Hello 2010. 10 days late.

It is almost 1am on the night of January 1st, 2010.  I can barely keep my eyes open but for some reason I decided, with a wandering mind and a restless heart, to start a new post for the sake of starting over and feeling REFRESHED. For the sake of something new. For the sake of committing to something. For transparency’s sake. For fun. For discomfort. And also in the spirit of my Making Things Happen Intensive with Lara Casey and Jeff Holt in Destin at the WaterColor Resort just 4 days before Christmas. And four days before I left for a much needed 10 day break to the heart of Cajun Country……..HOME in Franklin, Louisiana where the food never stops, the family never stops, and neither does the noise or the laughter or alcoholic beverages. A hectic, but fun and lively time for me and the children. Allowing them to play for an extended period of time with their cousins and my best friend’s children, making memories was worth the little bit of inconvenience and lack of privacy. Nothing can ever replace those moments with family and friends and I always look forward to the mayhem of the holidays, even though my true inner self craves time away from all of it after a few days.

I didn’t really realize until New Year’s eve (my mind is off kilter. it’s from all the cajun food. i swear.), that this new year has plopped himself right smack down in the middle of my lap, gotten quite comfy, AND he starts a whole entire new decade. A whole new DECADE? 10 whole freaking years have passed y’all!!!  Reflection does not come as easy for me as it used to, what with having two children, running two businesses, and the mysterious and evil autism to boot……did i mention lack of sleep? No wonder the brain that I once had took a hike.  Not sure I can blame the old gal. I would have done the same thing…….BUT, I have a little bit left up there to reflect on not only all of the wonderful and amazing moments that I have been so lucky and blessed to have been a part of, but also the frequent failure, doubt, and bit of regret that has happened or crept up within that same time period.  Every single one of these events, these situations, these moments has helped to shape the person that I am right now, and I am coming to some semblance of acceptance about where I am on my journey.  I have come to the conclusion recently,  that I am a walking breathing oxymoron of sorts. An eclectic, multifaceted mom photographer who hates to cook but loves to eat and drink wine. Well, really more vodka and quite a bit of water too.  I love quiet and exercise and the smell of burning sugar cane. I’m a mom who needs so much more practice just being a mom and who feels so good about what’s living inside of me.  For a long time it’s been hard to reconcile what I THOUGHT a mom should be with what I actually AM……..and that it’s OK to not be like all of the other moms. My mind swirls with nonstop thoughts and ideas about life, relationships, art, my style, my interests, religion……..and I want to find some focus. I want to be deliberate about the changes that I am deciding will happen in 2010 and beyond.  (i sound like Buzz Lightyear. sorry.)

If you follow my blog at all, you’ll see that I recently started doing Fun Fact Friday. It was a way for me to start being a bit more transparent with the rest of the world and a slow process to finding my true inner voice. Not only sharing me with you, but sharing me with me.  Learning more about who I am and learning to enjoy life more by understanding more of my strengths and weaknesses, helping me to create a more deliberate and rich life without letting FEAR take over like so many of us do.

One of the goals I created for this year is to be more transparent and to let go of the fear of what that might bring.  It’s a scary leap of faith, but it’s deliberate.  I want to share so much about my ideas, my art, my businesses, my children, my travels………I want to be open to inviting new people, new places, and new ideas into my life. I want to invite all of my followers along this journey with me.  Look at who you surround yourselves with.  Are you living the life that you want to live?  Why or why not? What does that mean and how will you start taking steps to get to that place, whether it be mental or physical?  I have so much to evaluate in 2010 and I am taking steps….albeit baby ones in some arenas and big nasty giant dinosaur ones in others………to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN in my life. Not just for my portrait and wedding businesses, but in my personal life, my financial life, my spiritual life (which ALL happen to be somewhat of a mess. be transparent. say it with me….), and even in my “how am i gonna change the world even in my little corner” life.  I want to create a life that feels good. That smells good. That taste good. I want all of me to be present. Because you know what? There is only ONE Evelyn. She has only ONE life. And she wants it to be ONE awesomely fantastic journey that she is able to share with the important people in her life now and the important people who just walked in…….

In the spirit of Making Things Happen I thought maybe laying it all out there in the form of goals would be pretty transparent and would hold me accountable, which is what I am looking for……and HECK…isn’t everyone making huge changes?  It’s a NEW DECADE GANG! (insert chuckle.)

1. Rebrand both portrait and wedding businesses to reflect ME in that brand. I’m too much a sucker for yummy design and need to just realize that a logo means nothing if you don’t have a brand and LIVE it. (GAWD…I have A LOT to do)

2.Learn Quick Books.

3. Live authentically and do whatever it takes to do it. That involves being transparent.

4.Decide where I am going to live.

5. Make a  daily schedule and stick to it. I’m talking like….scheduling talk time, text, time, twitter time, edit time, kiddie time……runt to pick up take out time. (cracking myself up again. easily amused at 1 am)

6. Talk with one person each week who infuses me. Scheduling time to build relationships will be the cornerstone of my life this year. There are so many people who want to do the same thing and I will find those people and nourish those relationships.

7. Decide on what parts of my business I will outsource. And then do it.

8. Exercise 5 days per week. Truly, this is one of the most important for me. Phyical exercise makes me happy. Period. Of course feeling skinny in jeans makes me the happiest, but it’s not all about the jeans….heehee.

9. Show my chilren that they come first. Even if it means scheduling time just for that.

10.Start video blogging. (which i did 3 times and they were pretty awesome and real and heartfelt and……without sound. but..i will TRY AGAIN to start adding more of me to this blog via video.)

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11. (11 always gets left out, poor thing! So 11, this is for you)I have a pretty neat and pretty big idea for a Giving Back idea and also a Book idea that I’ve been sitting on for a while. And in 2010, I will no longer sit. I will stand UP and share my ideas with you and everyone else in the hope that my passion for photography, the love I have for my children,  and my amazing relationships will carry me through and support me and my whacked out ideas through something I have dreamt about doing for quite a while now.

Scary?  YES.  Possibly life changing? YES. Making the decision about the things that I WILL and WILL NOT do is the first step to finding my focus. Finding my focus will help to drive that little gnome we call FEAR back into his dark and gloomy cave. Being deliberate in your life can be difficult and I fall prey to that “whatever happens, happens” mantra quite a bit. But after attending the MAKING THINGS HAPPEN Intensive  a few weeks ago, buying the book CRUSH IT and meeting these folks who inspired me beyond belief, I also realize that when I’ve wanted to really make things happen and DECIDED that I would, I did.  It literally comes from my gut. From the bottom of my heart. From my spirit. I’ve learned A LOT about myself and my relationships, my children and my family, my place in the world, and also about my friends in the last decade. Granted, I am no where NEAR the sense of accomplishment, contentment, or peace that I know one day I will experience but am learning so much on this life journey. Surrounding myself with people who infuse me, who are positive about life and in all of the glorious sweetness that it can be, who know what they want and go get it, and who are interesting, open, loving, and giving……….will be part of my life plan. I want to experience more out of my relationships and learn to step out of my comfort zone to the point that I am feeling the FEAR but still deciding to give, move forward, and ACT.

I truly have never wanted for more in the way of unconditional love because of the people in my life.  One of the many things that Jeff and Lara talked about at Making Things Happen was failing, and failing often. Heck y’all………..if a girl’s gotta fail to make progress then I’m on my way to some pretty lofty things, ya hear!!  Failure I am continually good at, but laughter, friendship, and motherhood keeps me whole, sane, humble, and pretty dang happy. Ok, if  I’m going to at least climb the first rung on the ladder of transparency……..then motherhood might get left out of the SANE part. In fact, it probably does just the opposite which would be INSANE.  But no doubt, it keeps me HUMBLE.

So many changes to take place in 2010……that it’s a little overwhelming in both good and not so good ways.  The opportunities that await me in the next year and beyond I know are limitless. And they are for you guys too. Learning to love unconditionally, to forgive, to let go, to commit, to be determined, to work hard, to start anew, to listen, to be interested, to FACE THE FEAR………despite my tiny aversion to the hype and lofty resolutions, I do love the feeling of tackling a fresh start. Whether it’s physical or not. It’s just like another chance to make things right. To make things feel good. To find your voice again. To learn more about you and the people around you with a renewed spirit.  To laugh at myself. To wonder what the hell I was thinking. To get rid of STUFF both mental and otherwise…… to rid myself of the people who suck the life out of me…whether they mean to or not.  And to remember the past year in the lives of my two precious babies. Who, I will admit…..are just no longer babies.

Speaking of my babies….I need to say this to you both:   Lily and Laws,

I have never had better teachers than the two of you. You make me stronger and better.  You have the faces of angels. When I look at you, I think I can see heaven sometimes. Other times, heaven is the furthest thing I see, but that’s usually when it’s 4 am or when your little bodies are too tired or hungry or something that you don’t have the words for and you whine or scream one too many times…….and I become a beast.  I’m sorry for being that beast sometimes.  The sacrifices that you both have had to make at such early ages are big ones……just for me. I know it may seem sometimes like my work comes first, but it doesn’t.  You two are the reason I hunker down and go crazy and wanna change the world…….in the ADHD sort of way that I know Lily, drives you crazy.  I want you to be proud of me. No matter who is reading or looking or participating…….YOU matter most. As the next decade begins and we all have to face the teenage years together with estrogen and autism…….I just want you to know how pure my love is for you. Before we move into the next big phase of life for you both, I want to say that I will be so far from perfect just like I’ve always been…..but I will TRY to do better. I will try to love you both in the ways that you need to be loved.  I hope that when you are 15 and 18….well, let’s just think good thoughts together ok?  15 and 18 kinda have me feeling woozy right about now.

Good Night my friends….new and old.  Elise and Daryl, my time with you is never taken for granted. Our friendship means so much to me and my heart always just feels at home when we are together. Thank you for spending my birthday weekend with me. It definitely made turning 34 a whole lot sweeter. I wish all the time that we were able

Let me always be a student………..a listener, a giver, and a lover of all things good!  This is my wish to you from me.  Open yourselves up with me in this New Year. Be open to life. Be deliberate,  be giving, and listen.  There is always something or SOMEONE to learn from. I have been absent from this blog for two month for quite a few reasons but will chalk those reasons up as excuses…….and excuses won’t live in 2010 will they? Thank you Lara, Jeff, Emily, Gina, Amy, Katie, Kyle, Valerie.., Ashley, Candice…..allof you guys….and even the ones that I did not have the chance to get to talk with……..meeting you all was fun and uplifting and refreshing. You helped me to start a new decade with more passion and drive than I’ve known in a while. Just knowing that there are others in our industry as passionate as I am about my work is so freakin’ COOL and I look forward to getting to know all of you on a more personal level in 2010 and beyond….there goes the Buzz Lightyear routine again.

show hide 7 comments

Mark Eric - What an inspiring post! (as for number 4, I think you should move back to Louisiana ;)

Valerie Metrejean - Evelyn, this is amazing! So inspiring to hear. I kept finding myself thinking, I want to help, how can I help? Please let me know if you need anything. Or like you said that weekly conversation that infuses you. Thank you for infusing me this Monday morning!

Katie Martin - So excited for you and love this post! Keep it real baby!

Alexandra - Wow, what an inspiring post! Each word is so beautiful and honest and you seem so confident and excited for everything that 2010 has to bring. I love all of your resolutions, and many of mine are the exact same. I’m so jealous of everyone who attended the make things happen event, and reading from each of you inspires me SO much! Thanks for this post, for opening up and for being more transparent. I can’t wait to see what the future brings. Good luck with everything, Alex

Lauren @ Every Last Detail - This is so inspiring! I love your list and how up front you are! I too am focusing on being more transparent and letting more of myself show through in things that I do! Life is too short to hold yourself back! :)

Emily Ley - Evelyn, you, my friend, inspire the heck out of me. This post had me laughing and tearing up all at the same time. I feel like I will be in your shoes one day – with little ones who spark the biggest things in me and a passion that overwhelms. I love how comfortable you are feeling in your own skin. I admire that so much. I hope you’ll keep in touch and that we can get coffee (or bushwackers???) when I’m back home in Pensacola – industry friends (and life friends) like you make the world go round. All the best, Emily

WHAT IS MTH2010? + THE 1ST CLASS SCHOLARSHIP + WE’RE LIVE! « Lara Casey - [...] thanks to the First Class who set the standard.  Watching what has happened since the first intensive in Watercolor has been mind-boggling. The "First Class" has developed an incredible spirit of [...]

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