On January 13th, I turned 29. I had hopes of blogging this post on that day but instead I took the day off and spent it strolling hand in hand with my darling Mr. Hackett.
I have to laugh because my opening sentence is unintentionally the perfect prelude to my entire point in writing this post–you’ll see soon enough.
2014, (year 28 for me) was a BIG ONE! I launched my new brand- Ivy & Tweed, I went full throttle into specializing as a wedding photographer, I became self employed, I fell apart, and ended the year putting myself back together. So 28 was big! If I had blogged my hopes and goals for the year, I would have been BLOWN AWAY at just how much bigger (and different) the year would turn out from what I had expected. It was my most successful year as a business, and I grew into an artist I could be proud of- that alone is HUGE! But it was a HARD year too.
I hit goals and over-achieved in areas I never expected and I learned a LOT about myself in the process. The bigger I got, the more I booked, the less fulfilled I was. I had a version of success that I was aiming for, and I was well on my way to “making it”.
There were a couple of moments in the early part of the year where I questioned myself, and wondered what exactly I was aiming for. But I pushed that little voice away and just kept running. The voice came back at the peak of wedding season. I journaled a little and let it sit–and I kept on running, but this time I didn’t push the voice away. I was just too busy to do anything with it at the time.
And then came the breakdown. As my schedule was starting to wind down, I started falling apart. That little voice started getting louder and louder and I couldn’t ignore it any more. I was running full speed on the course for success that I had intended to run. But I was running so wildly off course from who I am at my core. I started questioning everything. I questioned my motive, my goals, my hopes for “making it”. What were they all for? Where was I even trying to get? And why? All these questions left me feeling very lost. I could name the “right” answers and keep going. But the honest answers required a whole lot of soul searching.
So I started to write. I wrote down my dream version of success– the “in my perfect world” version. Friends, I was floored by how DIFFERENT the picture of success I was writing looked from the picture of success I was chasing. The success I was chasing wasn’t bad–it just wasn’t for me. There is a dream that lives in me that requires its own course. And by following others I was loosing sight of what I needed to be doing. And so I started looking at ways to bring this dream to life, and all the things I wanted to do differently in 2015. And that is where my hopes and goals for this year come into play.
There are two words that come to mind when I think about this year. REST & ACTION. While these words are in direct contrast with one another, I think my “happy place” will be finding balance in the middle.
With that said, my hopes and goals for 29–
1. Glorify God in all things
2. Run a business based on relationships, not on social media status
3. Make Sunday a brunch a tradition
4. Spend quality time with people I love
5. Write because I love it
6. Send snail mail
7. Bake more
8. Print photos for EVERY client
9. Teach more 10. Make intentional decisions
11. Live with purpose
12. Collaborate more– No need to do it alone
13. Overcome fear of the unknown
14. Strive for simplicity
15. Cultivate creativity
16. Tell stories
17. Lead fearlessly
18. Take risks
19. Read more books (at least 1 per month)
20. Dream God sized dreams (no baby dreams)
22. Grow a garden
24. Celebrate the wins
25. Make time for rest (physical, mental, spiritual)
26. Learn to play the guitar (I’ve been wanting to do this for years–and I really want to make it happen this year)
27. Invest in community
28. Live with even BIGGER faith
29. LOVE BIG & GIVE MORE
In summary, I will aim be present, slow down, seek God, and take action to make the dreams that are in my heart come to life.
I mentioned at the beginning that I had hoped to share this post almost two weeks ago when it was my actual birthday. But I’m glad I didn’t because I gained a win on my list of goals! I spent a whole day celebrating life with my best guy and I will forever treasure that time!
I just want to finish with this verse. When I was describing the life I want to a friend, she directed me to this verse. And this is it. This is exactly what my heart is seeking — 1 Thessalonians 4:11, “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.” –pictures by my beautiful, talented friend Devon Michelle Photography!