As I have been reflecting back on the last year I am thinking about my family and friends. I have seen many people struggle with job loss, loss of a loved one, divorce, and so many other events. I have seen friends close their businesses and I have seen others grow theirs. It has been a whirlwind of activity and as I have watched people through sadness and joy.
I know so many talented people. I am in awe at the creativeness of some of these amazing people. But what I have found is that the things that we go through in life help shape our perspective of the world around us, but it also fuels that creative light that is inside all of us as well.
In the last year I have learned more about myself than I have in many, many years. I became stronger. I became more confident. I stopped caring what others think of me. I let go of all the things that were weighing me down. I found joy and freedom through my art. I watched my oldest child get married and have watched my other two become teenagers and then turned around and added another teenage daughter to my family and my heart. I found that my husband, family, and friends support me beyond my wildest dreams in any of the crazy art projects I get inspired to do. I found a group of photographers who became like family to me and they have pushed me to be a better photographer and artist. I have faced my fears and found joy. I have reached out to people and I have let people go. I realized that I am not defined by my past or my mistakes and the people who want to keep me in that box are not worth my time or energy.
If people don’t like me or my art or my photography or my parenting or anything about me, I don’t care. I like me. I think I am an awesome parent, and so do all of my children and my granddaughter adores me almost as much as I adore her. Almost. (I adore her a lot. And she is tiny so I don’t think she grasps just how much adoration I have inside of me that is just for her!). This little journey of life that I have been on almost ended this year. I am grateful to be here. I am grateful to be writing this. I am thankful for each and every day that I am given. And I am thankful for every moment I get with the people I love. When people almost die it’s quite common to hear them say that they have a new appreciation for their lives. It’s true. I am a walking, talking, living and breathing testament to that.
As I look towards the new year I find myself smiling and being hopeful and optimistic. There are so many projects I am planning out and collaborating with some amazing artists to complete some gigantic pieces is going to be phenomenal. I am working on costumes, masks…the whole works. And in addition to all of that I will be putting together some exclusive mentorships and I will be teaching photography, lighting, OCF, and even a little editing. My family and friends are still my best support system and I know what a lucky girl I am to have them all. I hope that the New Year brings you as many blessings as you can handle…and then a few more just to keep it interesting.