Fighting fire with fire.

It was late into the evening.  Lights from the television danced across our bedroom walls and marshall and I lay side by side atop the crumbled white sheets. “I can’t go out with ya’ll tonight!  I have a lot of things to catch up on.  Last week I had hoped to get it all done, but then I got the plague and couldn’t do ANYTHING, now I am behind!  I feel somewhat overwhelmed right now...” I could feel the words build up and push out of my lungs as if it were my last breath on earth.

Perched on his bent arm, my sweet husband who I had practically ignored all evening because I had locked myself in my office reminded me to “just think, this time last year you were overwhelmed that you didn’t have any work...”.

It was true, and I certainly hadn’t forgotten it.  Things have changed since last year, and I am exceptionally grateful for it and the people who have contributed and helped push me closer to my goals.  Two weeks ago I found myself spending the evening photographing four different couples, and at each session almost crying.  The most memorable in my life are marked by a solid tear sesh. Tearing up when David, without direction, scooped Emma’s chin into his hands and pulled her in for a kiss at China Walls.  When Desiree nestled up to Chad and he played her a song, forgetting I was even there.  When Sage twirled around in her navy blue high-lo dress and Abel presented us with his shoreline finds.  And when the light hit the moss after Jennifer & Michael’s elopement ceremony.  Yes, I even cried at the light.  This seems the most legit out of all of it, really.  But more importantly, I have been so overwhelmed with gratitude that I have been working with some of THE best clients.  Just when I think that I have hit jackpot and think there is no way I could continue to get such awesome people to work with, another comes along.  At times it seems practically too good to be true, and often times I hope I am not dreaming, that it will all come to a screeching halt.  After all, the past isn’t as far back enough to forget completely.

Things are happening, passion is brewing, and I am feeling my purpose rising to the surface.  I am witnessing things come together and feeling the anticipation overcome me.  All the while, I am afraid to stay on cloud nine because I know what it feels like to not have an ounce of business.  To pinch pennies.  I remember what it feels like to have $100 to my name and it feel like a million bucks.  Last year was one of the most exciting times of my career, for crying out loud!  Jasmine & J.D. had invited me to come along and help out on their cross country “the Fix” tour, and I couldn’t have been more stunned and thrilled.  Meanwhile I was constantly checking my bank account, simply trying to get by.  Texting Marshall (because I embarrassed to call for fear of being kicked out on the side of the street) from the back of a Taxi in Harlem enroute to the tour bus to ask Marshall to transfer me $25 because I had just found out I didn’t have enough to pay for my cab ride.  Meeting a potential Bride at Starbucks and praying my bank account wasn’t overdrawn so I could buy her latte.  But they were all the things that fueled me.  That kept me determined that I was going to make this happen, and that I was going to reinvent my business on this new island better than ever.  All I want is the freedom to financially contribute to the life Marshall and I are building together while growing my photography business.  I am proud because through the fight and the hellish fire, I have come out much stronger than before.  I have been broke.  I have had to borrow gear.  I’ve worked a part-time job, secretly wiping my tears in the restroom in between serving growlers as I went another night working for a living off two tables.  Now the passion burns inside me, the seed is flourishing, and I am much more thoughtful in where I invest my finances.  Because I’ve lived it, I know what it’s like, and I know it can be closer than I think.  More than anything, I am happy to come out of the ashes feeling as courageous and creative as ever.  Through pushing, working, fighting, shooting, I have uncovered my true sense of style and honest, heartfelt connection towards my present and future couples, and I am thankful for every bit that has gotten me here.  And I will certainly never forget what I felt like one year ago.

 

This image was taken by my AWESOME friend and talented writer/photographer Rebecca Armstrong.  Thanks, girlfriend!