My Second Act // Seattle Commercial Photographer
Welp, I’m engaged people and with that comes sooo many feelings! It’s such a wonderful time for me and while I am over here basking in that happiness, I am also very aware that I am saying goodbye to not only a huge chapter in my life, but entering a second act. That phrase alone is crazy to say out loud, but it’s real and I said it and it feels great. So, in order to properly enter this new phase I wanted to document where I am mentally and emotionally at this very moment. A place of gratitude, love, nostalgia and grace in the last place I will ever call mine. Just mine.
It’s 5:04pm in the evening and the sun is flooding my apartment. The walls are painted gold with light and my window curtains are dancing with the wind. It’s my favorite time of day and I’m going to miss it so much. I keep looking around my living room with a smile knowing how much love and accomplishment has happened here and how it has prepared me for the next step. For so long I was in this cyclical state of mind where I had to constantly pull myself out of dwelling. Dwelling on the past, dwelling on the future, dwelling on the fact that I didn’t even know HOW to pull myself out of the dwelling. I mean, it was insane and it was exhausting. I always knew that I was in control though and as long as I kept pushing forward and working on finding answers for myself, a weight would be lifted one day.
What was this weight though? Why was I constantly going in circles? I guess it was because I entered my thirties, assessed my life (and my heart) and realized something was missing. It felt selfish to think that way because I was surrounded by my family and friends, palm trees that lined the streets of my neighborhood in LA, a full time job and a small business on the side. I had connections and friendship and ROOTS to stand on and yet I felt fractured in some way. The best way I can describe it is that feeling you have when you think you forgot something, but can’t figure out what it is. I felt that…all the time. It was maddening and I had to do something.
Unless you’re new here, you know that I left my beautiful life in LA to dreary Seattle to shake things up (read about my move to Seattle here!). It was probably the most stressful, depressing time for me as I packed everything up and flew from the sunshine to the rain (literally that was what the weather was like the day of my flight. Sun to rain. Good times). I’ve been on this journey now for almost three years and have talked about all the reasons why I made this move, but something I don’t think I ever touched on is probably the most important reason. Love.
// I trusted my gut and with hand covered eyes jumped into the unknown hoping that I was right. Hoping that this change and courage would lead me to the person who could close the gap I was feeling in my heart.
// Thankfully, I was right. He was here in Seattle…getting ready for me. Feeling the exact same way and just trying his best to become the best version of himself because he was ready to meet her and here we are.
// We met, we fell in love, we talked about life and the future and each other without fear and without angst. It felt natural and real and exciting and I think that’s how we both knew right from the beginning that we had something. It felt….different.
It’s been a year since we met and so much has happened. I mean…we just bought a HOUSE and just got ENGAGED and a week from now we will be LIVING TOGETHER and it’s just so fucking crazy. A great crazy and I am here for IT. I look back and assess my life now and I remember how I’ve had so many adventures. I’ve started a business, I’ve moved to a new city, I’ve traveled across the world alone and I’ve BEEN on my own for a long time. There are so many things however, that I haven’t done and the second Zach asked me to marry him I remembered what those things were. The wonderful part of all of this is that everything I still want to do and have to do will be with him. I can walk this earth crossing my list off with a magic marker in one hand and holding his hand in the other. What’s even better is that I get to cross off HIS list with him too and THAT is something I didn’t think about years ago.
Even though all of these magical things are happening I am so aware of what I am saying goodbye to and part of me aches inside to let it all go. I’m saying goodbye to the fact that I’ll never live alone again. I’ll never live one floor below a close friend (Talitha, I’m still mourning this loss), I’ll never come home to MY empty apartment that I and only I decorated without anyone else’s opinion. I’m going to miss my single girl behavior antics like coming home after a night of dancing, striping to my underwear, eating a pint of ice cream in bed and reading self help books until I fall asleep. Yeah. It’s my favorite and I stand by it, ok? I guess I could do that in front of Zach too, but it won’t be the same, haha. Hey Zach, prepare yourself.
So, I’m getting married and moving in with the most amazing man I’ve ever known and it’s wonderful. But, I’m also moving away from my single hood and well, the only life I’ve ever known. I’ve walked alone (boyfriend or no boyfriend) up until this point and now it’s time to close that door and open a new one. I’m so incredibly excited for that, but allowing myself to feel the weight of it as well. It’s interesting because I was never really obsessed with getting married or having the utmost traditional life. All I ever wanted to was to find a man who I could share my life with and feel held as we led each other through adventures. It took a lot of healing and self growth to get to a place where I could relax and just enjoy things I love without being bogged down with loneliness and heartache. I learned that ultimately the person who would be right for me would find me (and I him) if I just concentrated on becoming the best version of myself.
>> Whatever we do in our lives to make ourselves better, it’s worth it.
If it means letting go of toxicity, creating strong boundaries and distance if necessary (yes, family members included), if we need to move far away (running away is not what I mean by this), if we need to rebuild from scratch, if we need to read 132 self help books and go to therapy then that’s what we should do and we can tell shame to go f itself. We have to take care of us and so I’m here to give anyone permission to be selfish if they need to be. It’s ok. It’s ok to take care of just you if that’s what you need to move forward and it’s ok to only surround yourself with people who support that.
So, thank you for being here and for reading this. I know that if you ARE reading this it’s because you’ve been on this journey with me for quite some time now and it feels really incredible to have shared it with you. It’s a digital world we live in my friends, which is ridiculous and weird and sometimes insufferable, but it’s also a gift. I’ve been able to bring you along from a distance with photos and stories and videos. We’ll always have that so thank you for your interest in me and my work and my life. I hope this has brought you some solace and comfort and joy because that’s always my intention when sharing my life with you :)
All my love,