This is a LONG overdue post (by like 3-4 months) but I figured I’d update my internet friends on life after grad and what this means for my photography business.
It doesn’t feel like too long ago that I stepped onto the grass at Eastern Mennonite University’s front lawn and turned around, watching my parents as I was saying goodbye to them for the first time in my life. I began walking toward my orientation group with tears in my eyes and wondered why I had chosen to even go to college in the first place.
The first week was rough. I missed home, classes were difficult, and I was finding it rather hard to balance my studies with my social life. As much as I loved meeting people and making friends, all I could think about was the life I left behind in Pennsylvania.
And fast forward to 4 years later: a senior in college, living with my best friends and thriving in the life that Jesus had provided for me during those four short years.
I held a marketing internship for a year and a half and was extremely unsure if I should stay in that same cubicle after grad, pursue wedding photography full-time, or go a completely different route and search for another job at another company. Obtaining that marketing internship my Junior year felt like a safety net to me. My mindset always was, “well, if I can’t find a job after graduation at least I have this to fall back on…” which was the worst possible mindset to have. I felt like I was in a dead-end job specifically for the sake of saying I had a position after graduation. So, I made the decision to end my internship the week of finals. And it was really hard. I truly loved the people and relationships I had built there, but I knew I was meant for a different company.
“I kept applying and interviewing for positions, getting declined, wondering what God had in store for my future and wondering whether working in a typical office-setting was where I even needed to be right now.
In desperation for a position, I stumbled upon a local insurance company that was looking for Underwriters (you know, experienced people that help assess insurance risk — sad to say I didn’t know what that was until about 15 minutes before my interview). I got called back for an interview and sat in the room with the executives who, literally during the interview, said that I clearly would be fit for a marketing position that they were (coincidentally) also going to look for soon. I freaked out.
I interviewed for the marketing position that day instead, waited 3 months to hear back, prayed a lot, panicked more than I prayed, doused my panic in ice cream and rosé at some points, and got the call that they wanted me in for a second interview. A few days after that, I was offered a full-time marketing position to begin about a week after graduation. Whew. What. A. Whirlwind.
So here’s a true update on my life, friends! I’m now graduated from EMU, diving head-first into a full-time position as Marketing Coordinator at a local insurance company in Harrisonburg (and adore it), and will still be pursuing wedding photography just as I always have been! This is my largest wedding season YET and I have loved working full-time and pursuing wedding photography while also really defining what it means to be proud of the work I do (both in the corporate mindset and out of it). Sometimes I don’t get a lot of sleep and need iced coffee to get through my days, but I know that my busy seasons can be temporary and want to soak up all of the busyness that life gives me throughout this season of my life.
I’m finding it really important to discover the intentionality of work-life balance, spending time in prayer and with others who support my dreams. I’ve gotten a lot braver this summer; I’ve done things I’ve never thought I was capable of, but here we are. This all goes to say that really letting Jesus take over every aspect of my life was incredibly life-changing. Even on some of my worst days, when I’m tired and feel like maybe couples don’t want me to photograph them anymore or my photography skills aren’t as advanced as I thought, He gives me inexplicable joy.
I’m sharing this because I think someone out there might need the reassurance that their messy life can be absolutely okay once trusting that Jesus’ plan for your life is the only one that matters. Too often, we want to be the one with the roadmap and the itinerary and it literally cannot be that way. It just can’t.
Give Jesus the roadmap. The wheel. The itinerary. The TRUST. I promise He will do amazing things in your life (inexplicable joy included). He makes you brave.
*If you’re curious as to what brave things I’ve done, feel free to email/text/message/write/DM me and I’ll be more than happy to share my soul with you (not super willing to share my soul with the entire internet at once, though 😛 )*
Special thanks to my fellow full-timer/boss-babe friend Sierra McCray Photography for photographing some of my biggest milestones in my college career — she’s my go-to-gal for all things photography, coffee, & wine. Hit her up if you need a hype-man, starbs date, or photographer any day of the week.
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