Well, I've started taking engagement and family pictures. I'm still very new and unexperienced but I love it and, so far, everyone has come out happy. Thank goodness. My first shoot was this lovely couple that asked me to take their engagements. I was so nervous that I wouldn't be good and that they wouldn't like them that I did everything for free and actually prayed (multiple times) that they would like the pictures I presented them with. Thankfully, they loved them. That couple opened the floodgates and since then I've had multiple people ask me to take photos for them. I will always be grateful to my awesome friends for taking a chance on me, for opening that door.
I have published another article, so that's exciting. It was a small article in a very small local newspaper but still, it's something to add to the resume. I was talking to the editor about what she would like me to write about. At first she asked me to write about myself and all of my "adventures and accomplishments." I don't feel like I've been on any real adventures yet and I certainly don't consider myself very accomplished so I asked if there was anything else she would like me to write on. She asked me to write on the weather...which was ok. Boring. But ok. As I went to write though, I didn't feel a bit of passion for the weather. I can write without passion, but those are never pieces of which I am proud. So I went out on a limb and wrote about my hometown. Why? Because I think, all too often, people of my community take our beautiful utopia for granted. I'm sure that can be said for every community, but we are so blessed here in my safe little town, my little piece of paradise.
Luckily the editor loved it and she published it for me even though it certainly wasn't the weather. I suppose that's another blessing of living in a small town and writing for a small paper: people are a little more flexible.
Here's what I wrote:
A home to come home to. That phrase never made much sense to me...until I moved to Lincoln for college two years ago. Lincoln quickly became a second home. On this last New Year's Eve I moved to Phoenix, AZ and lived there for six months, taking online classes and working as a live-in nanny. At first I was worried that a small town girl from Nebraska wouldn't ft in with those from a valley of eight million but I quickly found my niche and, once again, it became another home. Yet, Arcadia remained my hometown. I was proud to be a Nebraskan, an Arcadian; I still am.
I loved living in Arizona. I loved the mountains, the silhouetted sunsets, and the myriad of cultures. I loved being near the ocean and taking weekend beach trips, having swimming pools in almost every backyard and viewing the city lights after a night hike. I loved that there were so many friends to be made: friends my same age with my same interests and standards. As much as I enjoyed the past six months, though, there were things that I'd grown up with that weren't present. There were things that I missed.
Where they had mountains we had rolling hills in shades of green, a color that the desert lacked. While they had beautiful silhouettes we had breathtaking sunsets that seemed to stretch across the whole state, dying everything in sight a hue of pink or purple and quilting the sky with colored cumulus. They had swimming pools but we had rivers and lakes and fresh water that we could safely drink. We had rain that smelled fresh like rain should. Instead of fluorescent signs that lit up the night we had fireflies that made the fields glitter and stars that weren't drowned in light pollution. There I had a lot of friends, here I had family. I missed my privacy, a peaceful seclusion that can't be simulated with a "privacy wall." I missed the safety in being able to drive home alone at night and fill up my own gas without being approached by strange men. I missed the laid-back approach to life. I missed wildflowers. Animals. New life. As much as I was intrigued by the industrial jungle the city had to offer, I missed my home.
I'm not saying that Arcadia is better than the rest of the world. I have loved every "home" that I have had thus far and I'm sure I will love everywhere I have yet to live. I am the type of person that could be happy anywhere and I have a lot of places I have yet to see, things I have yet to do. What I have come to realize, however, is that, to me, Arcadia is where my heart, my loyalty is rooted. There's something about the people. Something about the land, the animals, surprisingly enough there's even something about the unpredictable weather. There's something about this simple life that makes it easier to see what really matters, makes it easier to serve, to love. God created this incredible earth full of different types of beauties and I intend to see and appreciate them all. No matter where I go, though, there's something that will always pull me back home.