When I was in high school and college, I pictured my life very differently at 27 than it is today. Just to be real here . . . I pictured myself married and working on a family by 27. Like I honestly thought I would have two children . . . or at least one and one on the way. Who maps out a timeline like that when they’re in high school?? Me, apparently, since I’m a planner and I love having a plan and I love making plans. But man, mapping out your life like that? It could lead to some heavy disappointments.
I am not, however, disappointed. My life is nothing like I planned when I was still a teenager, and that is A-ok. It’s been PRETTY fun and full of life-changing books, spectacular people, and adventures that I never thought I would have.
I always wanted to go to London, and I went. I wanted to work for a wedding magazine, and I do. From the time I was 19, I knew that I wanted to be a wedding photographer. A few Thursdays ago, I shot my 78th wedding (including second shooting gigs, which I count because that is WORK and that is where I LEARNED!). Hell, I even made it a goal of mine to meet the photographer who shaped my business, and I did. I met Katelyn James in July 2015, and that’s when I learned what it means to “see Jesus” in a person. I got to tell her how much she impacted my life and my business without ever knowing it. And she cried!
In the middle of 2016, I already knew that the word of 2017 would be CHANGE. I have new ideas and new projects on the horizon that I am SO excited about. And one of the best parts? These projects don’t involve photography . . . they involve my FIRST artistic love. 😉 Of course, I’ll still be shooting weddings and engagements, but I’m excited to push myself creatively in other ways, too.
One of the things I’ve learned and am STILL learning in 2017 is that as a creative, I have to give myself room to breathe. Room to rest. Room to reinvigorate my soul. That probably sounds fluffy, but pushing yourself creatively for a LIVING is not easy.
CHANGE is also a word I’m applying to my personal life. I knew that in turning 27, there are some changes I want to make. I want to turn to prayer instead of worry, to do more for other people, to eat way less chocolate. To not stand still, to always move forward. To be a better friend.
There are also some changes I’ve already made that make me feel proud of who I am. Now that I’m “old” (totally kidding, mostly), I go to bed earlier. I tithe the way the Bible says you should. I’ve made time to read more books. My mom is still my best friend. I love a man who loves me and who I trust with my whole heart. I have grown to like cooking more than take-out. I’m not afraid of flying anymore. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am an introvert, and sometimes all I want to do is stay in and spend time by myself. THAT, my friends, is a freeing realization in itself.
On the other hand, at 27, there are still some things I can work on. Being more positive and kind and confident in myself, for starters. The self-doubt is real, but I’m not going to let that cripple me anymore. Too grown for it, I think! 😉 One of my main goals is to control my thoughts more because, as Pastor D. always says, “Your thinking drives your living.”
So, as I get all nostalgic on my 27th birthday, I can’t help but be slightly in love with the way my life is turning out. It’s not what I pictured. But on Sunday, I sat at my favorite brunch spot with four of my housemates. We drank champagne and ate waffles and talked about life and adventures from the night before. After that, we stopped by King of Pops and then took naps with Snapped playing in the background. It was the perfect lazy Sunday, and I’m so grateful for these people in my life. So, so grateful. I may not have everything that I thought I would have at age 27, but I’m right where I need to be. For now. 😉
Photos courtesy of the light of my life, Heather 😉