Entries Tagged as 'to edit my life'

A New Chapter

posted on: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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This week is moving week. Did I mention that we were moving? We found a beautiful apartment in our favorite neighborhood in Charlotte and spent Monday moving things from the old place. Oh, that old place. Back in 2011 when we first moved here, we took the first house we looked at because we had two weeks to move our lives from Orlando. It was good enough. I always expected that we would move after a year or two, but four years later and we finally made the move. Words can’t describe how happy I am to live in a more walkable neighborhood and to be able to see the Charlotte skyline just steps outside of our new place. It does magical things for my soul, I tell you what.

We actually downsized our square footage by HALF. Yes, half. If I live in a more walkable neighborhood, I don’t need as much space, especially if that space is bright and beautiful. Simplifying our lives is something I have wanted to do for a while, so this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. The amount of STUFF we cleared out blew my mind a bit, but it’s such a relief to be rid of so much.

There are still boxes gathered in our tiny new space and we’re using lawn chairs as furniture because our sofa won’t arrive for another five weeks, but I’m so happy. So, so happy. I feel so much lighter and incredibly inspired already and we’ve only been here for 48 hours.

A new chapter is just beginning, is the long and short of it. The last chapter of our lives felt like it dragged on for a bit too long, you know? Like a television series that should have ended long before it actually did, but forced out a few more to milk it as long as possible and you think, “this show should have ended three seasons ago.” We needed this new chapter more than anyone will ever really understand, more than I even realized, and it has finally arrived.

So, here’s to simplifying, the beginning of new chapters, and empty boxes. Cheers!

Fighting for Creativity

posted on: Thursday, January 29, 2015

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Lately, I’ve been allowing myself to create more. I have so often suppressed my desire to make things, create things, because it didn’t feel productive. It makes me cringe to say it now, but at the time, it felt like a waste. My friend Katie Lee once told me that making time to create is productive and I should plan on doing it daily. It wasn’t easy to do, and it took a while, but I’m finally letting myself do just that. I’m trying to leave space for my creativity to emerge, to grow, to develop in a new way. I’m not always happy with the end result, but I’m stretching those muscles I haven’t used so much. I’m sore in the right places and learning what it is to create all over again. I’ve been earnestly seeking the imagination I left back with my elementary school days. I wish I could go back to that Katy and ask her to teach me how to tap into my imagination, the way she so easily did back then. I’d also give her a hug, because being the chubby kid in school is really, really hard.

I really love this quote by Ira Glass that someone reminded me of on Instagram...

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” -Ira Glass

Thank you, Ira. Thank you for putting it into words more perfectly than I ever could have. I will keep fighting.

 

Image Credit: Photography by Alex Mcdonell/Lettering by Noel Shiveley

Va Bene (It’s Good)

posted on: Monday, November 24, 2014

The Girl and The Good in Salerno, Italy

We have just returned from Italy. The last few weeks were all spent working and preparing for our trip, so I’m finally back to writing, alive and well. It was a much-needed blog break, as we had so much to do to make sure this trip was a success and, thankfully, it was.

To be honest about it, words just can’t describe how amazing this past week was. It was far too short for the amount of work we had to do and most days found us exhausted as we worked to fit in as much as we could to help get this business* off the ground. From the outside, it may look like we had a vacation, because social media is just funny that way. I promise you, we worked our tails off.

We spent twelve hour days navigating Italy, working through language barriers, getting lost, and then found, and overwhelmed, but it was pretty magical just the same. Thankfully, Adam’s conversational Italian is still pretty much intact, so getting through the language barriers was much easier and I am currently research language classes to take. We are following big dreams and that’s not always easy, but it often leads to these beautiful adventures that are far out of our comfort zone. The best stuff happens there.

Thankful doesn’t even begin to describe how we’re feeling. My heart is both happier and worse for wear as I was reminded just how deeply I love that country, the city of Salerno, and the people of Italy. Neither of us had been back in six years and we needed this trip to realize what we’re working for. Leaving yesterday wasn’t the easiest, but, It’s also motivating beyond belief as I hope to have many more exhausting weeks in Italy through this business. I have more hope than ever that pursuing this business is exactly what are supposed to be doing. That’s the only to describe how this whole week felt, like everything was perfectly aligned and for that moment, we could see what it is we were working for and it felt like we were exactly where God wanted us to be.

The fact that Thanksgiving is this week, that we get to see family soon, and that a Christmas tree will soon grace us with its presence makes the ache of leaving Italy not quite so…achy.

 

So with that I say, “Ci vediamo dopo, Italy!”

 

*This business is Two Bottles Wine Co. We will bring you Italian wine from small-batch, family-owned wineries in Italy. Because these amazing wines aren’t as well-known, you can get an incredible bottle of wine for an affordable price. We’ll also tell you the story of the wineries, many times from the winemakers themselves, the history (SO MUCH HISTORY) behind the vineyards and share the heart behind the wine you are drinking. There are so many great stories to share and we can’t wait to share them, and this amazing wine, with you. If you are a fan of wine, be sure to visit the website and sign up for the newsletter as we get prepped to launch the business next year!

Bloom

posted on: Tuesday, October 28, 2014

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Last Friday, I noticed that bloom up there. It’s Fall here, of course, and each morning is more crisp than the last with each day leaving more and more leaves on the ground, ready for our feet to crunch them up while walking around the backyard. This tree just seemed to give up and go straight from green to bare, not a shade of gold in sight, most of it did anyway. I was in the backyard and noticed two blooms. While the rest of the tree gave up, these flowers decided to get all gussied up in their spring best for one last moment of beauty before hibernating for the winter. They’re not supposed to bloom passed April, not when the weather is so cold each night, but those buds didn’t care, they didn’t care if it made sense, if the circumstances weren’t ideal, they just bloomed. I can relate.

I’m starting another business while in the middle of starting a business. To many, this would seem crazy. At times, to me, it’s scary as heck, but It’s what I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and knowing me and my personality, this all makes sense. I’m starting a photography business. I’ve always loved photography and have loved capturing moments for friends and family. It’ll also be one of my jobs in the wine business. I’ll be the creative director, photographer and brand manager, so I’m offering those services to others as well. It makes sense to me, despite what others might say and I will bloom, even in the chaos.

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So many times I’ve wanted to retreat and find something safe, sturdy, reliable, but that’s just not me and that’s just not my heart. So many times, I wanted to be like those leaves on the rest of the tree and just give up and do what I’m supposed to do.

I recently read this interview with Lauren Scruggs (who is amazing, by the way), and this part of the Q+A really stuck out to me:

How has your faith played a role in your journey as an entrepreneur?

I have often hesitated to move forward in starting my own business because in my human vision, it looked like safer opportunities were surrounding me. I have learned to trust in the clarity the Lord has brought me as I walk into the unknown. Risks for me are just big steps of faith that reveal the Lord’s faithfulness and augment personal growth and purpose.”

God keeps leading me, leading us into the unknown and into this crazy adventure. I find myself often looking over at Adam and saying, “I love this life we have together”. It’s not easy at all. We aren’t wealthy by America’s definition and we’re saving every drop we can to make our dreams work. To be honest, some of our main goals and dreams don’t actually fit the budget, but this is us trusting in faith and walking through whatever doors He chooses to open. It’s a beautiful thing and requires complete dependence on God. Our time in this world is too short to not go for dreams both big and small. I must say, I am more than ready for the adventure.