Aaron and I went to Maine in October….we spent 4-5 days exploring the coast, eating too much lobster and relaxing away from our little Zeke! :) I ended my portion of the trip at the AMAZING Film Is Not Dead 2.0 workshop with Jonathan and Kristen in Portland! :) It was a small group of us hanging out in a beach house on the ocean’s cost hashing out business ideas, sharing struggles and giving advice. I was prepared to leave FIND with a long-list of changes to implement into my business (and while I did end up being inspired about some business changing ideas) what I walked away with was so much more personal than I ever thought! :)
I found myself in a state of CRAZY when I first got to Maine! (and I don’t say “crazy” lightly)! :) I arrived to FIND frazzled, barely hanging on. I had shot 40+ weddings for 2013, I was balancing a toddler and business as well as the beginning of HILLCITY church, and I hadn’t a grasp of “me time” in a LONG time! Told ya’…crazy! :)
FIND gave me perspective (something my husband tried to do months prior)! :) I didn’t realize how fast I was moving or how little margin I was retaining. You see, when little Zeke was born a mere 18 months prior I had no idea what I was in for (I mean, no parent really does, eh?) But what I mean is that I had no idea what it was going to mean to balance a family and a business. Before Zeke I was able to easily stick to boundaries, find time for myself and easily give to my husband. Enter baby. I never had the oh-man-newborn-world-is-hard moment. Zeke was an easy baby; not fussy and slept well. It wasn’t until this past 2013 year that everything caught up with me when I had a walking-talking busy, boy on my hands. Suddenly it wasn’t easy to answer emails quickly in the morning or multi-task like I had done before. I desired to give ALL of my attention to Zeke when I was with him, but I simply didn’t know how. I had brides emailing me, images to edit, albums to design and loads of ideas spilling out of my head. Suddenly, my plan for balance and accomplishment that had gotten me so much success in years past didn’t work. I found myself grasping at straws on how to be a business owner.
But FIND changed that. FIND gave me perspective. I believe it was the few days of email free and kid free hours, combined with the fresh ocean air, Kristen’s butt-kicking business advice, and Jon’s “Emily, what-are-you-doing” moments?! :) It was uncomfortable. I needed to feel uncomfortable in order for change.
So, I left FIND with a plan. A plan to put down my camera and rest. A plan to go on more adventures with my husband and son. A plan learn more cooking recipes in the kitchen and go on 50 double dates this year. A plan to shoot more personal work. A (really great) plan for a personal project that will bring my parents to life for little Zeke. A plan for better boundaries and defined “me” time. A plan to take naps and give myself more grace.
And I’m learning. In a world so defined by PROGRESS and personal success, it sometimes blinds me to see the importance of balancing the whole. I mean, I get so caught up in making things happen or defining goals that I forget that my life is a piece of art too. As gorgeous as weddings are (and I sure do LOVE photographing them) the stories of everyday struggles and successes as a Mom and wife have just as much merit as my business.
So, thank you Jon and Kristen! I know you hear it often, but the work you do is changing people’s stories…it changed my story, and I love you for it! :)