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!