“The best adventures are the ones that we are the most uncertain about. The unknown can be a terrifying thing, but to me it’s also one of the most exciting.” – Sarah Murphy
This post has been quite a while in the making, but also one of the hardest and most nerve-wracking to start, so I’ve kept putting it off. I’m writing this because I’ve learned so much about myself over the last 4 or 5 years, and one of the biggest and best things I’ve learned is that life begins outside of one’s comfort zone. When I was dealing with a troubled marriage that was going nowhere fast, I had to face the fears of what I thought would be letting my family and friends (and myself) down by walking away from it. But I quickly learned I should never feel “stuck” with a certain life, and if I want to be happy, I need to make things happen no matter how scary of a leap they may seem.
So after surviving such a unnerving experience to become just “me” again, and not one part of a pair, and realizing “what the heck took me so long to venture towards happier days?!”, I decided to take another leap. I was not happy at all with my current career path. I felt I had nothing to grow towards in the fitness industry. My photography business was taking off, but whoa….leaving a steady income with amazing benefits was also scary as heck! But I took a scary leap once, what did I have to lose? So I quit my day job to pursue my passion for photography full-time.
“I’d rather have a life of ‘oh wells’ than a life of ‘what ifs’.”
The last 3 years of being able to do my passion full-time have been amazing. I’ve had more time to meet wonderful clients (aka, friends). I have flexibility with my schedule to meet friends/family up randomly for a breakfast or lunch date. While I may not get “paid time off”, I’ve been able to meet new friends all over the world and plan amazing excursions to go visit them. It’s been utterly amazing. But I’ve started to realize there’s still more I want to experience with life. And I think that may need to happen outside of northeast Ohio. As much as I love Cleveland and the wonderful family and friends I have here, I’ve always wanted to try living elsewhere. I almost ventured to Raleigh after I graduated college, but chose to stay in Ohio to be close by to my family and then boyfriend. I got pretty close to doing an interview for a corporate fitness job in Thousand Oaks, California back in 2008, but the pay didn’t match the cost of living out that way, so I passed on it. I’ve continued though to have that strong desire to experience living life in another part of the country (or even world!) But how can I do that without a ‘guaranteed’ job? And that can be hella scary to think about moving somewhere completely different all.by.myself. But if I wait until I’m ready, I’d probably be waiting the rest of my life.
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs
So with that, I have decided that now is my time to take that risk and make the big move. I’ve been saving my pennies for some time now, and I’m finally ready to let everyone know that as of November 1st, 2014, I will be moving myself and my business south to the Saint Petersburg, Florida area. (I know, I know, I am leaving just in time to miss Lebron James bringing his talents back north to Cleveland…oh, darn! Haha). I’m nervous, but I’m also SUPER excited to be starting this next chapter. I’m thankful to have a great friend, and a few newer friends, in this area, that I hope will make my transition go smoothly. And for all of my clients, friends and family in Cleveland…I do plan to be be back for sure in March and June for some weddings, and I’m sure I’ll have some additional trips planned and would LOVE to do some sessions while I’m in town. My schedule is already pretty crammed for my remaining months here, but I will try my best to get in a few more last minute sessions with my long-time clients. And if you do have a session scheduled in September or October, please, please try your best to hold to your session date or give me plenty of advanced notice so I don’t have to turn away someone else who would have loved to have a session that day. I hope that I can continue to keep in touch with all of you that have touched my life and have helped me evolve to the person I am. I look forward to sharing lots of fun photos and stories from the gulf coast of Florida and to all the new people I will be meeting and the adventures I have ahead of me! And because I can’t write a blog post without photos, here’s a few iPhone shots I took while I was out visiting my future home last May. 🙂