While driving to our first wedding of the year today (Reagan's first ever wedding, I was her second shooter), we were talking about self-love and happiness and what we want to do with our lives.
A lot has changed this last year.
My perspective on life and things and people has changed dramatically. The number one thing that I have learned within this last year is that life is what you make it and you get out of something what you put into it.
At the beginning of the school year I was the photo editor at my university's student-run newspaper and I had plans to get an internship at a small newspaper somewhere. At the same time I was on an immersive learning project that took me all over Indiana and introduced me to all sorts of new people and personalities. This was when my mindset really began to change. Long story short, I've learned that you should only surround yourself with people that make you feel like the work you do is actually important and that inspire you to do exactly what you want to do in life.
I wasn't getting that at my job. I felt really discouraged and that my work wasn't actually important, but more of a filler. And in both my job and my classes, I felt that I was being taught to settle. I may sound stubborn here, but what I want to do with my life is take photos. I want to do nothing more than take photos. I don't want to get an internship or job somewhere that I'm writing more than taking photos, or where people don't care about art.
I believe that everyone has a specific job they are born to do in life. I was born to take *beautiful* photos. Other people were born to do the writing, or the video, or all the other important stuff. I don't think any job is more important than another. Whether you are going to school to be a doctor or to document people's lives, someone has to do it and it's all equally important.
So after some long talks with my mother (who I always have reassure me that I'm not crazy) and my closest friend, I realized I wanted to make a change. So I left my job, and have made the commitment that I'm going be successful in what I do, whatever that ends up being (hopefully that's running my own photography business and living close to the west coast).
I'm talking about this now because during our drive, I still get caught up on the littlest things. I get frustrated, and feel like I'll never improve, and I get sad because I sometimes feel I didn't get everything out of college as I hoped. A quote that has always stuck with me since the first time I read the Perks of Being a Wallflower is, "Things change. And friends leave. And life doesn't stop for anybody." There is nothing more true than all of this. Things change everyday, with family and school and our careers and the world. And friends leave, friends most definitely leave. Which is something I've struggled with a lot this last year. But I've realized we can't get so caught up on things that we can't change because honestly it does no good.
If you're not happy with something, you just have to change it. Complaining about it and making excuses is not going to do anything. So to summarize a long post, here is what I've learned this last year:
Only surround yourself with people that make you feel like you can do anything you set your heart on. And don't waste your time on people that make you feel like your role is less important than any other's.
If you want to go somewhere, just buy the plane ticket.
No matter what anyone tells you, at all, being happy with what you are doing is far more important than anything else. It may take a lot of work, but if you're doing what you actually love then trust me, you'll find a way to make it work.
Life is what you make it, so make the best of it.
At least that's the mindset I have.