Celebrating One Year in Washington, DC

Phew…y’all! What can I say?! One year ago today, I was stepping off a plane at IAD with a suitcase filled with about 2 weeks worth of clothes, an internship, an audition at a fitness studio that would soon become my home away from home, and a hotel reservation booked. I had nowhere to live, didn’t really know anyone in the area and had no idea what to even expect. Needless to say, this year has been one for the books. It wasn’t the easiest, but what would be the fun easy?

I’m so incredibly thankful for the people I have in my life. The people that never leave a panicked text unanswered. The people that have laughed with me and cried with me and helped me make it through this crazy year. Y’all are seriously the real MVPs.

Today, I’m sharing a little glimpse into what I may tell that girl as she stepped off the plane. Though this anniversary may seem small to some, it feels super huge to me. I have changed and learned and grown so much both as a person and a business owner in the last 365 days. I am so thankful for each of the opportunities that have come my way, and I am so excited to see what the future holds.

There’s a special little surprise at the very end of this blog post! Make sure you read allllll the way to the bottom! You’re not going to want to miss this! 

To me…one year ago,

Get ready for one of the toughest years of your life.

You’ll make it through, I promise. Craigslist ads and Facebook pages, filled with spam and people trying to scam you out of cash will eventually lead you to the cutest apartment with the nicest roommate in a part of town that seems too good to be true. Sure, it sometimes smells like you have a gas leak and it seems to grow it’s own unique layer of dust overnight, but this apartment will become your safe haven. A place to laugh. A place to cry. A place to work late into the night until you fall asleep on your keyboard. Your view will take your breath away each time you slow down enough to appreciate it, so make sure you take some time every now and then to step back and breathe. You’ll start to find your rhythm eventually, even if you feel like a total fish out of water 99.9% of the time.

DC will become your home, despite fighting it tooth and nail for a year straight. You’ll spend more time in traffic and trying to find a parking spot than you ever thought possible. Parallel parking won’t seem so scary after quite some time, though trying to squeeze into tight spots on the left side of the street will never get any easier Tourists will most likely see more of the museums and monuments in one weekend than you will see this entire year. My advice? Make a DC must-do list and make it happen because this city really is spectacular when you give yourself a chance to appreciate it.

Over the next year, you’ll attempt to buy a one way plane ticket home at least once a month, with tears in your eyes, ultimately deciding to stay for just a little while longer thanks to your extreme stubbornness. Listen to this stubbornness and just stay put. It WILL get better, I promise! You’ll contemplate giving up on your dreams on a daily basis. You’ll lay awake at night, questioning every single decision that got you to this point. Still, a year later, you’ll be totally unsure about the decisions you’ve made and if you’re on the right path, but you’ll feel a little better about where you’re headed.

You’ll cry and laugh and laugh until you cry. You’ll grow. A lot. You’ll meet people that change you and will really come to understand the value of friendship. You’ll learn just how incredible a strong community is and will miss your family each and every day. You’ll learn about who you are as a person now, and who you want to be in the future. You’ll learn about how you want to lead and will fight through your impatience to want to skip through this growing phase to get to where you want to be in the future.

You’ll start buying plants when you’re sad and pet fish when you’ve had just just one too many mimosas at brunch. You will also never regret any of these choices. You’ll see the world in ways you never expected, and your heart will be broken time and time again by what you find. You’ll back into cars when panic about being late to work makes your vision blurry, and you’ll cling to your health with all your might after the results of one scary blood test. You’ll feel the crushing weight of lonesomeness and learn just how much you value the people that love you and your craziness and 70 hour workweeks and all. But most importantly, you’ll become stronger.

You’ll learn to be thankful for the little things like: finding a good parking spot, staying under $30 on a Target run & finally figuring out the best place to get a gluten free cupcake. You’ll learn to celebrate the smallest things each day, because it is these things are truly come together to make life so beautiful. But, don’t forget to celebrate the big ticket items too. You’ve got a big year ahead of you.

A few words of advice? Sleep. Buy a bike {with a helmet and a u-lock}. Write EVERYTHING down. Pinch your pennies. Make friends with the cashiers at Trader Joe’s. Spend enough time in the sunshine. And embrace this crazy life you’ve been given.

You’re not one to take no for answer, so make sure this city knows you’re here.

Pray often. Work harder and dream bigger than you ever have before because the best is truly yet to come. The world is a big and scary place, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep your focus, go with the flow and have a little faith in all of your hard work. Good luck!

From me, a year later

Made it this far?! Wow friend, you sure are amazing! If you know me well, you know that I love celebrating anything and everything. So, a year in the DMV calls for something huge! Wondering what I have in the works?

And because I’m so excited about this milestone of mine, I want to help YOU celebrate something big that is happening in your life! I am offering 20% off regularly priced milestone sessions including: proposals, engagements, anniversaries, maternity sessions, family sessions, and graduation sessions booked in Washington, DC; Arlington, VA; or Alexandria, VA! To claim this special deal, all you have to do is email me about your dream session between now, June 2, 2017, and June 9, 2017! Please note: the session must be scheduled for 2017, and this special is not available to be applied to weddings, business branding sessions, or head shot sessions. I am so excited to celebrate with you!

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