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Thursday, January 3, 2013 | Personal
Happy 2013 :)
The anthem of Alicia Key's "Girl On Fire" is blaring through the air as I sit here munching on the crunchiest most delicious cherries I've had in summers past, and I can't help but notice how fitting it is to hear it at this time of year. For the past few years, it has felt like a constant 12-month cycle of growing pains. Constantly progressing and better than the last 12 months, but still not without a tenacious wave of sweat, tears, and very very hard work. That's not to say this year hasn't been a year full of hard work. Believe me it has. But sitting at the end of 2012, I am a girl who is finally looking at the face of 2013 with great hope and excitement. Not because I know what it will hold, in fact, 2013 is as ambiguous as any other year has been. But instead, the hope and excitement is because, I feel the most rooted and grounded as I have ever been in terms of the things that matter in life.
When I started this foray into this life behind the camera, I did nothing but chased my dreams relentlessly. Becasue thats what people told me to do. However no one ever tells you the great cost it comes at, and the things you have to sacrifice....That came at a great price of which my friends, family, my husband, and my own personal wellbeing bore very dearly. I have since learned that success to me isn't business wealth or fame... but it is happiness. And happiness I've learned is putting people in my life first, and that everything will work out around it :) It has probably been a 5 year lesson in the making, but God has gotten me through and I'm so glad. I am content in my marriage and we are about to celebrate our 5th year anniversary (more reflections about love and marriage when that time comes a little bit closer), I finally have time to reflect and have time to relate to God which does wonders for my soul and my sanity, I am now present at MOST (still not all... boo, but Im working on it) important events in my loved ones' lives, I have been able to see more unseen parts of the world with my husband, I have regular time to exercise and stay fit, I am able to get my much needed 8-9 hours of sleep a day, and by God's grace despite this rather big change in lifestyle, the great Man upstairs has provided abundantly in terms of work this year... so much so that my to-blog list has officially become longer than my to do list. Never thought that would even be possible. HAHA.
Anyway... in line with my annual tradition of summing up the year in one word, I'm naming my 2012 to be 'settled'. For those that know me personally, they would be surprised to hear it, considering how busy I've been with my job, but this is the most content and rounded I've felt in 5 years (hopefully even more so in 2013! :D ), and I can't thank God more for that. It makes me a better person on the inside, and in turn a better photographer on the outside. My eyes are filled with much excitement for 2013 because I know that I've put the most important things in my life where they should be... and everything else that is in the unwritten book? well... I am well aware that nothing is ever permanent... not even when we think we have worked it all out... but I trust my AMAZING God to work out in His own always-wonderful ways to shepherd us forward to the right pastures :)
To everyone who has been part of my 2012... thank you. To my BEAUTIFUL brides - your faces are what have MADE JSP...you have no idea how grateful I am that you choose ME. From the bottom of my heart, JSP owes you its past present and future. To our AMAZING fans old and new, (all almost-25,000 of you according to facebook!!) you make me smile EVERYDAY with your blessings, warm words, and support. Please know that I read every comment, see every like, and none of it goes unnoticed I promise..Without you, we wouldn't be here today.... .it is all your encouragement that brings JSP to life, and we are nothing but better because of you. Thank you for taking me all over the world whether its through a shoot, our name in passing conversation, or even just liking our photos on your mobile phone screens while you're on the train home. I love you all :)
Thank you to the friends, brothers and sisters, and my family who gave my good counsel and called it as you saw it in truth when I needed it, and loved me in my most difficult of moments this year. You constantly teach me about humility, real love, patience, and grace. I am a better person every year because of your footprints in my life.
And to my husband for unconditionally loving despite EVERYTHING. To be able to say I love you more today than the whole of last year makes my heart so full. Only you and God will understand the weight of those words. I keep praying that our Lord will continue to work in us and through us, to be more like Him, so that we are not only better able to love each other, but those around us. I love you to the moon and back.
To end... I know everyone has been doing these photo collages and photo summaries, but in all honesty, I'll save all those wonderful frames for future blog posts. Instead, I'm going to leave you with my favourite memory in 2012. And that was... sitting on the rooftop of a restaurant in Santorini, that had the most amazing food, with ju, and watching the sun go down. It was truly a special moment to enjoy God's blessing of wonderful food, wonderful company, and his beautiful creation all in one. This was the view from the rooftop we sat on that night.
Happy 2013 everyone. I hope the new year ushers in hope, love, and blesses you further along in the dreams you hold on to.