After months of planning, soul searching, doubting and finally embracing my desires, I am leaning into what 2019 has in store for me.
This past year has been all about transitions and growth. Shifting the focus of my photography work from families to weddings, transitioning to a new life on the West Coast after 30 years back East, growing more into my role as a mother and wife, but most importantly really honing in on what "I want to be when I grow up."
Are we ever really grown up?
Oftentimes people talk about life as if it's a journey that we all face, trying to figure out who we really want to be. I still don't know how I did it, but I somehow convinced my husband that the only true way for us to know was to, quite literally, take the journey. We sold everything we had; our house, our tools, even our bakeware. We bought a 32 foot RV, and together with our three kids in car seats sardined ourselves into his truck. It was haywire. We eventually figured out our new normal, and it was glorious, freeing, chaotic, memorable and messy. Bouncing along the US highways with Raffi on repeat, we wondered where on earth we'd be in 3 months... 4 weeks... next week. Hell, most of the time we were taking it day by day. But that was the beauty of it! Anywhere we wanted to go, we could. Financial constraints combined with the luggage of three kids under 4 years in tow, really limits the list. But truthfully, nothing seemed impossible anymore.
What were we thinking?
My husband and I both grew up North of Boston. Cobblestone streets, the smell of cannolis, and the sounds of Fenway Park. Yes, quite literally, heaven. But after college I grew weary of the long winters and the fast-paced work environment. I was subject to daily road rage as everyone grabbed their Dunkin’ coffee during rush hour. In all seriousness, I just needed a change.
The two of us eventually relocated to sunny South Carolina. My husband began working as a fire fighter, and I started my photography business. I certainly got that break I was needing from winter. The 6 years we lived there felt like one long vacation. Almost too long. Everyone loves a good vacation, but well all know that secretly, at the end of it, we're glad to go home. I was waiting for that feeling of being 'home' and it just wasn’t happening. Over those 6 years came not 1, not 2, but 3 little boys into our lives. Suddenly our priorities shifted. School systems. Access to the arts. Diversity. Everything we had been so blessed to grow up with was nowhere in sight. And so we set off, cross-country, to find the perfect place to raise our family.
We were off! 7 months of traveling, learning, visiting friends and family, soaking up the sights and sounds of the US. We grew closer as a family, (how can you not, in 300 sq. feet?) and I felt like we all got that 'break' we were needing from the mundane daily routine of life that we were stuck in. But after 7 months I found myself in the same place again, asking, "What do I want to be doing?" Being able to be with my family full-time was glorious, yes, but not truly fulfilling. I love being a mom, but I also love being me. I'm forever learning how to balance the two. Some people could travel forever, admittedly I’m one of them, but ever-present in the back of my mind was knowing that my soon-to-be 5 year old would need to start school next fall. My husband and I are both entrepreneurs at heart and were itching to get ourselves into something new again. A new project. A new routine. And then we found it.
For weeks we traveled up route 101 through California, eventually entering Oregon. We fell in love. The Pacific Northwest is second-to-none! From the vast wilderness, the high mountains, the rugged coast, and everything in between, it’s a photographer’s dream. We made our way to up Portland and found the culture we so desperately missed in the South. Driving 30 minutes North East we found the small town of Camas, WA, and the school system we were looking for. Among dozens of homes priced out of our budget we found just one affordable fixer-upper. Our new project.
And that was that! Just as quickly as we ripped up our roots, we set them down again.
This time, for good. Now my husband works full-time in construction and my kids are loving the various small town activities that seem to happen weekly. The photography scene in Portland has instilled in me a new eagerness and burst of creativity that I cannot wait to bring to my brand.
So, if you're a bride and looking to be a part of this story while making your own, let's make some magic happen. I am new and fresh to the area, meaning 2019 is wide open for me.
Let's do this!