a year gone by.

I cried when I realized it this morning.

I cried from exhaustion. Joy. Remorse. Excitement. Relief. Complete astonishment.

Today marks a year. 365 days ago today I said goodbye to the only career I had ever known. I spent 6 years in school to become a registered nurse and a year ago today I walked away. The decision has not been an easy one, and there isn’t a day that goes by when I’m not really scared and frightened by that decision. I left stability. Colleagues. Security. A routine. But for a really really long time I knew that nursing, although incredibly rewarding, was just not where I wanted to exist. Was I happy? Kind of. Was I satisfied on more days than not. Sure. Was I comfortable. Pretty much. But was I the real, true me? Absolutely not. And THAT didn’t sit well with me.

On the day I left nursing I honestly had no idea what the future held for me. I knew I needed something different, but I didn’t really know what that might look like. I knew that my creative ambitions were screaming from my insides but translating that into something successful and just as rewarding seemed like the impossible. 2 weeks after I made the decision to not settle until I found that certain something that fed my soul in an honest and truthful way I took a trip. I packed up a crazy large backpack, said goodbye to my husband and puppy dog and left for 7 weeks. At the time the decision felt really selfish, greedy…maybe even wrong. But my intention was simple: find me. Find what really makes me happy. Find out why for so many years I’d felt hopeless, sad and lost. I set out to open my ears and my eyes to all the things my heart had been saying for so long, to really listen. To really see. And this I felt was a selfless decision, because in my gut I knew it would make me a better person not only for myself but for those who loved me.

I slept in. I watched French music videos to the point of verbal and choreographic memorization. I ate an amazing amount of pastries. I stared at art. I walked and walked and walked. I teared up at the beauty that is Europe. I sang. I grocery shopped. I rode trains. I drank yummy wine. I explored. I laughed with friends and family who visited me. I spent money. I wrote a travel blog. I practiced my French. But mostly I took pictures and wrote. I used my camera to open my eyes to all the things that really inspired me. The things that made me feel alive. And I wrote to hear what my own voice had to say.

Writing and photography never were as important as they were during those 7 weeks. I honestly and miraculously found myself while looking through my camera lens and while writing til’ the wee hours of the morning. I had found the answer I’d always been searching for for so long, and although it scared the crap out of me, I came home and pursued that answer. I started my own business and leapt into the craziness of being an entrepreneur. For the first time in my ENTIRE life, I listened to what MY heart was telling me. Not what anyone or anything else was telling me. And today, I celebrate that. I celebrate being me and for the first time really living.

Thank you to everyone who has supported, pushed, and loved me during this past year. Thank you for not calling me crazy to my face, or telling me to run back to a career that seemed a lot more logical. Thank you for loving me enough to wish the very best for me and for my future. Thank you for cheering me on and for hugging me during those moments when I was really scared. Thank you for being proud of me – this life alteration would not have happened without your support. Thanks for celebrating with me today!

P.S. How crazy fitting is it to have Vanessa & Tony’s wedding featured on SMP today to mark the occasion?!?! So proud of where this past year has led me!

P.S.S. If you’re interested in following the travels the helped me find my way start by clicking here.

year gone by photo captions:

september: moonlighting with paper. realizing that i was suffocating without a creative outlet. jb papier was born.

october: my trip to europe began. i snapped pictures of everything i could. big ben was one of my fav shots.

november: being alive in paris.

december: when i really started carving out my new business. took the leap of faith and admitted that i was ready to start a new journey.

january: bow tie & bustle was born. participated in my very first styled shoot. bun in the oven concept.

february: gathered an amazing team of wedding creatives for montmartre shoot i dreamed up while in france.

march: very first big time feature for my lil’ business on green wedding shoes.

april: vanessa & tony’s wedding in cabo san lucas. my first BIG design and first international destination wedding all wrapped in one.

may: drove a farm table from denver to seattle. started thinking about launching a vintage rental company. scout. was officially launched on august 6th.

june: headed to beverly hills to get my learn on at coordinator confab.

july: felt like a full fledged blogger after attending blogshop in the bay area.

august: one of MANY projects in august: ann & jon’s wedding day.

photo cred: {personal pics and mo hines photography}

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4 Comments

Filed under Anniversary, Bow Tie & Bustle, Bride & Groom, Business, Cabo Surf Hotel, Cabo Wedding, Decor, Destination Wedding, Journey, Just Because, My Life, My Photography, Personalized, Photography, Prop Styling, Real Wedding, Scout Vintage Rental Company, Scout., Self Reflection, Travel

4 responses to “a year gone by.

  1. Congratulations, Jenn, on your one-year-anniversary! I’m so glad that we connected and that we can vent to each other and lift each other up on this crazy journey. You seem to have really found a major key in launching and running a successful business – following your gut. Best wishes in year #2 and I just know that great things are ahead for you!

  2. Vanessa Cameron

    Congrats Bestie! You were fabulous a year ago and even more fab today. You are the poster child for following your heart and I’m so proud of you! Keep it up and more importantly, ENJOY the moment and all your hard earned successes.

  3. I was just perusing your blog when I came across this post and I just wanted to tell you how much I loved reading it. It’s very difficult to leave our comfort zone, and very few have the courage to finally do so. Congratulations to you for not selling yourself short. Looking forward to reading many more posts on your blog 🙂

  4. I literally teared up reading this. So excited for you.
    Keep up the hustle girl, you’re kickin ass!

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