What did I learn this year? How did I grow? What did I do? How did I spend my moments? So many questions that I ask myself-maybe one or two that I actually have an answer to off the top of my head. Without fail, every year I am just amazed at how much can happen in a year. It’s been a really hard but really blessed year. If you had asked me a year ago what the year would look like, I could not have predicted or forecasted this year in the slightest. Time goes so fast but so much life and healing can happen in that amount of time.
This year I was a bridesmaid in two of my dear friend’s weddings. I went to Haiti for the third and fourth time to complete a portrait project and teach a trauma support seminar. I co-founded a non-profit for Haiti. My best friend and I held our very first photography show together in Seattle. I showed my Haiti photography at the Dragonfly and shared my love of Haiti and photography with my community in Portland. I started my own photography business. I started dating and am still dating the most amazing man I’ve ever met. I shot five weddings. I helped shoot a destination wedding in Mexico and rung in the New Year shooting a dear friend’s wedding in Spokane.
Every year, I make the resolution to be brave. Perhaps not the most specific resolution and most of the time if one doesn’t make a specific and achievable goal, it’s just not going to happen. But you know, even with my vague resolution or prayer, I feel a little more brave. Brave in work, brave in relationships, brave in faith. I In those little or big steps toward bravery, I’ve found that it’s worth it. A year ago I would have stayed safely where the risk is minimal or the reward assured and that only takes you so far. I always fall back on the quote, “may you always do what you are afraid to do”. The best things in life are a little scary because there’s risk involved which means it’s worth something. I think back on this year and think of all the amazing experiences and people I would have missed out on if I hadn’t said yes to those opportunities. This year has been rich and full and I am so very thankful for that.
“But in the books again, great joy through love always seemed go hand in hand with frightful pain. Still, he thought, looking out across the meadow, still, the joy would be worth the pain– if indeed, they went together. If there were a choice– and he suspected there was– a choice between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths." (A Severe Mercy)
As I look ahead to next year. I can’t tell you what the year will look like, I was never any good at making a plan anyway, but I can tell you that it will surely be really rich and full, full of both joy and sorrow as our days always are, I just hope that I keep a thankful heart through it all. Here’s to the heights and the depths.