On Being Twenty, Running a Business, and Dreaming

This last Tuesday, I celebrated my twentieth birthday.

I ate sushi and got a tattoo and hung out with junior high students as part of my summer internship at Grace City Church and ate cake. I also spent some time working on my business.

And yes, sometimes I do step back and go, "HOLY GUACAMOLE! I AM ONLY TWENTY AND HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS." It's actually a really common occurrence. And to be honest, some days I say that phrase in excitement, but sometimes I say it in a panic. It's a bit crazy to be where I am. Despite the headaches of taxes and bookkeeping and planning out my calendar months in advance, I am so fortunate to be in this place.

 Yesterday was my day off and I spent it all locked up in an office editing weddings. While doing so, I was listening to the podcast of Andria Lindquist and hearing her talk about her start in photography. She started when she was 22 traveling around Europe with a Canon Rebel. And she came back to Seattle and has since become a top name photographer in about five years.

She didn't touch a camera until she was several years older than I am.

And for me, that's actually really comforting. 

It's comforting knowing that I'm still growing. I'm still learning. I'm still young. Which sounds obvious, but as a horrible perfectionistic idealist, I put pressure on myself to have it all figured out. The truth is, while I am competent in my work, I still have a lot of life to keep getting better. I want to constantly be pushing myself to the next level. One step farther. One bit further. 

So what's next? 

In two weeks I fly out to LA to enjoy a mini vacation. Then, I return back to Fargo to the absolute beautiful chaos of wedding season + senior season + engagement season. Oh, and I'm going to also be a full time Social Work student at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Despite how crazy it may sounds, my goal for this next year and season in my life is to actually slow down.

I want to take care of my clients.

I want to take care of my roommates + friends.

I want to take care of my family. 

I want to take care of my education

I want to take care of myself. 

The goal is to let up on some of the pressure and learn how to just live better. How to work hard, but not be so stressed that it's counter productive. How to eat healthy and work out and be able to not look like a dork while doing yoga. How to enjoy the people around me and love them well. How to be more creative and grow as an artist. And I sort of want to enjoy being young and crazy and in my early twenties.

 So the long term "plan" is to finish college at the end of next summer. I'm currently booking weddings for 2016 up until September. There will hopefully be a wild adventure in the missions/nonprofit/travel world on the horizon for fall 2016. After that? We will see. I love photography and I love missions. How they going to work out logistically is still up in the air, but I do know one thing: it's going to be a whole lot of fun and hard work. 

Plus, I'm only 20. There's plenty of time. 

All photos taken by my second shooter, Fate.