At least I am trying to remind myself of that.
The other night, dubbed "one of our last nights in Charlotte", Marshall and I went to dinner at our favorite sushi place, Nikko, then rode around the city, admiring the views and taking in the window breeze. As we stopped in Amelie's (a French bakery and another one of my favorites), I was slapped in the face by my buried fears.
Should we be packing up and moving from Charlotte so soon?
Not having a steady income is making me panic, was quitting my job a good idea?
Do I have what it takes to really be a success photographer?
Was any of this a good idea?!?!?
It reminded me of several blurbs from a book I am reading, Committed by Elizabeth Glibert. The follow-up to Eat.Pray.Love, I adore her writing style and feel a strong connection to her life's journey.
" The problem, simply put, is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously. So we live in danger or becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified that every choice might be the wrong choice...Equally disquieting are the times when we do make a choice, only to later feel as though we have murdered some other aspect of our being by settling on one single concrete decision. By choosing Door Number Three, we fear we have killed off a different-but equally critical-piece of our soul that could have only been made manifest by walking through Door Number One or Door Number Two...All these choices and all this longing can create a weird kind of haunting in our lives-as thought the ghosts of all our other, unchosen, possibilities linger forever in a shadow world around us, continuously asking "Are you certain this is what you really wanted?"..."
"Like most human beings, once I've been shown the options, I will always opt for more choices for my life: expressive choices, individualistic choices, inscrutable and indefensible and sometimes risky choices, perhaps...but they will all be mine...As a result of such personal freedoms, my life belongs to me and resembles me...it's important to remember that our choice-rich lives have the potential to breed their own brand of trouble. We are susceptible to emotional uncertainties and neuroses that are probably not very common among the Hmong, but that run rampant these days among my contemporaries in, say, Baltimore."
Knowing that I wasn't alone in my decisions, or lack-there-of, made me feel much better. I don't know what exactly my future will hold, but I do know that I made the conscious decision to make a change and to be.happy. I may not be a successful photographer, but I know I will bust my behind to be one. I may not help a single person through my career, but I will put in valiant effort and never stop trying. I may not know the Ashley of next year, but I do know that what I was doing wasn't working, in fact, it was making me miserable, and what I am doing now seems to be a nice change. It's slightly uncomfortable but now I am confident that I will be thankful I took the leap. It may take a few months. Maybe even years combined with several more tough decisions that could never be foreseen, but they're my choices. And I'm deciding to be happy.
Remembering to smile, encouraged by the restroom mirror in Amelie's that same night.