A fresh new year is upon us! Hooray! I think we all deserve a moment of celebration for dealing with the uncertainty of the world these last couple of years.
2021 revealed more to me about myself than any period of time before. The joy of having my first baby coupled with the pain of grief that resurfaced in new intense ways leading to struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety, questioning my new identity as a mom, and navigating challenging relationships all made for a roller coaster of a year.
But as they say, with great pain comes great wisdom. I’m not sure I’d use the word “wise” to describe myself, but the lessons I learned through 2021 have blown open my perspective on so many things. Mostly, I know myself and my values better than ever and as horrible as they felt, I am grateful for the periods of true struggle last year that revealed them to me.
As I reflected on 2021, two words became so obvious it felt like they chose me. Community and creativity.
First, connection to others is vital for our wellbeing and after two years of feeling semi-isolated in a pandemic either pregnant or with a small baby, I crave time spent in person laughing, experiencing new things, and being open with women in a similar life stage. To make this a bigger part of my life, I’ve decided to start a mom group! I’m not exactly sure how it will work, but I have a lot of ideas and plan to figure it out as we go. Check back here next week for more details (and on Instagram)! I’d love for you to join.
Second, I have realized that the workload and logistics of running a photography business that photographs many weddings each year is not a great fit for my current season. While I am excited to continue photographing maternity, newborn, family, and engagement sessions, I’ve decided not to book weddings for the time being. I love photographing weddings and creating something unique and special for the incredible couples I have the privilege of working with. That said, I’ve learned that a mentally and physically intense 12-14 hour day photographing a wedding with Patrick on inconsistent sleep while our nursing baby is at home, plus all the behind the scenes work that comes along with it (the pre-work with the couple, coordinating with other vendors, fulfilling their engagement session, creating and reviewing day-of logistics, planning travel, coordinating childcare, culling and editing, etc.) isn’t good for me or my family at this stage of life.
Because I’ve scaled back on photography and am taking on a limited number of sessions each month, I have felt my creative side itching to come out. In the last few months, I began exploring new ways to express that side of myself outside of working with clients. My sister had the great idea to create monthly challenges to learn new creative things and stretch my horizons! So, beginning this week, I am embarking on a fun, yearlong creativity quest! I’ll share more about it here on the blog, but I’d decided my challenge for January is to finally learn film photography. Below are more ideas I have. I may shuffle when I do them, but I am so excited about all of these! Again, I’d love for you to join me.
- January: Learn Film Photography
- February: Complete a Painting Project
- March: Refinish a Piece of Furniture
- April: Cook/bake 3 New Recipes Each Week
- May: Learn to Cross-Stitch
- June: Have a Baby 🙂
- July: Journal Daily
- August: Read 5 Pages of a “Classic” Book Everyday
Wishing you a wonderful start to this new year and I’ll see you back here soon.