Embrace the Life We Have Waiting for Us

December 22, 2011

in Life Lessons

If someone gave me the gift of seeing 12 months into the future last Christmas, I would not have believed what life would look like today. There had been so many difficult challenges and I felt sure I had many more to face in 2011.

Late Christmas Eve last year I reflected on the events in 2010. I found myself crying over how exhausting, overwhelming, and emotionally draining it had been in the last 12 months. Lying on my sofa crying at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve was a sad way to start what should be one of the happiest, fun-filled, family-focused holidays of the year.

Life a Year Ago:

  • I was enrolled in professional photography school with the idea I would only work in the area of food photography, but unsure I could keep up the expected pace through graduation.
  • Finding balance in my life was impossible as a single, working mom in school.
  • With my blog in the infancy stage, I was working hard to build a social media presence in a limited amount of time.
  • I was working on healing wounds from a painful breakup, wondering if I could allow myself to feel so deeply and trust someone so openly with my heart again.
  • My divorce was not yet final and my future still felt uncertain.

Life This Year:

  • As a graduate of photography school I have been working professionally, including shooting weddings (which I swore I would never do).
  • Life still isn’t perfectly balanced, but I like it that way.
  • My writing and social media work has led to me teaching on the two topics as well as writing for many other sites in the last year.
  • A year later I have found I do have the ability to feel so deeply and trust another.
  • The divorce is finalized.

What I have learned in the last year is that I should not have a plan; instead it is best to do what I am passionate about and follow my heart. Something wonderful and unexpected is around the corner and it is probably better than I could imagine.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric December 23, 2011 at 8:26 am

This post is painfully timely for me. I can only hope that my path will be as fruitful.

Thank you.
Eric recently posted..Happy Politically Correct, Non-Denominational Holiday!My Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress December 23, 2011 at 8:35 am

Eric,
I am not sure what you are going through right now, but my prayers are with you.

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Eric December 23, 2011 at 8:52 am

Everything is ok, and my wife and I have decided to put our problems on hold until after the holidays.

We were dealt a pretty rotten lemon a few days ago, but we’re gathering ingredients for lemonade.

Not surprisingly, a blog post in the works. :)

Thanks for your thoughts.
Eric recently posted..Happy Politically Correct, Non-Denominational Holiday!My Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress December 23, 2011 at 9:09 am

Thanks for the update. I will be stopping by to read the new post and am here if you need anything.

Bailey Ana December 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Thank you for this post. I am in a very similar situation & feel like I have been in a sad space for a number of years now. That said, this year I have discovered new passions including blogging & I really feel as though I have a good year ahead of me… I’ll definitely be following your blog (which I love BTW). It seems follow friday is quite a good idea :)
Bailey Ana recently posted..Day 23 – Strawberry & Chocolate TartelettesMy Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress December 30, 2011 at 8:24 am

Bailey Ana,

I went to your blog after you posted this comment, but the holidays got in the way of me responding. I also love your blog and am excited to connect with you in 2012. My next online venture is a food blog.

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Dr. Cynicism December 24, 2011 at 8:40 am

I like the outlook you’ve taken — I’m sure it will serve you well :-)
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Naked Girl in a Dress December 30, 2011 at 8:20 am

Thanks Doc! I am so excited to see what 2012 holds.

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Random Girl December 24, 2011 at 11:07 pm

This post really makes my heart happy for you! I haven’t been around the whole time, but I was here for the bulk of 2011 and I know how much work you have put in to living your advice and just taking life as it comes as you instead of trying to reign in what can’t be planned. It’s been awesome to be see you really achieve so many great things and the evolution in your outlook. You are pretty inspirational girlie!
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Naked Girl in a Dress December 30, 2011 at 8:20 am

Thank you! Not just for your kind comment, but your support in 2011…even when I sent you a last-minute advice text before a first date! LOL. You have been there for me. So happy to see where YOU are ending the year too! Big change in your life as well.

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Rick December 29, 2011 at 9:49 am

Great post. Sounds like you’ve turned things around for the better. Keep up the great writing.
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Naked Girl in a Dress December 30, 2011 at 8:15 am

Thank you for visiting and for the encouraging words Rick!

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Robin | Farewell, Stranger December 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm

That is *exactly* what I learned over the last year too – that I shouldn’t have a plan and that I can be open to what comes. That quote is my favourite one ever and I credit it with getting me through the rough stuff and finding the right path. I’m so glad you’re feeling good about where you are.

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 1, 2012 at 9:04 am

Thank you Robin! Life is more exciting when you are loose on your plans and things just happen.

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