Just two years ago I was in a place in my life where things were uncertain and the future was unforeseen. I had just graduated from college where I spent 5 years studying for a degree I had no interest in and pursuing a career that was never my dream but more so my parents. It's strange being placed in that position, even thinking about it today sends an uneasy feeling to the pit of my stomach -- I was lost to say the least and in many ways a lot of things seemed hopeless.
I felt like a failure -- not only had I disappointed my parents but I disappointed myself. I should have realized my unhappiness from the beginning and put a stop to it, spoken up to my parents when there was still a chance. Now here I was: a college graduate, unemployed, uninspired and without a single clue as to what I should pursue.
Limbo is a scary place to be in. A million questions pop into your head "What will ever become of you?" "Where are you going to even be 10 years from now?" "What if the only thing you ever become is an EPIC failure?" It was depressing, really. So much of me wanted to give, I wanted to make a positive difference in this world -- I just didn't know how or what it was going to be.
But the funny thing is, sometimes the answer literally is right in front of you. Sometimes you just have to place all extraneous thoughts aside and study the facts that are there. Collin was my saving grace.
"Why don't you pursue cooking or something food related, you love that stuff?" He asked one day over dinner. I looked at him and laughed "Collin, that's crazy."
He seemed very perplexed by my comment... "Why?"
I paused and thought for a long time and couldn't come up with a logical response "...I don't know why. I just...I just don't think my parents would be up for it."
"But this is your life, not your parents."
I looked at him dumbfounded. Who the hell am I dating here, Confucius? And why the hell didn't I realize this sooner? This is MY life. Why am I going after something I have absolutely no interest in for the sake of my parents' happiness? If I found my sense of purpose in this life and worked to the best of my ability, what could go wrong?
The solution just seemed way to simple, life is more complicated than that...right?
But it isn't, and it shouldn't be. Though I am still at the tender age of 25, I realize there are basic necessities in life, the most important being your own personal happiness. Without it, life can turn quite sour, posing challenging obstacles that ultimately lead to dissatisfaction and negativity.
Since finding what I believe to be my purpose in life has in many ways set me free. I no longer experience guilt or anger, I seldom feel sad or hopeless, and all of those worries that once jumbled my head with immense stress and anxiety have now dissipated. I feel as if my spirit has been restored and day by day I feel myself grow, not only as an artist or writer, but as a person who only hopes to bring more positive energy into this world. Whether it through a picture or a paragraph or perhaps even a meal or a gift -- I strive to bring a sense of happiness to as many people that will allow me the benefit.
Today the sun seems to shine more brightly than ever, the trees seem to be singing me a song, the wind blows through my hair as if it wants to play and I am smiling. I am smiling with my heart wide open, I am smiling because I've never felt better, I am smiling because I've found this wonderful place and I am dedicated and determined to never leave this feeling. To wake up with a sense of purpose, alas, it really feels great.
The pictures throughout the post were taken at my friend Jenni's new (beautiful!!) home along with her puppy dachshund, Brooklyn :).
I also had a fun cooking date yesterday with Natalie from Natalie's Killer Cuisine and we attempted to make French Macarons. After having a 100% failure rate (for the both of us) with these picky little cookies in the past, we finally had a success batch (of 5) but they were DELICIOUS and as you can see, awesome :).
We used the macaron recipe from Tartelette but did strawberry macarons with a peanut butter filling! Thank you Natalie for being my newfound cooking buddy in Dallas, I had a wonderful time.
And also! For those of you curious about the wedding shoot I did in Nashville, you can find the 1st half of the collection here. Here are some of my favorite shots thus far...