Today I just want to simply share messages that we should be living by every day.
*Also, if you would be so kind to say a quick prayer my grandmother will be undergoing surgery today*
I sat on the beach today and closed my eyes. The wind blew recklessly, blowing my hair in all directions. I took a deep breath and held it in… then slowly let it out like a wisher from my lips. I felt the brief moments of sun on my face as it soaked into my skin. I slipped my shoes off and dug my feet into the sand. I could smell the salt water and almost touch summer. I opened my eyes, water glistening in front of me, I found a shell in the sand and moved it in circular motion next to me. I squinted, even through my sunglasses at the scene in front of me, wondering how we get to a point in our lives where we don’t understand ourselves. How can we be so on target and then wake up the next day falling off a cliff?
It was windy, I should have brought a jacket but the fact that I didn’t seemed to fit right in. I got in the car this morning and drove until I got to the beach. Then I sat on the beach today by myself trying to remember how to breath. Trying to focus on something, anything that would make me feel better. Until I remembered that I can make myself feel better. I am the keeper of my own happiness. We all have hard days and we all struggle sometimes but that’s when we need to stop.. and breath…
and enjoy a few hours on the beach soaking up the sun : )
*Don’t mind the iPhoneography*
I’m starting this month off right. I’m retraining my brain. I’m CHOOSING to be happy. We hear so many times that we’re only given one life to live and we take that with a grain of salt and throw it over our shoulder. Instead we should be hearing the actual severity of that statement and bringing it to light. We really do only have ONE life to live. to live. those two words are so incredibly important.
It is one thing to exist in life but it is another to live it. How we look at things, how we respond to things. How we hear and believe things makes all the difference.
Who we are and who we become is up to us. We get to make that call. We get to choose that path. We get to write that story. How it begins may not have been our choice but where it goes from here we get to determine all for ourselves.
Be grateful for what you have. Be consistently happy with where you’re going. Strive to make yourself better every day.
And guess what? One day you’ll wake up so happy, you’ll forget how to feel any other way.
The way my story goes feels like a ferris wheel. One that never stops spinning and yet somehow manages to let people off – or out of my story. Sometimes I wish I could get off the ferris wheel and create a new story for myself…but then I remember how far I’ve come.
To say that I am 100% where I want to be in my life at this moment would be a lie. Most people would probably agree that they aren’t where they want to be either. Yet we keep forging on, writing page after page, crossing out and erasing what we don’t want to include. And the chapters begin to grow. Or maybe they don’t because you have writers block and just don’t know how to make that one chapter end. So you keep spinning around on the ferris wheel waiting for someone to stop it for you. But it doesn’t happen. Not for me, or you, or the president or even God. Because if someone stopped the ferris wheel for you they would be writing the end of that chapter and the story would blend between theirs and your own.
I’ve been a writer since as long as I can remember and a huge part of that came from needing an escape. Although the story I keep adding to all these years later is my own, somehow writing it made it feel less like I was living it. And the more painful or tragic things that happened in my life, the longer my chapters got, the thicker my story became.
As I continue to learn the secrets this life holds for us I realize that most of the story has been about the things that happened in my life that I couldn’t control. The more things I couldn’t stop from happening the more I wrote. The more I was affected by the stories around me the more narrow mine became.
Recently I haven’t written much and that scares me because what if my ability to write only comes out of the bad things that have happened or may happen to me? What if my story continues to stay on a narrow path? Who is in control of my story then? Who decides how my chapters end?
My ferris wheel of a life is still spinning and it probably always will be because the person I am cares to much, loves with every fiber in my body, and puts herself out there to help anyone who needs it. The difference now is that my ferris wheel is going to include a much prettier view and my story will broaden and I will choose how my chapters end.
Not every day is going to be wonderful but that doesn’t mean my story shouldn’t be.
I do not need to take care of anyone but myself. I do not need to take care of anyone but myself. I do not need to take care of anyone but myself.
You know how in old movies the kid gets in trouble and the teacher makes him write “I will not interrupt class again” a hundred times? I feel like that’s what I should be doing with the statement above. “I do not need to take care of anyone but myself”. NEED is the key word in that sentence. I do not NEED to take care of anyone but myself.
Buuuuut, if you know me you know I’d argue that. And I’d put up a damn good fight because taking care of other people is all I’ve ever known. It’s what I’ve been good at, what I’ve been sure of. It was WHO I WAS. WAS is the keyword in this sentence. And trying to change that AM into WAS is not an easy task, let me tell you.
I am a people pleaser (so I’m told : ) and I don’t like to say no. I am always willing to help and very often find myself at a loss of time or energy to complete my own goals because I’m busy helping others complete theirs. For a long time I was ok with that, I was fueled by that and it worked. But, eventually I ran out of things to do for people and I started to get tired. Tired of always running the show for someone else. Tired of chasing their dreams instead of my own. Tired of not having any time I enjoyed.
And so the, “I don’t need to take care of anyone but myself” sentence came about. That’s not to say I don’t still want to help people. That’s not to say I don’t still actually help people. It just means that I’m picking the people I want to be there for and I’m learning to live my life following my own dreams.
As a friend of mine once said, “You have to write your own map”.
YOU HAVE TO WRITE YOUR OWN MAP.
Those are powerful words and he couldn’t be more right. So today, I made that list I promised to write and I’m focusing on following my own map. But please be patient if I loose my way once or twice. I am after all following a map I’ve never traveled before : )
I didn’t intend for this blog to become so much about writing. So much about me and my personal struggles. I didn’t intend that these struggles would have so little to do with photography or specifically, my photography. I didn’t intend to share with the Internet how life can really pull us down and bring us back up, all at the same time.
I didn’t intend……but it happened.
And it’s ok that it happened because sharing who I am is half the battle. Being open and communicative is half the battle. Shedding light on the truth is half the battle.
The next few weeks are jam packed with shooting (thank the Lord J will be by my side!), coffee dates, helping one of my best friends plan her wedding and hopefully having some fun : ) So if you see a little more writing on the blog this month, know that the photos are a comin’ so keep on checking back, and if you feel the desire to read and follow along on my journey I am blessed to have you!
Yesterday morning I sat at my friend’s kitchen counter, one foot crossed under me and the other resting on the bottom bar of the stool. In front of me was a cup of coffee, half empty with the lid off.
He sat next to me and asked me again, “What do you want?”
I looked at him and laughed, what I want isn’t realistic.
Suddenly, there was a pad of paper and a pen in front of me on the counter. “Write your list.”
“Why? Does writing it down mean it’s set in stone? How long is life?”
What kind of question is that!?
“Exactly, you don’t know. So you have to do the things you want now, while you can. I think you worry about what other people think but it doesn’t matter what they think. It only matters what you think.”
I didn’t write my list yesterday, but I promised I’d go back and write it this week. I thanked him later in the day with two simple words: thank you. And he knew that I was thanking him with those two words for being the friend to push me, for standing by my side and telling me I can do anything I put my mind too. For calling bullshit on me when he knows I’m just afraid, for letting me sit at his kitchen counter, one foot crossed under me and the other resting on the bottom bar of the stool. In front of me a cup of coffee, half empty with the lid off….