeper into this wonderful life I’ve been granted.
Wishing you all the Merriest of Christmases and the Jolliest of New Years!