To celebrate all the ups and downs this year has brought me (yes, the downs should be celebrated too) here are some of my favorite personal photos I keep close to my heart. Sharing my work is one of my joys in life, but sharing my life with you also give me such happiness. So, here is my imperfect, crazy, weird, zesty life in photos as well as some thoughts :)
Wow, it’s my second birthday I’m celebrating here in Seattle and omg how things have changed since last year. I think of my life in months (freelancers, do you do the same?) so when I look back to the first six months of this year I remember how difficult they were for me.
// Stressful, uncertain, unbalanced.
It’s a strange experience entering your second year in a new city, which was surprising to me considering how all of 2017 was so exciting and wonderful. However, the beginning of the year brought me so many questions and I felt the all too familiar feeling of, “why isn’t everything going exactly the way I want it to?” It’s ok though. Such is life and starting at the end of June I found the clarity I was seeking and then some.
When I say my year began with a lot of questions and uncertainty, I mean it. Maybe it’s my ambitious nature, but I have really high expectations for myself and when I am not meeting my goals at the exact time I want them to be met I am really hard on myself. I have so many dreams and so many things I want to do with my life and often times I overwhelm myself with this insane list. I’m sure some of you can relate. I’m getting better though and have come a long way on giving myself grace.
When I was young (I’m still young. I’m so young. I’m the youngest) I had trouble making quality friends. I would befriend anyone who was friendly. As I got older I realized that should not be the only criteria for friendship and that I needed to be MUCH more selective on who I chose to include in my life.
Friendship is a privilege and should be treated as such. Respect it.
I realized friends should be an escape from life. They should lift you up, make you forget your troubles (not create it), celebrate you and ACCEPT you for exactly who you are. That’s probably been the biggest gift (aside from one other thing…more of that in a minute). I thought moving away from the life I had built in L.A was going to be SO lonely at first, but it wasn’t. I found the most wonderful people to call my own, but most of all, they brought ME in so effortlessly, so willingly, so lovingly. I never take them for granted and realize that they are the most important part of my journey here.
Speaking of finding important people. Let’s talk about finding love for a minute (heeeeyyy). For the sake of keeping some things private in my life, I won’t go into TOO many details, but one of the most wonderful things that has happened to me this year is finding the guy of my dreams. I know, that’s bold. It actually feels a little strange saying that out loud. Man of my dreams? What? I don’t know. It still feels surreal. I have been on my own for a really long time and while a lot of that time was spent growing, learning, having fun, traveling, moving to a new city, making dinner for friends, building a business, it was also difficult. Let’s not pretend single life is all rainbows and sunshine, k? It’s an amazing part of life and I will always look back on those years so fondly, but I will also never forget the hard days. Each time I watched my friends fall in love, get married, start their families a little piece of me hurt. I often wondered if I would ever find someone.
Despite that pain, I always focused on being the best version of myself I could be. To be the best friend I could be, to learn as much about running a business as possible and most importantly, never settling for anything less than I deserved no matter how hard things became. Remember this blog post?
I’m proud for having stayed true to who I am and never compromising what I wanted in someone. I always knew I would find him when the time was right so I just kept pushing forward. What I didn’t realize was that he was also looking for me and that he would find ME.
Friends used to tell me that one day someone would love me for exactly who I am. He would find my boisterous personality refreshing and my weird obsession for earlobes cute and strangely charming. He would think my outlook on life is inspiring and would only want to get closer. I used to close my eyes tightly and squeeze their hands with appreciation for seeing all those things in me. Now I close my eyes tightly with a smile because they were right.
After taking care of myself for so long it’s a bit odd having someone else take care of me for a change, but I love it. I’m learning how to receive all this love and it’s a process I’m enjoying so much.
// I don’t want to say I feel lucky because I don’t really believe in luck. Luck implies you had nothing to do with it and that’s just not the case. I believe in creating opportunities for yourself. I believe in making things happen and that’s what this past year has been. A year of scratching things off my travel bucket list, growing as an artist, becoming even more comfortable with who I am and finding love in the most beautiful human.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sticking around. So many of you have been along for this journey over the past five years and I appreciate it so very much. Some of you have even become clients, which is incredible and just proves to me that I’m doing something right.