Eat, Pray, Love… and a Little Jealousy

Do you ever have one of those nights where you are working very hard to make progress, but after an hour or so, you feel like the to-do list is even longer than when you started? That’s how it is for me tonight. It’s a little discouraging, but on the other hand, I feel so inspired. I am patiently trying to take care of lingering tasks, but my mind is racing a million miles a minute {and I haven’t even had coffee}. I keep thinking of so many improvements to make to my site, my blog, my stationery, my packaging, my brand… I couldn’t even finish this sentence without pausing to scribble down another idea. Let’s just say you will see some changes very soon.

My husband laughs, but I am reading {and really enjoying} Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Sometimes my eyes get hungry to read something beyond a blog or the OMG blurbs from Yahoo {yes, I know I probably shouldn’t have admitted that I read that section religiously}. I love having a fresh book to carry with me while I entertain the fantasy that I will get stuck somewhere where I can spontaneously read five chapters. It rarely happens. I actually hope that the salon will keep me waiting for a minute, my hearts sinks a little bit when they call me back right away. I love getting lost in the tales & wit of a good storyteller. I admire the stamina it must take to write an entire book.

Part of the reason I mention this is because I was a little dumbfounded when I read that there are actually travel agencies that offer an Eat, Pray, Love travel package. I just don’t understand the concept very well. While I am inspired, amused, and slightly jealous of Liz’s journey, I don’t feel it would be quite right to mimic her exact experiences in a tidy, convenient, one-stop-shop itinerary. I think it’s wonderful that her memoir has stirred an interest to visit new countries, but I feel like everyone is on a personal journey. It’s up to us to imagine where our steps will take us, not to just follow blindly where someone else has already paved the way.
Maybe it’s just me, but I always loved the thrill of breaking my own path in fresh snow…

So it’s a little ironic & slightly embarrassing to admit that sometimes I see other photographers or business owners and want to take a one way ticket to “wherever they figured out how to do that.” Seriously. I got to see the first half of Jasmine Star’s Creative Live Broadcast last week and was so inspired by her marketing genius and personal accomplishments. I definitely had a twinge of jealousy {ok, more like “pathetic & blatant green eyed monster”} surface.

When we are watching {or reading about} others on a pedestal, it’s easy to forget the two legs that we are so fortunate to stand on.

Before I can fully reconcile these ideas, I am interrupted twice by a little guy who has stolen my heart this summer. Eight week old Damian usually sleeps well at night, but I wonder if he is waking up to put my thoughts in perspective. I am grateful to be a mama & a wife. I know that this means that what some people may accomplish in one year will take me three or four… or {deep breath} never. But I’ve made peace with that. I know that I can not be everyone’s photographer. I refuse to wear myself too thin or stretch myself in so many projects that I lose substance & originality. I want to create artwork that is a true reflection of my unique point of view & imagination. If I become generic, then I would rather stay home.
Because home, is a really good place to be. ♥

***It’s been great to take some time off for a “maternity leave,” but I’ve actually been quite busy. I’ve photographed four weddings before Damian was seven weeks old and made some very necessary upgrades to my website that will be published soon through Showit software… can’t wait!

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  • alli/hooray - September 1, 2010 - 10:29 am

    It’s so refreshing to see a new post from you in my Reader. Wishing you the best in accomplishing all of your goals (I can relate to how you feel, and I don’t even have kids yet!). I bet you are having a blast with your boys this summer.

  • Andrea - September 1, 2010 - 11:36 pm

    Thank you so much Alli, hopefully I can start posting more regularly! It’s nice to know that someone else can relate, even with having an military family & being married! I saw your post about Eat, Pray, Love… I can’t wait to see the movie & watch the video you posted of Elizabeth!

  • Jasmine* - September 2, 2010 - 8:37 pm

    Can’t wait to see your new website! 😉

  • Andrea - September 2, 2010 - 9:14 pm

    Thank you Jasmine! I am watching the Creative Live videos of the segments I missed… it has been so informative during Q & A’s, but I’ve learned so much just watching you work. Especially with how you work one on one during portraits. Thanks for having the guts to pioneer an online {real} learning experience!

  • Jill - September 6, 2010 - 9:37 am

    Wonderful post! Really spoke to me…

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