Where to even begin. About a week and a half ago, I sat in the front row of Justin + Mary’s What’s Next Tour and absorbed every word during Mary’s talk. It was exhilarating. It was that little extra umph I’ve been seeking and I dare not look back.

Mary talked a lot about fear. What fear is, what our fears are and how unproductive and silly fear is. Our generation is quite an interesting one. It’s full of entrepreneurs, go-getters, passionate helpers and the list goes on. But it’s also a generation that thrives on the word “busy. Mary said it best in that “We are a ‘But, I generation’” and “We wear busy like a badge of honor. Busy is not successful.”

I’m on the avenue out of being “busy.” Don’t get me wrong, I work hard and will continue to work hard, but “busy” isn’t how I’d like to describe my life 30,40,50 years from now. I want to and will be a photographer that tells stories. Stories that are true, stories that are genuine and stories that are shared. I may be busy in it’s true form, but it will be a busy with purpose, a busy that is productive. I will not be a busy that doesn’t have time for friends, coffee dates, getaways and family time.

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Mary truly had incredible thoughts and advice to share with all of us that day and I’m so glad she did. For me, the most gut-wrenching thing she said hit me like cold water on a snowy day.

“Stop thinking of your dreams as opportunities, but as obligations.”

My parents sacrificed for me. They gave me a college education. They’ve given me a support that has never waned. My husband works full-time and has given me the gift of running my business and pursuing an art and craft, an art and craft that I pour my heart into.

I feel as if I could keep writing and writing about this subject, but I feel as if it’s conversations I want to have with those around me instead of having the computer as a filter. I am growing, and I am learning and I simply want to say that fear will no longer cripple me— In my business or in my life. I will document beautiful love stories and I will constantly pursue my craft so that I will never say my work is “good enough.” I will create photographs that are beautiful, that evoke emotion and tell a story that has to be shared.