Happy Birthday to me!!!! After a fabulous weekend with my family, I ended up with the stomach flu (queue the sad music). But that’s ok because at least we were able to squeeze in some self-timer family portraits before the sickness kicked in full force.
As a Birthday resolution, I decided to reflect on some things I have learned over the last 31 years. I hope they inspire you to be the best possible version of yourself!
1. Let it go. Anything that does not serve you, let it go. I’ve always had the habit of holding onto things: whether it is a belonging or relationship. But from what I have learned, the things that are meant to be in your life, always will.
2. Listen to your Mother. Yep, I said it! And I’m sure my mom is jumping for joy reading this right now. lol. Whether you agree with her views or not, she has many years of experience to back her thoughts. Remember when you were 14 and all you wanted was to grow up?? And now that you are grown, all we want is to be 14 again. Life is funny that way. And what did Mom say the whole time? Slow down. Enjoy today. BE a kid. She was right. No matter where that wisdom came from, she was ALWAYS right.
3. Love fiercely. Everyday I try my best to love those around me the best that I can. I give my all and tend to put others before myself. And yes, over the years I have had my fair share of hurt due to this intense love, but I have also seen a side of people that most don’t. I’ve learned from this openness, that you can’t have those close relationships with everyone. But that’s ok. Life is about QUALITY not quantity.
4. Do the things you love. As a mom, wife, employee, daughter, sister, business owner, neighbor, friend & the hats go on and on… We tend to sacrifice the things we love for the ones we love. About a year ago, I decided to put an end to that cycle. I’m lucky enough that the number one thing I love to do, also makes me money (photography). But I have a nice balance to my days surrounded by to-do lists.
5. Take care of yourself. Ugh. If I could only take back the countless nights without sleep or running through a drive-thru for a quick meal. Running on empty for countless days just to make everyone else’s life easier. But truly, how does that benefit anyone? Now my days look much slower with more intent. (hence life lesson #6)
6. Live intentionally. Ahh. This one is a hard concept to grasp for those of you who have never known what its like to live inside your own head. For YEARS I was trapped there. Always thinking about the next step. The next event, the next milestone, the next season… never feeling satisfied because I never learned to enjoy what was happening NOW. This changed the moment my son was born. Literally and instantly. A child brings you back to the present. His every word, movement, and action are the sentences that write my life story. I personally think that almost every parent experiences this epiphany, at one point or another. The term “living vicariously through my child” isn’t just a catch phrase. We experience so much more intensely through their eyes. And its with our wisdom that we will tell them to slow down, enjoy today, be a kid…. hmm sound familiar?
7. Leave the judgment to Jesus. Seriously.
8. Share your knowledge. When I first started digital photography, I was self taught. I originally learned film in school and mastered the darkroom before our first exam was even handed out. But digital is a whole new playing field, and I was essentially starting from scratch. Back then, Pinterest was fairly new and Facebook was still only used to connect with old high school friends. So learning, was exactly that. Picking up a book and good ‘ol trial and error. I’m STILL learning. But now, I also love to share my knowledge with anyone that will listen! Why share my secrets with competitors? It’s simple really. Technique can be duplicated. But the passion behind the lens, can’t. The feeling I capture, the experience my clients have, in combination with my technique is what the Mel Anne Photography experience is all about. Having confidence in my talent is what drives my passion to share that knowledge.
9. Keep moving forward. In life, love, business.. the only way to have progress is to keep moving forward. Constantly learn, experiment, travel, feel inspired.. Try something new or bring out an oldie. Never stay stagnant. Never let the world or the opinions of others keep you from growing. If you want it, earn it. Life will keep on moving either way, the rest is up to you <3