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One Day: Today is that day.

2.22.2013



As you might know, back in August I took a "Leap of Faith". I remember feeling on top of the world, and it could not have came at a better time considering what was going on in my life at the time. That leap of faith was quitting my full-time 8-5 office job, transitioning into a part time position for another company, AND working part time for my photography business. That meant taking a huge pay cut, saying goodbye to my future 401K,  and losing all of my health/dental insurance for the time being. As crazy as that decision was,  it was also a HUGE step in the right direction to achieve my dreams.  Was it scary? Yes. Was it hard? YES. Was it worth it? Yes. Rational? Depends on who you ask. Was it a HUGE adjustment for me and my husband? Chyeahhh. Were there days and nights where I thought, "WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING!?" Oh yeah. Were there tears and doubts and times where I wanted to just give up because finances started to attack us? Oh my goodness gracious, YES. Were there times where I got down and wanted to give up? I'd be lying if I said no!

However, what was the hardest part was always feeling bogged down with MY emotions,  MY doubts,  MY problems, MY TIME, and that little voice in the back of my head that questioned what I was doing with my dreams. Managing my attention and hard efforts between two jobs was really hard, and at the end of the day, my dreams were still on hold. Things were SO MUCH BETTER than they were when I had my 8-5 job, and the part time job has been a HUGE blessing in so many ways. However, I started to notice how I would let the smallest things get so stressful that I constantly felt like I was losing sight of why I took the leap of faith in the first place. 

I knew that one day I'd eventually have one job and I knew that I wanted to be full-time one day, but there were so many reasons that held me back from letting myself get to this point. I started to let my dreams and my business go idle. I started finding myself exhausted again, and not being fair to my future, my family, or my clients. So I started to soul search for myself again. I knew I needed to change my perspective and look for guidance in the right areas.

After many long discussions, an endless amount of prayers, guidance, advice, and just common sense, I started feeling challenged as a photographer. I haven't been able to fully devote all of my attention and give 100% into me or my business.  If this was my long term goal, and dream, WHY was I not just going for it? Really, really going for it. 

I had a dear friend and accountability partner once ask me, "Shalyn, why are you holding yourself back? Because you want to make everyone else happy? What about you? What about Drew?  You are always putting everything and everyone else's best interests before YOU and what is happening because of this? YOU and YOUR dreams are being put on hold. Is this the life you really want for yourself?"

Talk about a wake-up call and snap back into reality. 

When it comes down to it, I think that there are two basic human emotions that are the driving force behind each thought, each daily inspiration and that rare but pivotal new-chapter, and life-changing decision. Those things are fear and love. 
The funny thing, however, is that they are intertwining forces.  BUT in order to feel passionately about something, fear and love must coexist. 




In our current world where stimulated ideas, new opportunities and innovative minds are so openly welcomed (thank you, social media), oftentimes the biggest thing standing in the way IS ourselves. Granted, other things contribute to us holding back, no doubt, but it's up to US to make those changes, make those sacrifices, and make it happen by waking up that dormant state of mind. Being a photographer today has become more than what it used to be. It's competitive. It's cut-throat. It's intimidating as all get out. The market is super over-saturated with passionate and mega-talented people. There is always going to be someone better than you. But that is okay! :) I always hope that one day I will fit in, somewhere, somehow and I hope it's in a good place with good hearted, genuine people who want to help, support, and encourage one another every step of the way. As much as these things could hold back anyone, I know that I can't let it. I just can't. I've had a lot of incredibly eye opening moments this year and it's made me start reconsidering my life, my relationships, my actions, my backbone and my business plan to ONE DAY be a full-time photographer.

How was I going to be a successful business owner if I still continued to spread myself too thin? How was I going to make the experience that I'm providing to my sweet and supportive clients BETTER? I owe it to them more than anything right? I need to show them I appreciate them more than they could ever imagine. 

Thankfully, I realize/realized that I was stalled on the side of the road of that path I started to take. I found a lot of distractions along the way and I have been holding back because of a handful of super stupid adulthood roadblocks and speed-bumps. Guess what though y'all? That's life. The roadblocks will always find a way to stop me. The speed-bumps will always be there to slow me down. It's how I get past them is what matters and the decisions that I make to continue my journey. The key to figuring out what I was going to DO to fix it, was to piece together this puzzle of thoughts, listen to my gut, and ANSWER it with ACTIONS. 

So, here is my announcement after all of these long winded thoughts of mine. I'm putting my dreams into REAL action. Full force. With the best of intentions. With a full, faithful, and happy heart. 

Today I declare today: "ONE DAY."

TODAY,  February 22nd, 2013, is the day that I am declaring myself as a FULL-TIME Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer. I AM SELF-EMPLOYED. I AM SELF-EMPLOYED. I. AMMMM. SELFFFFF. EMPLOYEEDDDDD!!!!!!!

Insert awkward happy poses....NOW!


WHOLY CRAP Batman. Do you know good it feels to type that? So, so good.  Like, better than an ice-cream sundae covered in sour patch kids good. :) 

My heart is sailing.

Am I ready? YES. Is this the time? YES. Am I scared? OH yes. Am I afraid of failure? You betcha! Am I financially sound? Heck no. Is life too short? Most definitely. Am I completely 100% outside of my comfort zone? YESSSS!

It's time I start focusing ALL of my time and ALL of my energy to my dreams, hopes and aspirations. It's no longer a leap of faith. It's a full fledged JUMP AND DIVE into the deep, dark sea of the unknown. There are going to be sharks waiting to gobble me up. There are going to be cold nights and a whole lot of swimming in troubled waters. But I'm hoping, and I'm praying harder than you can believe that I am holding on to Faith that I'll be surfing the waves one day and making my way to the shore. That, or I'll just be in amazing shape from swimming so far! (I'm cool with that too) ;) Drowning just can't be an option for me. 

Y'all. I am human. I'm young. OH, and I am a girl. I am destined to have worries and doubts. I'm destined to be judged. I'm destined to care about the small things that don't matter because that's just what girls do sometimes. I'm destined to make mistakes. When Drew and I were forced to face reality last week and make a decision, I sat there and cried. But then I stopped being sad and scared and decided to get HAPPY! I was so exhilarated with crazy emotions.  It was an overwhelming couple of days of fear and ambitions colliding with each other over and over again. I literally sat there with worry, and huge glassy eyeballs that had "OMG I'm about to pee my pants!" written all over them. Are we really going to do this???




HECK YES WE ARE! :) 

We prayed long and hard about it and made a decision. The hardest part was actually MAKING that decision. Now that the decision is made, I'm ready to own it and rock it out. The craziest part of it all was that God answered a long time prayer of ours last week too. In the midst of all the confusion, and what-if's, Drew got a call from the State of Texas offering him a position.

 Drew has been job hunting for a long time, and God finally provided. He's been so frustrated, and so exhausted from applying and applying and never hearing back. It's been challenging trying to watch someone you love so much get so down and feel so defeated and then coming home from a job that drained him in every way possible. He reached the end of his rope that had no more room for growth. But finally, he got a nibble, which lead to a haircut :) (!), which lead to a job interview, which then lead to a background check, and the list goes on and on.  Granted with every career switch, there are pros and cons. However, he made the decision to support us as a family and chose to embrace CHANGE with me. He made the decision to work for a company that had a career path and chance for growth. Knowing that was reassuring for both of us. Life is about the struggle and that we get through it together as a team. I seriously have the best partner in life. I can't thank God enough for this gift of a lifetime.




To say last week was hard is an complete understatement. Big decisions were made. Prayers were answered. It's now time to make the best of it and do the best we can. YAY for changes. YAY for new jobs and pursuing our dreams! :) Let's pop a little bubbly shall we? The glass is half full today friends. I give you permission to booty dance it up! :) 

IF it doesn't work out, because there is always an IF and always someone to see the glass half empty... I like to look at it like this: Atleast I tried. I was recently asked this question: "If you knew that you were going to fail, would you still go for it?" I wanted to say yes, and then I found myself thinking, "Well, no...because if I already knew the end result, I could just save myself the headache and try something else." However, I don't know the answer. I don't know what my future holds, and that's kind of exciting isn't it? It makes the end result worth it, no matter what the outcome. Because for me, life is about the journey; the journey of experience, self discovery, knowledge, and even acquiring a few character-building bumps and scratches along the way.  




Even though I can sit here and honestly say that I'm waist deep in fear and doubt, I strangely enough am also on an exhilerated high of the unknown and all of the possibilities and adventure that awaits us. I'm ready for the journey and I'm ready to try to prove that you can make a living and be happy. You just have to sacrifice  a little  A LOT along the way, and make that first step. 
Life is too short and far too precious to waste time going through the safe motions that distract us from what will really bring us joy.  It can be big, or it can be a small or it can be somewhere in the middle. That is what you have to decide because at the end of it all, we have two life lists: All the things we actually did.  And all the things we wish happened. 

Make that list right now. 

No more Wishing. Do more Doing. 

"The Lord desires each of us to take a leap of faith and believe His Word for the situation that we are facing. Is it financial pressures, strained relationship, job demands, or physical need? Whatever the challenge that seems to be capturing your attention these days, are you willing to release it to the Lord? He longs that you take a leap of faith, believe His Word for the situation, and set your focus back on Him. The Lord is looking for you to overcome the hurdle that is holding you captive and keeping you from His loving arms of grace and peace. Jesus, our redeemer, is the answer to the problem that you face. He will carry you through the difficulty, into victory, as you place your trust in Him. He will catch and carry you every time.

"Do not be afraid or dismayed just take a Leap of Faith. Set your gaze and trust on Jesus today. You can always trust Him to catch you in His arms of Grace!” 

*Thank you Nycia for taking these photos! I had so much fun with you! :)*

post circle 70 comments :

  1. OMG! I'm so so so so so so so so so happy for you Shay!! :) You're such an amazing talent, and I can only imagine what amazing things you're going to do with that talent now that you're giving it your full attention! Hugs and kisses for you on this exciting day!! :)

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  2. Ahhh so happy for you girl!!! I'll be praying for your success :)

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  3. Congrats!!! That is so exciting and I am so happy for you!! These photos are adorable and I love your dress. Have a great weekend!

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing. I sit here reading with tears streaming down my face, knowing these are the words I needed to hear. God is so good. I wish and pray that you have the best of luck, starting your new journey. Again, thank you so much.

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  5. Congratulations, Shay!! I am SO SO happy for you!! You are amazing and such an inspiration to me. :)

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  6. so happy you have NO idea. Its so amazing to hear it just IN YOUR WORDS how happy you are and ready and relieved and just overall EXCITED! this is YOUURR time and this is what ive always envisioned you as being!!

    ahhhhh HAPPY!!

    xoxox

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  7. Congrats!!! That is great news and you are going to love it. You are a great photographer and this will be great for you!!

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  8. Congrats Shay!! This is SO exciting and amazing!! Can't wait to see where this journey takes you!!!

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  9. WooooHoooo! Go Shay! So happy for you & Drew! You're going to kill it as a full time photographer! I just wish I lived in Texas so you could snap my goofy mug :)

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  10. congratulations! so excited for you...what a HUGE step...and these pics are adorable!

    (i'm a new reader, found you through Rhi's blog, and love the positivity in your blog is!) :)

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    1. (woops, ignore that last "is"..and then my sentence makes more sense ;)

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  11. You know how I feel about this. I love you. My heart is just so FULL for you and Drew.

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  12. That's is amazing news!!! Congratulations!!! It's such a liberating feeling isn't it? I wish you all the best in the world. :D

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  13. Yay!! Exciting!!! Congrats!! You will do great!!

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  14. Beautiful post and congrats on following your dreams! I've actually just experienced a similar situation. I'm seven months pregnant and I've just left my job to prepare for the baby and to be a SAHM. I can tell sometimes I'm judged and looked at kinda funny for doing that. What people don't know though is that I'm trying to make something out of my blog, possibly my photography as well and I also teach dancing two evenings a week. A lot of women don't stay home with their babies so I've been getting mixed responses about it. Sometimes it makes me feel a mix of emotions because I don't like the thought that people think I'm being lazy. But it's not about what they think. We're making sacrifices to do this just as you are, and that's just our choice. I've always dreamed of doing this!

    I think what you're doing is amazing. Everyone deserves to LOVE their work and be happy. Good luck with it all! I hope it goes wonderful for you! :)Your pics are always beautiful and I hope you succeed!!! Life is all about being happy! :)

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  15. GOD IS GOOD! I couldnt be happier for anyone else at this time, I always told ya: blessings are on the way. Here they are Shay! I love you SO much, and cant wait to squeeze you one day, because you are amazing and you are meant to do these amazing things. Congratulations!

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  16. Shay, GIRL, you seriously took every thought, worry, emotion, and prayer in my head and wrote it out!! THANK YOU! I can't even explain how much I love this! I am SO proud of you, SO PROUD!! And so beyond excited for you!!! EEEEK!!!
    So much love coming your way :)

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  17. I am so happy and excited and proud of you lady! You are SO talented and deserve so much to follow your dreams! This world has big plans for you, I just know it! CONGRATULATIONS!! xoxo.

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  18. AMAZING!! Jump in that big old pond and catch the big fish! Random analogy but it's true. Can't fear failure if you never try it.

    You'll be AMAZING I can't be happier for you! Your photos are gorgeous I just wish I was still getting married then I could have used you! But don't you worry I'll find another use for you soon!

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  19. I'm a new (or recent) reader and want to say first, Congratulations! And second, thank you for sharing. I've been going through a similar situation as I've been working to start my business, and I continually have so many moments of self-doubt, but at the same time I know that I have to follow my dreams. I have no doubt that your business will be very successful, and I look forward to keeping up with your journey!

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  20. yay!! this is so exciting!! i'm so happy for you and i know you are going to do amazing things!! xoxo

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  21. so, so, so happy for you! you are going to do amazing things! congrats! this is HUGE!!!

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  22. Love this, love you, love your beautiful face, love your leap of faith. Wishing you blessings and wise choices and lucky breaks and good people... you will rock this!!

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  23. Congrats Shay! Way to follow your dreams!

    xo

    http://dashofglamm.blogspot.com/

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  24. SO HAPPY FOR YOU SHAY!!! You are amazing and inspirational. Here's my cheeseball moment, but I think it fits - love this quote from Babe Ruth/the movie A Cinderella Story "Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game." XOXO

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  25. OH MYYYYYYYY! I have chills! I am so happy for you and that the Lord has answered what you've asked of him, cannot wait to follow you while you follow your dreams!!!!!!! You have some amazing talent my dear and you are living it!

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  26. so so happy for you, proud of you, excited for you...and well i just love you and cant wait to hopefully spend more time with you stateside..LOVE YOU..you are going to do AMAZING.

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  27. Such an exciting moment in your life. Congrats to you on making this decision to move forward and follow your heart. Your dreams. Your passions. Seriously, I am so happy to see women doing this....now if I could do the same. Reading your post today really hit home with me. It was like you took the words straight out of my head and heart. I just wish I could make that happen in my own life. I love that your husband fully 100% supports you. Seriously, I feel like I need to go have some bubbly and celebrate you and your amazing decision!! ;) I love your blog. I love reading from your heart. I feel like we have so much in common, our hearts are often in the same struggles with self doubt in following what we love. I just have no other words but congrats and I cannot wait to see where photography takes you. I hope you blog about it all, show us your work. I LOVE the quote Kelsey wrote, "never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.' My mom tells me that often. We cannot let our fears hold us back. You have to live this life for us. To live to it's fullest!!! :)

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  28. So so happy for you friend!!! Congrats! Doing a happy dance for you!!

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  29. Good for you Shay! You are fulfilling your dream and are moving forward with the perfect frame of mind! Go get 'em girl! I once heard a saying that said, when you are having fear about making change, always say to yourself, each and every day, "It's all happening perfectly". I believe in the power of cognitive suggestion. XOXO

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  30. CONGRATS SHAY!!! This is so so SO very exciting! You are going to do amazing, I just know it! Your spirit & spunk is contagious! You've inspired me along the way to not settle for less than what you/I truly want! I can't wait to watch your journey unfold! Congrats again and Happy Friday!!!

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  31. So proud of you sweetness!!! You will love everything about full time. It is so rewarding and fulfilling, especially when doing it all for the Lord :) Can't WAIT to chat more about this on Wednesday!! Love love love!

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  32. I love you and I am SO SO SO SO proud of you! Like Ive never been more proud of you than I am this VERY second!!! XOXOXO I love tou more than you will ever know sweet girl! And I know this is going to be the best decision you ever made (aside from marry that sweet ass of yours)!!! Rock that shit So shay as Chris would call you! hahah! LOVE YOU! Now get in town already so I can slap your ass! XOXO

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  33. Congratulations gorgeous!! So so happy for you. I know that you will be soooooo successful! xo

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  34. So happy for you Shay! So glad to hear you made the leap :) I'm going to do this same leap this spring/summer, and I can't wait! Wishing you two the best of luck!!

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  35. Smiling from ear to ear. This is going to exceed your expectations. Celebrating you & with you today!

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  36. Congrats, this is so exciting and very inspiring :)

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  37. Shay!!! You are so incredibly AMAZING & INSPIRING!!! You definitely have that spirit, personality & heart to follow your dream! I'm so happy for you!!! Super huge congrats to Drew for landing a great job! You guys are so adorable & I always get a kick out of your posts! Tons of love & prayers of happiness, greatness & success for you two!!! You will ROCK this!!! :D

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  38. Okay first of all you are the cutest.. EVER. These pictures put a huge smile on my face. Congrats to you and Drew! You are going to be so amazing and if/when I ever get married I know exactly who is coming to photograph my wedding :)

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  39. Awkward moment: just started crying happy tears in one of my bosses' offices while reading this! Yay for following your dreams! I'm so proud of you and you're such an inspiration to all of us fellow creative types ;) Lots of love from CT!!!!!

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  40. wow shay, you are such an inspiration to me. i have been struggling with getting out there and starting my own business but have let fear (and no free time) stop me. i'm taking this day to stop letting fear hold me back. if it doesn't work out then at least i know i tried. i do have a job that i love doing but it's just not enough sometimes. i look forward to keeping up with the new chapter of your life. thank you so much for being real and posting this. you really have no clue how much it means.

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  41. This is wonderful! I understand that can be scary but with your bubbly spirit, you will rock it! I know you will do a fantastic job and be so thankful that you made this decision!

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  42. YAY! congrats! this is so amazing and scary and exciting! i am trying to start my own business so i know how hard it is. you go girl! :) you kick ass.
    and congrats to drew for getting a good job too! :)

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  43. SOOOOOOO happy for you lover bug!!!!! :) :) :) CANNOT wait to squeeze you soon and tell you as well!!

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  44. CONGRATS!!! You are just beautiful inside and out! Although it seems scary God has a plan for you!! You have the best husband ever and I love that you two work as a TEAM and ONE! I have commented before how beautiful your pictures are and I can't wait to see what is to come! Cheers to YOU!

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  45. Congratulations! That is so exciting and I know you'll be so successful. I love that line, "No more Wishing. Do more Doing." It is exactly what I need in my life right now! I've been talking about starting a blog for years, so I decided to finally make the commitment and do it.

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  46. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you and wish you all of the success and happiness in your new life/career! I can't wait to see what else you have in store for us this year (or to try a sundae topped with sour patch kids).

    xoxo,
    Chelsea & The City

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  47. HALLELUJAH!!!
    SO EXCITED FOR YOU SHAY!
    xx

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  48. so proud and excited for you;
    i cannot wait for the day that i write a very similar post;
    i cannot wait for the day that i can consider myself "good enough" to do this too. so for now i will live vicariously through you and enjoy all your hard work, and maybe fly you out to vegas to take some pics of me and my man.. finally =]]]] love you babe

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  49. Congratulations! :) I'm so happy for you! :)

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  50. I absolutely love you guys and am so very happy for you. Both of you!!!!!!!!

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  51. Oh this is so exciting!!! Good luck in both of your new adventures and can't wait to hear all about it!!!

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  52. Congratulations!! Great to see that you are following your dreams !! Good luck !! xx

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  53. Wow! So exciting! Congratulations and good luck! You will be amazing!

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  54. We are SO in the same boat with all of this life transition stuff, and I am so proud of you. I remember seeing you at the Thursday Therapy this summer right as I was making the leap and you were still full-time working and full-time photographer (make no doubts about it, running a biz no matter how much you're working elsewhere IS full-time)... I remember how you had that look on your face that I knew so well--of being exhausted and pulled in so many directions. So I am happy to see you happy. It's hard, it's scary, it's uncertain, but it's so worth it!!

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  55. Yay you for going after your dreams! I love your photos. I'm sure it will go great! Especially w/God by your side every step of the way. Keep seeking Him through it all. He put that desire in your heart for a reason, I have no doubt He is going to use you & your business for great things! Best of wishes to you!

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  56. Hi,
    I found your blog by chance, while peeking others and I decided to check it out! I’m glad I did it, because I am really delighted with yours. It's beautiful, well structured, interesting… and it has completely got me hooked. I think we're going to get along just fine! ;) I'd like to invite you to meet my space as well and I hope you'll have as much fun as I am having in yours!
    I wish you lots of success
    kisses
    http://cottoncandy-peaches@blogspot.com

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  57. That's so exciting, Shay! I can't wait to see where your business goes from here!

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  58. YAY! Congrats Shay, if I ever make my way to TX, I will be hitting you up to make me look beautiful :)

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  59. Congratulations to BOTH of you!! You both deserve the best and hopefully this is the step in the right direction that will get you there!

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  60. Hurray! How exciting for you and for Drew's new job. I can't wait to see where your life takes you guys!

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  61. I found myself thinking about you this weekend... I am so proud of you! Even though I know such a little part of your life, I completely understand where you're at, and the mix od emotions you must be feeling. Be encouraged- you are amazing at what you do!

    xoxo

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  62. So excited for YOU!!!!! Sending lots of love your way :)

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  63. I finally got to read this!! I'm sorry it took me so long.


    Yes. I cried. Especially when you told us you were in our office :((

    I love you SO much shay and like I've said a MILLION TIMES

    You are one of the MOST amazing people I have ever met.

    No matter what you do you are going ot be amazing, but becuase you are doing something you ABSOLUTELY LOVE, you are going to be BRILLIANT.

    You are so incredibly talented and inspiring. I just love everyhting about you. Thank you for alway being there for me even with the WHOLE WORLD on your shoulders.

    I could totes sit here and give you a MILLION and one plus complitments, I really could. But I really hope you know deep down how many people love you, care deeply for you and are cheering you on!! We all want to see you succeed. We really do! We believe in you and you should do the same :) Love you SO MUCH

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  64. Ehhhh...... Good for you......

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  65. I love these photos, SO pretty! I found your blog through the Tiffany & Co. giveaway and I am so glad I did, I love it and I am now following you!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  66. I'm so excited for you!!! I wish I had the courage you did to just go for it :) You'll do great and how badass is it that you're your own boss!

    *internet high five* yes that's cheesy but girl you deserve it

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  67. Yay! So excited for you! And beautiful pictures too.
    www.shannonheartsblog.com

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  68. Hi Shay -

    I found you through the Tiffany giveaway via Life of Bon, but I'm stickin' around on your blog thanks to this post! It was incredibly insightful to read!

    My parents are paying so much money for me to get to go to this really prestigious university. And don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my school and am so proud of everything I do here. However, I've been thinking very much lately about failure and the like... the classes here are so hard and I struggle through many of them and then have literal panic attacks about failing an assignment or class. And granted that WOULD be very bad - but, because of what? Because I wouldn't be able to have that high-paying corporate job? That's not what I want. I DON'T know what I want to do, but I know that the corporate job is not what's going to make me happy or make me feel motivated.

    Anyway, this is just a lot of gibberish, but I think the point I'm trying to make is that I'm really excited to start learning for the heck of it and because I'm passionate about what I'm trying to get to & not because I'm being confined by what I have to do for a good grade/job/etc.

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  69. Congratulations! These photos are BY FAR some of the cutest I have ever seen :D
    Newest follower here!

    --Allie
    http://lunavida23.blogspot.com/

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