There are a few key things that I know now, that I wasn’t consciously aware of over a year ago when I worked a desk job in San Francisco:
I want my life to feel like living, breathing, beautiful art
I want to live on purpose, as opposed to by accident or via following the leader
If I make even just a handful of people feel more whole and beautiful in their skin, I’ve lived my intention
Deep down, subconsciously, I’ve known these things about myself for a long time. But to actually be able to pinpoint, to verbalize those three desires a year ago… I don’t think I had the vocabulary for it. Not only that, but it was beyond my confidence level to truly believe that I could DO those things.
And here I am, a year later, experiencing more beauty and fullness in my life than I could have expected previously. I’ve uncovered those deeply buried needs that I could barely put words to before. Even in the last two weeks, the direction my everyday life has taken is remarkably different. After several long months as a full-time student, I finally graduated this month. I’ve taken and passed my state board exams, officially become a certified Esthetician, started working on shoots as a makeup artist, and begun interviewing for spa jobs. It’s a lot of activity and it’s only going to get more hectic.
Just a few days ago, I had a surreal moment. There I was, standing in a large field of overgrown foliage in Vancouver, WA, holding a light reflector as tall as me as Julie Gee (a local Portland photographer) took stunning photos of a model whose makeup I just did. And I laughed to myself, in that moment, and thought, ‘how the heck did I get here?’ Never would I have guessed that I’d be going on photo shoots with these deeply passionate photographers, doing what I love — creating art and making people feel beautiful — if you’d asked me a year ago. Some of my favorites from our shoot:
I won’t sugar coat it, however. The last two weeks have been full of fears, as well. For one, I’m terrified of running out of the money. The life savings that I’ve lived off of for over a year now, that took me several years of hard work to earn, is dwindling away. I’m scared I won’t get hired by a spa I love, and even more scared that I’ll need financial help from my parents soon.
But, here’s the thing. As hectic and scary as this point in my life is, I know that every choice that has lead me here was worth it. And that I am enough, as I am. And that nothing worthwhile comes easy. It’s a daily effort to pursue a career that pays less and offers far less security than my previous job did; Hell, it’s a daily effort just to eat right, exercise, and fill my mind up with empowering messages. However, what I can tell you with certainty is that the surreal moments and ever-building inner strength that comes from creating a life that mirrors your intentions makes all of the struggle so very worth it.
I wanted my life to resemble art and beauty. And now it does.
What do you really want your life to express about you? What is it that you really want and intend to do, to lead a more fulfilling life? What are your biggest fears, at the moment?
Those are big questions to ask yourself to get to the core of what you want, what’s holding you back, and what you need to do to start living more intentionally. Share your thoughts in the comments below. Want to reach out to me directly? I’ve recently added my contact information to the bottom of this page, and I’d love to hear from you.
With courage, love, and intensity,
Featured photo by Julie Gee Photography. Makeup by Kristen McKee (me!).