Yesterday was a really special day for me. I was editing all morning in the comfort of my tiny bayside apartment with my friend and co-worker, Chico. I did a couple of loads of laundry and then headed out to pick up my nephew from his third day of Kindergarten.
I drove out seriously early, arriving thirty minutes before he was supposed to be getting out (because those crazy Kindergarten teachers are unpredictable. I mean, what if she lets my little buddy out early and he wanders down the street and gets lost and it is all my fault) and I waited with one other very young looking father in front of the Kindergarten classrooms. It was over 100 degrees, I paced and paced and felt like a total creeper being there so early, but that was okay. I belonged there. I was there for a child. Finally, the doors opened and I saw my little nephew's head peak out the door! He ran to me and hugged me and said, "Auntie Kells! Are we going to the beach?!" "We sure are!" I replied.
We hopped back on the freeway and took a little detour to Snow Monster, because (if we're being honest) I was in the mood for an ice cream sandwich. Orion enjoyed about three bites of ice cream with gummy worms and fruity pebbles and I tried GUINNESS ICE CREAM. You read that right!!! Side note... it tasted just like Guinness and it was delicious.
After our ice cream pit stop, Orion helped me fold some laundry, we sunscreened up and went out to the bay. We played in the water for a few hours on the lonely beach until the breeze kicked up and this unusual heat turned to a chill. The clouds rolled in and Orion was actually ready to go inside for a change. We made dinner together and watched Moana. It was a special day.
You are probably wondering what made this day so special. Truly, days like this should all be special no matter what, but yesterday shook me. Maybe it was because I arrived too early to pick Orion up from school and had too much time to think. Or maybe it is because I have a ton of personal events coming up and I am overcome with emotion and this is the way it is all coming out, but I was taken aback by my own emotions yesterday.
Two years ago, I was sitting in this same teeny bayside apartment, truly loathing life. I was working as a Litigation Specialist for a company that knew little of my existence, nor did they care about my mental or physical state. I was in and out of court, arguing with attorneys on a daily basis and dealing with people who were usually experiencing the worst times of their life. I was working 50-60 hours a week for my Lit job and was putting in 40+ hours a week shooting weddings, portraits, boudoir and editing everything as well. I had gained nearly 20 pounds in about two years and I was seriously neglecting myself and ALL of my relationships. I was miserable. I had a mini meltdown when my boss wouldn't let me leave to see my nephew's first Pre-School recital. I sat at my desk and cried pathetically into my keyboard and told myself, this isn't where you are supposed to be. That was two years ago.
Now, I spend my days shooting beautiful Boudoir clients, documenting weddings and editing and perfecting my craft. I am not at all where I want to be in my business...I don't think I ever will be. I do not have it in my makeup to be satisfied with myself. I will always strive to be better and to grow and to make something more of myself. But for now, I am happy with where I am. I have time for friends and family and for myself. I am still in a state of decompression as a residual effect of that time in my life. I am still anxious and feeling like I am playing catch-up and I still feel like I am on overdrive most of the time. That's okay. I am learning to adapt to being happy. That sounds bizarre (I know it as I type it out and see it in front of me). I don't think it is a bizarre thing to be going through though. I spent over ten years feeling like I was in the wrong place, going through the motions, making more money year after year, doing what I thought was right and it was just so wrong. So, I am giving myself permission to be happy and live my life the way I see fit, not the way I thought I was supposed to be living it. It will continue to be an adjustment, but I will be unapologetically happy with where I am now. I've earned it.
I encourage everyone to dig deep this week and think seriously about the state of their happiness. If it is less than what you want it to be...what can you do to change it? If your financial, family, personal situation won't allow you to make large immediate changes, what small thing can you change today or in the short term to change the course of your happiness? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Happy Friday friends!