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New Year, New Perspectives

January 4, 2018

It always takes me a month or so to wrap my head around what the last year truly entailed and what I learned from it. A years worth of life is a lot to look back on and digest. 2017 brought on such intense, magnificent, and monumental changes: personally, professionally, and creatively. It will take some time to reflect on all that new motherhood, a full dive into photography, teaching, a more relaxed painting career, and extreme sleep deprivation has given me. However, the lesson that stands out the clearest, and what I’d like to share with you before I can fully grasp it all, is my new learned ability to… enjoy life.

That looks so silly now that I’ve written it out, but its true.

Over the last few months I’ve (somehow, someway) given myself permission to enjoy the moments I am a part of. I’ve spent most of my life making sure my every move furthers my art; never understanding that living my life would do that simply, without effort or stress, and the most genuinely. I’m learning that not everything I do needs to have greater purpose or further my creative career aspects. Feeling guilty for enjoying my time outside of creating is ridiculous. I’m allowed to relax and be… happy.

What a concept.

This became most evident on New Years Day. I spent it with my two very best friends (Ashley and Liza). With three new(ish) babies by our side we stayed in, watched the Mummers, drank mimosas, spiked our coffees, ate a myriad of food, prepared bottles, fed our little ones, splattered toys everywhere, and discussed the hilarious/ridiculous/insanity of our lives (motherhood, depression, joy, creativity, careers, aspirations, our marriages, and the list could go on forever). It was the simplest of days and it was perfect.

When the smoke cleared, the view of the debris left behind filled me with so much happiness I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. I realized I hadn’t looked at my phone or taken a single photo of us all day. I was wildly present and it felt magical. I took the image below to memorialize this beautiful lesson learned in 2017. It’s the one I want to move forward with, whole heartedly, in 2018.

Happiness is something difficult to obtain when you’re striving to find it. We (I) spend far too much time doing everything we can now to make way for the future… because that future could be “so much better” than what we have now. I fear, that this way of thinking creates a never-ending carrot to chase. It’s the hope of a reward we will never fully grasp. We miss out on our entire lives that way.

For the first time in my adult life, I’m looking forward to days off, company had, watching my little boy grow, and looking back on the debris of it all with a full heart. In 2018 I’m giving myself permission to enjoy the life I’m already in.

 

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