I knew when I began transitioning my brand to focus around my photography that I was going to take a social media hit or two. I also knew that birthing a business would require focus – a confinement, some isolation, indescribable growth. But even knowing that, I was unprepared for how it would hurt. Change always exacts a price.
I’ve spent my whole life moving. The longest I stayed in any one place was 8 years – and I spent that time in seven different homes. Every move came with an exquisite sense of pain mingled with expectation. Every new place gave me room to become more myself than I had been in the last.
But this move I’ve been making from brokenhearted God-rambling to a focused, real-life career has been the hardest move I’ve ever made. Perhaps it’s because the changes are happening inside me this time.
I am more me than I’ve ever been. I no longer need to write me out to justify myself or what I believe. The depth of me in my work now is more than I believed possible. I approach life differently now, engage with people differently. I’m stronger, more confident.
But I’m scareder too. And if I’m gonna be really honest? I’m lonely.
I’m almost embarrassed to be writing this post, but it’s hard to say I’m living real life if all I reveal is the glamour of it.
I am not famous. I’m a very little fish in a Very Big Pond. People aren’t yet beating down the door to have me take their picture, no matter what it LOOKS like here. They aren’t yet regularly pinning my work to Pinterest. Photo posts are the easiest posts to read online, but most of my readers don’t comment. And it’s not that I don’t understand. In a world inundated with visual stimulation, even I don’t take the time to fully appreciate others’ work.
It feels like a waiting, as if I’m a new face in a new town. Relationships come slowly after moves. In a way, leaving my old niche has made me more open to new and deep relationships – the kind where there is a mutuality, an ability to sit and be with someone, understanding that leaves room for challenge that leads to growth. So I invest close to home, close to my heart – in my neighbors, my clients, my family, in others who reach for my heart with their own.
Hebrews says that anyone who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He gives to those who diligently seek Him. It has taken me 30 years to believe that second part, as if God’s goodness was a fluke, as if seeking Him was meant only to bring hope with pain, when He is Love itself, when love desires to bring joy to the loved.
The life I built to survive my pain falling away – and I. Don’t. Know. What. Comes. Next. But that’s what walking out on faith looks like. That is the exhilaration of being alive and opening once-closed arms out to embrace a whole world God wants to give to me.
Real life is pain, with joy. People change and grow apart. Life moves on. But if we don’t shut down to survive the passage of time, if we keep our hearts open, we encounter eternity, even here.