Goals. I have something to say about goals…or the way we are taught to approach goals. There is this mentality that once you set a goal, you do everything in your power to achieve that goal. And if you don’t, you are lazy…unmotivated…lack drive…etc. I am not buying into that. I believe that our goals can change, and for no better reason than because life changes.
For example, I had a baby. A whole lot changed (and not just stretch marks and bra size). My vision of the future has changed, my desires for the present have shifted, and my perception of the past is not the same. Some of the goals that I had before pregnancy (and even the ones during pregnancy!) don’t fit me anymore. AND THAT IS OK! The biggest example of this is Reece and Rose photography. I declared that I would be up and running my own photography business in 2019. Pre-pregnant Britney was all about that. I applied for a job with a local photographer. I invested in photography education. I took and edited random pictures of my dogs (hint the name) all for the sake of practice. I was taking pictures for friends to help get my work out there. I was set to meet my goal deadline.
Then I got pregnant. And then my precious son was born. An entire lifetime of dreams was thrown out the window. Those dreams didn’t account for Jefferson. Maybe they accounted for the concept of a family and children…but they didn’t know that my big-eyed, gummy grinning baby boy would forever change the blueprint of my heart.
My love for photography didn’t go away. That part of my life is genuine…I enjoy expressing myself creatively. Writing was the original outlet for me, and photography became an extension of that. If I didn’t enjoy photography, I can guarantee you that I wouldn’t spend my weekends with Sharon Elizabeth Photography shooting weddings. (Remember how I said I crave intentionality in my last post? Here is a refresher.) BUT part of my original dream did change. The part that wants to juggle owning and operating my own business.
As selfish as this might sound, I love that Sharon has to handle all of the (what I consider to be) icky parts. She handles the contracts and the questionnaires. She decides who we take on as clients and who is best served by another. She has to deal with what happens when someone hasn’t paid for their session or what happens when someone is unhappy with their pictures. In my life…in this moment…I am so grateful for her talent in running the business side of Sharon Elizabeth Photography in a way that allows me to still participate, learn, and grow. It is such a good fit for me and my family.
Maybe the dream of Reece and Rose Photography was never actually about owning my own business. Maybe that dream was more permission to pursue something I enjoy. If my heart had never ached for more, then I would not have applied for the job with SEP. Perhaps the whole purpose of that dream was to put me on a path toward working with Sharon and her amazing team of women. It wasn’t about accomplishing that particular goal…it was about opening myself up to a happier life that would ultimately better suite me as a person, wife, and mother. And this life that I am living now will hopefully get me closer to the life I envision for my future.
I have been listening to a new group on repeat during my commute. The Highwomen is an all-female group composed of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires. One of the songs off of their self-titled album is called “Crowded Table” and it immediately makes me have a lump in my throat. This song creates such a clear image for me of how I want my future to look. The chorus sings:
I want a house with a crowded table
And a place by the fire for everyone
Let us take on the world while we’re young and able
And bring us back together when the day is done
I imagine a large wooden table, a house that is just two degrees too cold so that you always find yourself in a comfy sweatshirt, people in every corner with a handful of dogs running around, and the type of family chaos that you build memories in the midst of. I want our home – the one that will be planted on acres and surrounded by cows – to be a welcoming place. I want our children to bring their friends over without asking me first because the answer is always yes. I want our families to visit us for a week or two at a time with enough space that they feel comfortable. Right now, I feel like we are working toward that image…and that includes being part of SEP. SEP is such a natural part of my life right now…it feels true to me. Trying to start my own business doesn’t sit the same with me. That idea feels forced, as if I am trying to make that happen because I said I would a year ago. I just won’t do it. I won’t be tricked into thinking that changing my mind is bad. And you know what? I might just change my mind again. Maybe next year I will decide to start my own business. Maybe in five years I will still be with Sharon but have a larger role. Perhaps in ten years I will vow that I hate photography and will never take another picture again.
I can do that, especially and always if it comes from a place of honesty and purpose.