January 1, 2019

2018, you were a rollercoaster of a year, and I cannot help but be filled with gratitude.

I have recently discovered the work of author Brene Brown and listened to her book The Gifts Of Imperfection (via Audible – if you don’t have Audible, you NEED it!). I am currently listening to it for a third time in maybe six weeks, yes it’s THAT good! She has one chapter on Cultivating Gratitude and Joy which has been such an eye opener for me, that I am wanting to carry it right into 2019. The idea is that practising gratitude (yes, practising…it is not easy and takes time to learn), leads to a joy filled life. And I for one want 2019 to be a joy filled year. Not just happy. But full of JOY.

So, here it goes. In 2018 I am grateful for…

…indoor plants. Need I say more.
…my little sister FINALLY tying the knot, and getting to see my son and daughter as ring bearer and flower girl – cuteness overload!
…a friend returning home. Her time away only grew our bond (who says long distant relationships were hard?!), but having her back has made it even stronger again.
…scrunchies. I don’t know why it took them so long to be on trend again. I want one in every colour. Perhaps that should be my New Years resolution.
…each and every family who I have met and photographed this year, your support means the world to me. Thank you.
…my first interstate booking…and the gin and friendship that flowed from it.
…my first trip to Byron Bay. Yes, it was wet, but I am thankful for the beautiful fellow creatives I met and the things I learnt. I feel I’m owed another trip though, Byron still needs to prove to me that it is sunny and warm and perfect.
…being invited as a guest host on the Dear Photographer Instagram account! What a wonderfully supportive community to be a part of.
…finally being able to feel. This is a big one. All my life I have pushed emotions away, forced them deep down and ignored them. Those that knew me even only a few months ago would know I find it hard to talk about emotions, because all my life I have barely allowed myself to feel them. Then in one moment they all came bursting up to the surface and I became completely overwhelmed by all the emotions. Everything was felt and it was felt HARD. But I am grateful it happened, it changed me. Instead of ignoring my feelings, I am letting them hurt and doing my best to deal with them. I have made changes that needed to happen. Mourned. Forgiven. Moved on. Experienced the new-found freedom. And then often gone back to step one again. It‘s a hard, dark, scary struggle. But I’ve learnt that the struggle has brought me strength and birthed a new version of me.
…my support network. Friends and family who when I needed them, really stepped up to the plate. They gave me advice, shared their own experiences, took me out when all I wanted to do was hide away at home, did the mummy things that I couldn’t do and literally held me as I was going through the deepest darkest experiences of my life.
…the new year ahead. Photographing more incredible families. Watching my baby start school. Purchasing more indoor plants…and scrunchies. More hurting and more feeling and more growth. And so much more JOY.

Happy New Year to all of my wonderful followers. May your year be filled with joy and gratitude.

Danielle x