Thoughts Of The Day (and a peak at my office space - or lack thereof)

there was a time not too long ago that i found myself obsessively comparing myself to other photographers.

hours spent staring at blogs and websites. i don't know why i continued to do it - time after time i allowed myself to drown in my doubts. try doing it first thing in the morning? yep. always a great way to start the day.

the turning tides retreat i went to last august seems as though it was so long ago, but at the same time i am reminded constantly of the love and support from the women i met there. all there for the same reason. hiding behind our fears and secrets. day by day, those walls we had built around us for so long began crashing down and we were no longer surrounded by our fears but rather by the relief we found in sharing our biggest worries and concerns.

i often read back on the journal i was given while i was there. during one of the presentations, we were asked to write down three honest things about ourselves. here's what i wrote:

1.) avoid being myself in public or open around friends because i fear what people will think of me (this one is laughable to me, but still says something for being the first thing i wrote down)

2.) constantly fear that i'm wasting my time being something i wasn't meant to be (basically my fear of investing so much time and money towards getting a degree in something i was losing interest in)

3.) really focusing on being strong and moving forward instead of wasting time dwelling on negative situations

we were also asked "what are the biggest things that stand in your way?"

this was more of something to think about rather than write about in that moment. on that day, i can say that my biggest barrier was most likely my fear in failing. i wasn't to the point where i was allowing myself to move forward and believe in myself and in my business.

as i sit here now, without a doubt, the biggest thing that stands in the way of my even bigger goals is our military life. (i actually feel good about this barrier because it is something that is out of my control. it's not something that i need to change internally) i can actually grow a lot through this experience by meeting new people and gaining new clients. the struggle comes into play when we relocate. it's a defeating feeling - gaining, then losing clients due to the majority of military residents' constant relocation. although i struggle with this every once in awhile, i obviously hate when ronnie feels responsible for that. i made a choice to live this temporary military life with him and i try to make him understand that i'm in this with him, and that this is a part of our journey. it's a part of my goals just as much as it is a part of his. only a few more years to go!

if anything was possible on this very day, i'd have a u-haul packed by next week to head to the west coast. i long to be there - near the ocean where my heart sings and i feel more free than i've ever felt in my life. read a book on the beach, meet new people, and explore areas that are unknown to me. it's where i see myself blooming as an artist, raising a family, and growing long into my 80's.

since turning tides, i've really grown to find myself and let go of the need for approval. it was something that i desperately needed at a time when i was feeling so weak. however, a few weeks ago, i found myself sinking again into what i call the "black hole of comparison." i dug myself out pretty quickly and began journaling. writing down things that exemplify my purpose and reminding myself of my goals.

i've gotten to the point where 99.9% of the time i'm inspired by other photographers as opposed to wondering if i'll ever be as successful as they are.

success isn't based on how good you are compared to the person next to you. success is comparing yourself to who you were a week ago.

a year ago.

five years ago.

a year ago today, i would have never expected how far i would come through inner peace. which means i definitely i can't wait to see how much i've grown a year from now.

"you cannot be anything you want to be. but you can be a lot more than who you already are." - tom rath

in an attempt to save money, ronnie and i decided to get a one-bedroom apartment and double the bedroom as an office. try squeezing a queen size bed and office furniture into a 130 sq ft space. for a month, it felt like a cluster fuck of office crap thrown wherever. i finally decided it was time to go gather some office furniture/supplies in order to make it feel more like a functional workplace. i'm loving how much my attitude has changed with the addition of just a few simple things - and not to mention the organization! hooray for organization!

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ronnie caught during my office documentation - he wouldn't give me a genuine smile, of course.