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New Year, New You. HA.

I see you. The one who reaches the New Year and reflects on everything you have and haven't done this year. All of the things you failed at. And you measure your worth based on what you did or didn't accomplish. See, I am you. I was you. We are the same. But can I be really honest? It's not going to be a New Year New Me kind of resolution this time. 2022 was the year I lost myself. A LOT. I went through some of the most powerful and intense growth that had me questioning everything about myself and my life. Which in turn, made everything turn upside down and inside out. I changed my career, lost, and found my belief system. I deconstructed WHO I am, what my style is, where I fit in, what I am willing to do, and what I will never do again. And as I sit here to look at the pieces left over... I realized I am going into a season of puzzling it all together. Not back together. But together. Figuring out what belongs in my future.. and what deserves to remain in my past. I tried so many new things in the last few years and discovered so many things about myself. There were moments it felt like going down the grand rapids, one second I think I've come out of the rushing waters and figured out where I am meant to be and what I want to do, and suddenly I turn a corner and flip over into the water... only to be thrown into the deepest pocket where I am confronted with a

belief I'd long held and now question. Once I finally come up for air and the waters seem calm I have a new perspective and try to figure out what that means for my life. And then... it happens again. Welcome to the last several years of my life. And here's the thing- in the last 3 years, I've watched as many others join me in these rapids. (dude, I'm sorry. it's intense here) The rapids of self-discovery, where everything you thought you knew and understood is thrown into question. But don't worry- you'll get a couple of life jackets here and there. The funny thing is so many of us really look into and find our personal belief systems throughout this process because we get caught up trying to understand the "why" or at the very least, just make sense of the chaos. And finding something larger than yourself to use as a guiding light can be the life raft. But that's a whole other blog for another day. What I came here to say, was that after being in the rapids for the last few years I feel like I am finally coming to the calmer part of the river. And now I get to look back at all I've learned and uncovered and decide which parts of that mess continue downstream with me. And which ones will be left behind. So if you're like me, changed the idea of your career 6 times, maybe even announced your retirement from one career, and are sitting there trying to piece together WTF the last three years meant... it's okay to take bits and pieces of everything you liked and leave the rest behind. This is your sign to give yourself permission to explore and let go of the things that no longer feel right. Did you also tell the world you were retiring from photography to pursue the next chapter of your career only to realize and come up with a concept that incorporates both things you learned and now you have to slowly tell people you were kidding... you're still a photographer? It's OKAY to change your mind 600 times. It's okay to decide and undecide things. That's part of growth and the human experience. And YOU GET TO ENJOY EVERY MOMENT of that process. You get to have fun re-creating your life. Changing it up. ITS YOUR LIFE. So here's a toast to those of us who won't be claiming New Year, New Me, but instead, New Year, Reclaimed ME. p.s. I hope you enjoy my chaotic writing. I can't wait to see where it is in a year & how much my voice will change as I write more and more.

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