Creating Space

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I have been so off my game lately. And there is a very important reason why I've decided to shift things around in my life to better serve myself, my closest friends and family, and of course, my clients.

I want to start out by saying that I am so so thankful for every single person who has poured into me and my business and I am forever thankful for your trust and encouragement and allowing me to capture your precious memories. This privilege is something I do not take lightly and I hope to continue to be a part of your lives, with or without a camera in my hand! 

If you would've talked to me a year ago about how I was feeling about running a photography business full-time, my answer would have been something along the lines of: "I love it! It's so much fun, and I truly enjoy doing it!" and people would respond with: "That's wonderful! It's great to see someone doing something they love!" Here's the thing: I did love it (and I still do!). I love being a part of such exciting events and milestones in you wonderful people's lives, but the truth hiding in those words is that I was slowly wilting beneath all of the editing and hustling my mind and hands were doing what-felt-like 24-7. I was constantly working, always behind my laptop screen, constantly canceling plans to accommodate all of the sessions and weddings I had agreed to, and constantly feeling guilty when I wasn't frantically working. I say all of this not for you to feel bad for me, I brought this on myself and something had to change. More importantly, I had to change.

Last August, I moved to the wonderful city of Pittsburgh and I've been loving it! Of course I miss my beautiful and beloved hometown of Warren, PA every day, but I make sure to visit frequently and it's comforting to know it's a short drive up 79 and that I could make the trip in less than 3 hours. In February, I started working as a Barista at Starbucks and I truly think this has made the biggest impact in my happiness in the short 5 months that I have been working there. Whether it be the new community of coworkers, the regular customers, the steady income, the job itself, or all of the added caffeine (let's be honest, ya girl loves coffee!) to my life, I think it's just what I needed to get me out of my head and my gloomy funk. And for that, I am forever thankful that I had the guts to switch lanes and start rebuilding my life.

My life is still pretty busy - between working at Starbucks, spending time with my boyfriend Nick, family and friends, and photographing weddings, families, and couples. However I've realized that this just may be who I am, and it's time to revel in it. Time to revel in the crazier parts of life because that's usually where the fun and purpose is. 

I'm sure you may be wondering, "are you quitting photography all together?!" and the answer is a big, fat: NO. I have no plans to stop photographing precious memories, I just need to continue to create the time and space to be able to better serve myself and my clients, because that is what is most important. 

Currently, I am writing this blog post from my apartment in Carnegie, PA munching on popcorn and sipping iced coffee. I am enjoying the summer breeze coming in through the window to my left. I have plans to spend time with Nick and friends that I fully intend on following through with and enjoying myself. I know that a more balanced, better serving life is out there for me, and I won't quit until I've found it, no matter how long it takes. Why should you?

To quote my newest favorite podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin"Onward & Upward!"

Thank you for reading and feel free to reach out to me if you have had a similar experience or any words of encouragement!

Much love,

Ashley