one frame. one woman. infinite beauty.
so. much. goodness.
I cannot wait to share more from the Clayton Austin workshop I attended on Wednesday. My heart is so incredibly full.
January is a time of reflection for most. I suppose it’s a time of reflection for me, too. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t spent the last two months entrenched in what has happened over the past year, and what I want to happen in the next. It’s consumed me, really. I have made so many lists: goals, to do, budget, more goals, making it happen, workshops, more to do, branding, more goals. Lists, lists everywhere; strung on walls, crumpled in trash cans, scratched into Anthropologie catalogs and Moleskines, on post it notes and fashion spreads. I have big plans for my business. Big dreams.
I heard somewhere that if your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough. I assure you, my dream terrifies me. Wakes me up in the middle of the night sweating and gasping for air. What if it actually comes true? What if I actually do this? Or worse: What happens when I do this?
A few weeks ago Mary wrote a post about being honest. Really truly deeply look-yourself-in-the-face-and-tell-the-truth-dammit honest. She wrote about writing. One. Honest. Thing. So here I am, being honest. Hiding behind an assortment Instagram photos and laying it all out there. Raw. Unfiltered. Real.
I’m terrified, really. I’ve never had a dream come true and then stayed with it once it did. I wanted to be a professional snowboarder in high school. My first chance at sponsorship landed me in a voluntary retirement. “I’m getting hurt. I fall often. I’m going bigger, harder, faster, and it is putting my body at too much risk.” I quit. I wanted to dance. I started taking ballet twice a week at two studios in the arts district of downtown Minneapolis. I danced whenever and wherever I could. Then I quit. “I am starving myself. I am obsessed with dancing. I want a normal life.” I hung up my pointe shoes. I’d love to tell you I never looked back – but I look at those shoes often. And with a quiet longing that surprises me still. I took on the collegiate world, and by storm nonetheless. A 4.0 student with her eyes on Harvard, I filled out the application and had it reviewed by top professors from my school. “This application is strong, young lady. I am very impressed. Best of luck out East,” they’d say. It sat, postage paid, in an envelope on my kitchen table until days before the deadline. I finally picked it up, breathed a heavy sigh, and tossed it into the recycling. I didn’t even chase that dream — I said no before anyone could ever tell me yes.
Fast forward a bit (as I fear I’m losing your interest) and I find myself here. Sitting at the counter in the home where I grew up, a clothes-less toddler next to me eating Japanese cookies, writing a blog post about the very core of who I am: a quitter. A giver-upper. A quit-before-you-can-fail-er. I quit. Before I can fail. That’s it. That’s my honest thing. I quit before I can fail. Even though I have never had reason to believe I would, there was always the chance that I might.
I’m not afraid to fail anymore. I’ve written down my goals for this business, this dream, and the steps that it will take to get me there. I have also written down what it looks like if I don’t get there – what failure actually means. Once I did that, the fear dissipated. Because it’s not failure. No matter how this journey ends, no matter where I end up a year from now, five, ten, fifty, this road that I am on right.now. is the absolute right one. With every mistake I make, with every frame I shoot, with every chance I take on this venture I become deeper rooted in my belief that this is exactly what I was born to do. To live a creative life. To be a photographer. A mom. A blogger. A quilt maker. A knitter. A quitter. A dreamer. A laugher. A hoper. A wisher. And insane overuser of suffixes-er. To be exactly here, exactly now, exactly who I am, at precisely this.very.moment. Happy twenty-dozen, friends.
Here’s to dreaming so big it’s scary. To being okay with failure. To being honest. To being me. To being exactly you.
It snowed on Saturday. Not much, just a touch over an inch, but while it was coming down, it was magnificent. If you’ve ever lived here – or anywhere in the country with a regular snow-filled winter – you know exactly the magic that snowfall can possess. There is something about brown grasses and expectant branches, the way the trees seem to reach toward the heavens as the snow falls softly, quietly upon their limbs. Falling snow is one of my most favorite things on this planet. Combine it with two of the most beautiful creatures that I have ever laid eyes on and you get……..this:
It was a balmy 19 degrees and the sun was quickly setting, so the girls and I began and ended this session in the span of 15 minutes. Their noses were red, their cheeks aglow. But my heart? So very warm. They loved every minute of it – a feat in and of itself for two girls who have their photographs taken often. Very very geez-already-mom-get-that-thing-outta-my-face often.
I hope I have the chance for more snow sessions in the future. This one was the most fun. Ever.