When I started this blog, I had time. My husband was an undergrad and worked nights on campus. My kiddos went right to bed at 8pm, and I would stay up and search the internet. One day not long into my journey as a photographer, I decided it would be really fun to start a blog of my own and document my process as I built my business. And it was fun. In fact, it was more than fun. Photography was my passion. Learning and absorbing it all was my addiction, and sharing was my purpose! I simply couldn’t get enough.
But along the way, some things changed. This absolutely crazy thing happened since that very first post I wrote while sitting in our tiny little apartment on the North Shore of Hawaii. People started reading it. Now remember, I started this blog because I was building my own business. That’s not where I was, but it’s where I wanted to be, and I was just sharing what I learned. A lot of things changed; we moved from Hawaii to Oregon, my husband began grad school, my kids got bigger, my posts got more frequent, and as my photography and my business model improved, I became busier and busier. All the while I wanted (so desperately) to be everything and do everything … and not just mediocre but with sparkle. I wanted to be it all, and why the heck not? Martha can do it. So I set out to…
Be a great mommy, be a good wife, make dinners (preferably complete with a pan sauce and garnish), do laundry, have clean bathrooms, put makeup on and look together before noon, volunteer, take great pictures, have incredible clients, make great sales, write 5 posts a week for this blog, catch people’s interest enough to comment on said posts (and never admit that I equate comments to my blog self-esteem), and then of course, I want to be a good Christian who is heavily involved in my church and always ready to offer a helping hand.
Now let me break the reality of it down for you…
You have heard me say it before. I’m a broken record and I know it, but there — just — wasn’t –enough –hours in the day. So I manufactured more hours in the day, because I’m someone who does not handle failure very well. I was determined to be it all, and for me “some” is not all and was not going to suffice for my personal expectations. I stopped sleeping, hired someone to clean house, and decided I needed an assistant. When I first hired her, one of my honest feelings was concern. I was concerned that she would see real parts of me, ugly parts of me, and anything she once admired would be ruined.
Even with all of this, I went to bed on average at about 5am because literally my head hit the key board and woke up at 7:30am. Even though I had someone clean the house once a week and hired a virtual assistant, I still couldn’t seem to catch my breath. I still couldn’t find time to sleep, and I had to schedule in time with my incredible man. I hated where I was and how I felt, but I didn’t know how to change it.
Because. I. Wanted. It. All. I wanted to be everything for everyone… And yet despite such seemingly noble aspirations, all I could honestly say is that I felt like a failure, and it was bleeding into every aspect of my life.
I know. It’s an ugly truth.
And I hope I didn’t just ruin all the nice things you may have thought of me five minutes ago, but the honest truth is that I was a mess on almost a daily basis.
When you try to be everything, you begin to fail at anything.
There I stood as a girl who really wanted to be something. A driven girl who worked as hard as she could. Yet I couldn’t figure out how to keep it in balance so that I could enjoy what I actually was accomplishing.
Every day I worked at changing it. The thing is this… I didn’t get to that place of total overwhelm and exhaustion all at once, and I wasn’t going to get out of it overnight either. Every single day, I had to think about it. I had to retrain myself until new positive habits replaced the parts of me that (if I being completely honest) I hated about myself.
We have one life. All the perceived awesomeness in the world will never compensate for shattered hearts behind closed doors. Build a life that makes you happy, not one that just looks amazing… and just maybe, you’ll get to be the inspiration that someone else needs in order to be rescued from their own comparison funk.