I’m not going to claim to be the one who invented the phrase “better late than never”, but with how much I use it, I should at least be getting some sort of royalty payment. I started this blog post 3 months ago - for your viewing pleasure, and my own mental release, here it becomes.
After a monumental year of change, it was only right that 2019 become the downhill track of the rollercoaster, allowing for reflection and growth after the life upheavals that 2018 introduced. Historically, deadlines & setting goals have never been on my list of strengths. That is, until now.
I spent a lot of time prior to this year deciding mentally what I could and could not do, forgetting to try before I failed. Living in the comfortable spot I was in, taking jobs that were nothing more than a paycheck and catching myself in a rat race I never dreamed of winning, it was time to take a step back. That step back landed me about two hours south west of the Big Apple in the much littler apple, Philadelphia. My life immediately switched focus from keeping up to slowing down.
Getting myself out of that deep hole I had dug for myself opened my mind back to all the things I wanted for years before the clouds set in. I suddenly was able to focus on what I wanted and how I could get it. Taking the active step away from my comfortable position in New York put everything back into perspective. The things I have always longed for but seemed way too far away to achieve now sit at an arm’s reach.
Part of my soul exposure in this post is meant to say that my own enlightenment took putting myself back into the unknown & out of my comfort zone. What you want and dream of isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It’s about taking active steps towards what you want and stop telling yourself all the reasons why it’s not possible. Yes, the rumors are true - you are your own worst enemy.
Last fall, I started my wave of active changes. I wrote a list of goals with an expiration date on it (end of 2019). I stare at that list everyday when I sit down at my desk. Speaking of a desk - I built and organized a productive working space (thank you JoJo, once again) that gives my freelancing-self some semblance of structure that pushes me to get up and put in the work. I decided to finally invest in myself and my skillset by going to my first photo workshop the Photo Rehab. For the first time, I took ownership of my future and where I wanted to steer it. With that new sense of identity as a photographer, I came home with concrete tools to utilize in starting my business. I built the portfolio I had dreamed of (examples of which are included in this post) and launched it into the world with a brand I built from scratch myself. Hot tip: it really does sound more monumental when you write it all down. I got myself a big girl dream with big girl baggage.
This blog post is in some sense, a small introduction to the new brand & business, Dana Jensen Photography. Blogging has never been exactly my “thing” and who knows if it will be. For now this blog represents choices - the choice I’m making to put my own experiences out there and your choice to absorb information and perhaps grow a bit in your own journey. I’m a list maker; soon you’ll start to see my easy lists of how to make concrete, life-changing steps towards the things you want to achieve. They won’t be universal, blanket “how to be happy” type collections, rather simple, tactical action items that worked for me.
It took me 27 years to receive the gift of believing in myself. Everything about my journey has meant something and I wouldn’t change a single thing about what brought me here. I needed that time; I needed all the experiences I welcomed to make me the woman I am today, the woman willing to put all her cards on the table. I love New York, and always will. I miss it some days. Maybe one day I’ll be back and leading the race. For now though, I’m right where I need to be and there is a true beauty in knowing that.