Another year is wrapped up in a whirlwind of activity and every day life. Each year seems to pass more quickly then the one before and each year I start January 1 with a determination to live more fully in the present, to focus less on the past and its mistakes, and truly enjoy this moment instead of always looking ahead. Do I succeed? To be honest, rarely. This thing or that thing comes up and I’m caught up in stress or anxiety or anticipation of a future event. I truly want to learn to love today for what it is, not wish away the mundane or slow, but instead to realize that every hour of every day is what makes up my story and my life.
I guess the over-arching goal of each year is to just be present. To make goals and dream, but to also learn to rest in the life as it is right now.
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing some of my goals for 2019, but for today, the last day of 2018, I want to share a few things about this year, a few highlights, things I learned, and hopefully some encouragement for those possibly struggling with a rough year. Shout out to my friend Lenna (@lennachapa) for sharing these thought-provoking questions on her Instagram. I love how these questions push me to think about the highs and lows of my year.
What’s one thing you did that you’re proud of? This year I quit the “dead end” job I had been at for three years. Don’t get me wrong; this was a great job that at the beginning pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me some great life skills (any job that involves working with the public is sure to test even a patient person!). However, this job was not in a field I was passionate about and didn’t offer any advancement (that I wanted), so I made the decision in October to leave. I left that job and started part-time with an event rental place in my hometown as well as started my own photo editing business on top of my wedding & portrait photography business. Guys, I totally feel like I was made for the self-employed life! It’s not easy, it’s stressful, and sometimes I do consider getting another job to supplement the slow months. However, time and again, God brings opportunities and people into my life that remind me that this is right where I’m suppose to be right now.
What’s one mistake you made and the lesson you learned?
One mistake that I definitely fell prey to since starting my business around 3 years ago was the mistake of believing that success would just come to me overnight. Not really sure where I got that idea, thought I think it partially came from looking at other entrepreneurs who appeared to be extremely successful in the matter of months. I thought that all I had to do was post pretty pictures and use the right hashtags and *boom*, people would be asking me for my photography services.
Want to know what I quickly realized?
That my field is suuuuuper saturated. That there is a lot of talent. That there are a lot of people who have been at this for much longer than I have and who have a loyal following. That success does NOT happen overnight, no matter what it looks like.
The lesson I learned? To not give up. To actually start WORKING for what I want. That I need to stop looking at other people and start thinking about what I can do to love, serve, and care for MY clients. Guys, honesty moment. I started about three years ago and it wasn’t until the last 6 months or so that I actually started making an income as a self-employed person. THREE YEARS. I know that doesn’t seem long in the whole scheme of things, but it felt so long to me. It was three years of really questioning what I was doing, where I was at, what I should be doing. However, I’m entering 2019 with a renewed energy to keep pursuing my dream of being self-employed. The opportunities that came my way in 2018 have given me that extra push to keep going and work harder then ever.
What’s on limiting story you’re ready to let go of before the New Year?
I want to let go of my mindset of thinking that I can’t achieve success doing what I love. Now, I will put out this disclaimer: Sometimes we will have to work jobs that we don’t necessarily love. Even if we do find our dream job it will be filled with stress and hardship. That’s just life. However, it also is possible to make a living doing what you love! Possibly more then ever before, pursuing your own business is become a more viable + accepted option. I’m excited to see where my business will go in this New Year as I lay aside my insecurities and fully embrace the path I’m currently on. Things may change or look different as the years go by, but as of right now I fully believe I am on the path God has for me and I am excited to see where He leads in this New Year.
I want to start enjoying the journey instead of always just pushing for the perfect “moment” when I reach this or that goal. It’s something I try to keep in mind when setting goals each January 1. What truly matters in this life, no matter what goals I make, is my relationship with God. Am I growing in my walk with Him? Am I spending time with Him, learning more about Him? Am I seeking His glory or my own? Am I taking hold of the grace He offers me every single day or am I trying to live on my own strength?
Today’s devotional from New Morning Mercies (highly recommend this devotional!) gave me the perfect perspective as I enter a new year. Read these words and let them soak in…
God’s work in you is a process, not an event. It progresses not in three or four huge moments, but in ten thousand little moments of change. The little moments in life are profoundly important precisely because they are the little moments that we live in and that form us. The character that is formed in those little moments shapes how we respond to the big moments of life. What make all of this character change possible? Relentless, transforming, little-moment grace. So we wake up each day committed to live in the small moments of our daily lives with open eyes and humble, expectant hearts.
“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” John 1:16
Happy New Year, friends!