I know a lot about settling. It’s something many people tend to do…and something I, myself, nearly did. I graduated high school 5 years ago and went into my small-town community college, with no career aspirations whatsoever. I jumped from career idea to idea, delighting myself with the idea of “that’ll do” and “good enough”. What’s wrong with that? It seemed to be what everyone else was doing. I knew I wanted to be that thing they called “successful”. But what did that even mean to me, at the time? A large salary? A fancy job title?
But at some point, in that first year after I graduated, the spark was ignited in me. I discovered photography and that spark was the small glint of hope, that this art might be something I could do with my life. The idea that maybe I wouldn’t actually have to settle. The more I dove into the craft, the more that spark began to blaze….until it was a full-on fire, nearly consuming me. At this point, I knew without a doubt what I was going to do and that I needed to not waste another day.
From where I stand now, as I build the foundation for a life I could never have dreamed of, I can’t imagine going back. I feel like I don’t even know that girl who only cared about getting a degree for something that would pay the bills. I guess I can’t relate to her anymore because I look at success differently now. The things I look forward to most about the future of my business, have nothing to do with money. I look forward to traveling and EXPERIENCING the world. I look forward to meeting amazing people and building relationships with them. I look forward to using my gifts to bless my clients and other photographers. It’s in those things, that I find the kind of fulfillment that money could never buy. Now that I see it on the horizon, I can’t imagine my life without it.
Yes, I know it doesn’t happen this way for all of us…the whole “Discovering-my-passion-at-age-18-then-living-happily-ever-after” ordeal. I get that. I do feel incredibly BLESSED and thankful that God showed me my gifts, so early on in my life. In fact, I’m sure my life sounds like a total breeze to some of you reading. I didn’t have a family to support, a degree that would go to waste if I left my job, or a mortgage to pay. And you’re probably right, I did have it a lot easier than most. But just as anyone else, it won’t always be like that, I know I will face plenty of my own major challenges on this journey. But following your dreams isn’t about easy.
The one thing I know most about settling, is it’s not an obligation, expectation, or destiny. It’s a choice. You either make the choice to give your dreams a chance or choose to settle for a life without them.
If you ask me, I think life is too short to choose to settle. Whatever that dream is, fight for it. It doesn’t have to be world-changing or monumental. Maybe you dream of being able to stay at home with your kids and make your family your first priority. Maybe you dream of going back to school. Whatever the desire is, whatever makes you happy…go for it. If you were waiting for a sign…..well here it is…..see it?…..I’M WAVING IT IN FRONT OF YOU, RIGHT THIS MOMENT. Start today and make the choice for a life of NOT settling.
This photo is incredible!
That picture is so amazing! I liked your post about settling though. No one should have to settle. :)
You’re such an incredible inspiration. I don’t think I could thank you enough for all the ways you’ve helped and inspired me. Thank you so much for writing this.
Breathtaking :’) I’m so happy for you and how far you have come through your journey!
Very well said!
Your swimming in your ” gift ” like it was an ocean, so keep making beautiful waves! Go girl XOXO aunt LISA.
This is beautiful Kristen…and so well said <3.
ummm oh em gee girl! this shot is beautiful! and you are so right about not settling. I’m hoping I’ll achieve my dream of being able to support myself on photography one day! keep on living the dream, pretty lady! oh, and come back to visit VA so we can hang out! :)