Believing in You

five months had gone by since my grandma passed away unexpectedly.

i was so close to her… and was just beginning to get more time to spend with her.

i was broken. i was still asking myself why. i still ask myself why.

i really had no idea what I was doing with my life until certain ideas began falling into my lap.

i wanted to get out of the town. i needed to get out. my need for exploration was beyond what any words could explain.

five months had passed. within that time frame i made the decision to move to the city to further my dreams in learning more about photography and deepening my knowledge in arts – something i had loved basically every aspect of for my entire life simply because of the way one can express themselves without even having to speak.

in a way, i felt my grandma made the decision clear for me when it had been blurry for years.

i was eighteen. five months passed when someone told me i would never be successful because photography was a “dead career path.”

more specifically, that someone once told me i would never be successful in a particular town because another photographer had already established themselves there. (as if there can’t be more than one nurse, teacher, bank teller, realtor in one town too…)

even more specifically, i remember the tears filling up in my eyes as the voice that was overbearing rang in my ears over and over again – attempting to fill me with doubt and unworthiness. i sat at that dinner table as if my entire life had crashed down around me.

eighteen. to be told that you can’t do something when your heart is completely set on it.

it consumed me for months and still crept into my mind during my worst days. i allowed those words to build walls surrounding myself that i didn’t let down for a long, long time.

i was reminded of this moment the other day when i thought about how far i have come since then. that april night nearly four years ago.

twenty-two years old and the only major regret i have is that i actually cried that night because of those words.

today, i would have gotten up out of my seat with a smile (possibly even a slight giggle), hopped in my car, and drove home knowing that no one was ever capable of making me believe i couldn’t defy the odds. no one on this earth would ever prove that what i was doing wasn’t going to make a difference in someone else’s life.

i laugh now because my goal was never to be exactly like any other photographer. i was not striving to take anyone’s place, nor was i intending to settle down in that particular town forever.

i had plans much, much bigger than that. plans that have changed my life. plans to explore so much more.

some of the biggest lessons i’ve learned in the past several years is that there are people out there who really aren’t going to love you no matter how hard you might try to impress them or be yourself with them. along with that, you can’t teach people how to love either. how to make them understand what love really means. and that i am given the opportunity to pick my battles, leaving the negative ones behind. in all honesty, some people just don't know any better. never feel as though you have to prove to someone else that you are valuable, as the only person who needs to know that is yourself. love yourself and you’re set. support others in their dreams just as they support you. pack your bags, literally and/or figuratively – and hit the road towards the life you’ve been longing for.

it’s taken me a few years to light the fire under my ass and really, truly get moving with my business, but this is my year. (part of me says this so you’ll all hold me accountable, obviously!)

i have so many things to look forward to. branding. workshops. weddings. sessions. but most of all, moving forward knowing that i’m well aware of what my values are and how incredibly worthy i am of this life.

it wasn’t until i stopped believing those negative words that i started becoming a happier person for following through with my dreams – and setting out on the journey i had wanted all along.

i’m at peace in my heart because i know i’m where i belong.

blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. -camille pissarro