From the heart series

One of the first things I put on my to do list this morning was to blog. Many times it feels like I have so much to say, but when I sit down to try and sort things out, I come up blank-ish. I say blank-ish because I do come up blank, but then I also come up with others ideas and go back and forth on them until I become blank. I sat here for a little bit debating what I was going to write about. One other thing besides photography and design that I love to do is pour out my heart to encourage others. I thought about how can I tie in that gift of encouragement, to be used here? Annnnddd then, the idea of a From The Heart Series popped into my head. So I sat and wondered if I was really going to create a from the heart series here on my blog…… I decided, what the heck, why not??

So for the start of this series, I want to share a little about my journey. Sure you could look back through my blog and see years of different things. Cake decorating, parties, sweet treats, invitation design, recipes, and so much more!! I knew that I always wanted to own my own business and I definitely tried numerous things. I even had a Cookie Lee Jewelry business and a Mary Kay business (my very first business!!). Some would probably think what a waste of time, just pick one thing and stick with it. But I disagree with it being a waste of time, even though I have had those ridiculous thoughts myself.

I consider it the time I needed to grow. When I first started my entrepreneur journey, I didn’t quite understand the business side. Sure my experience in the real world away from home working for someone else consisted of management and I actually loved it, but there was always someone else keeping the details, money flow, bills, cost of doing business, and everything in between. Through those other businesses that I started, I did realize more of what I liked and what was not my passion.

There was a time when I even wanted to be a hair stylist. I actually even went to the Paul Mitchell school here in Charleston, recently after deciding that I did not want to pursue graphic design any more. I had gone back to school in the fall of 2014 for that and without it, I would not have discovered my love for photography that I had buried deep down. I actually figured out that one of the reasons I wanted be a stylist is because I love fashion, beauty and making people feel great! When I did one of my first few sessions,I got to photograph a set of twin teens and I was able to apply all my gifts with them through photography along with being outdoors. I absolutely loved it! Their mom raved on how I was able to bring out one teen that rarely smiled with anyone. And THAT truly warmed my heart!

I believe so many times we get in a rut with our own thinking. Thoughts of doubt. Thoughts of not being good enough. Thoughts of what if. Thoughts of what others think. Thoughts of failing. And so much more, that sometimes we are not able to move forward. All those thoughts start to cripple us and have us questioning our ability and worth. It took a few years to build the confidence that I have now and definitely some life experiences, but one thing I will give all the credit, leaning on God. I had to go through some things in order to realize my gifts and passions and be molded into who He had created me to be. And He still isn’t finished with me yet. There was a time when I lacked faith, where I didn’t fully believe in myself and a time where I just did not step out of my comfort zone.

Its so easy to sit where we are comfortable, but it is another thing to actually step out afraid and have faith that you will not fail. So what I say to you is this, believe in your self. Take risks. Go after those dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, not even yourself. Some days will be so exciting and some days will just be flat out hard. Just realize that its not just you that are going through the hard days. We all experience it at some point.

With this photography journey being a new experience for me, sometimes it is a little scary stepping out of where I have been comfortable to step out and try different things, but I am believing that it is oh so worth it and I am excited for where it all goes!

Start where you are with what you have and reach out, and step out! There is a world of possibility waiting for you!

Much Love
~ Crystal ~


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