Day 19: 6 Lessons For 6 Years

Six years ago today, I completed my very first fine art photoshoot that has led to an incredible journey of pursuing art. When I started creating I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing, but by simply starting I have been able to pursue a life of storytelling. In celebration of six years of photography, I wanted to share a few lessons I have learned over the years.

1) Create to be yourself.

When I started photography, I started it with the intent of becoming exactly like a specific photographer. Ever image I did I wanted it to look just like theirs and I did this for years. However, the longer I did it for the more frustrated I got with my art. Nothing was turning out how I wanted it to look because I was simply not that one photographer. No matter how hard I tried I could never be like them and trying to be like them would only frustrate me further. When I got to the point of hating my work because I was comparing it to someone else’s art, I realized my downfall.

When we create something, we are creating it in our own personal style. Striving after another photographers style will never provide happiness, there can only be one of them and we’ll always be the copycat. Create to find your own style. It can be an incredibly scary thing to strive after, especially if you have been copying someone for some time. However, it will lead to your own unique style and the ability to create with pure joy.

2) Never underestimate the power of dedication.

We all have had a goal in our life that we decided to go after but failed to reach it. This experience can be one of the most disappointment moments of day, week, or month. All that we worked towards and hope for falls apart in seconds and we are left feeling incredibly discouraged.

However, I think we forget about the power of dedication. There have been many goals that I have not accomplished, but the more I think about these instances the more I realize that I was never 100% dedicated to completing them. When we are not fully in on doing something there is a huge chance we will not be able to see it through to the end. Yet when we are completely dedicated to our goals, nothing will stop us from accomplishing them. Even the tiniest bit of complete commitment makes all the difference in the long run.

3) Step out of your comfort zone regularly.

No one likes to be uncomfortable. It is a terrible feeling. Stepping out of our comfort zones is incredible scary because we suddenly no longer have guide lines or rules. We have entered the world of uncertainty and fear. The ground we walk on is no longer one we have tread before. Everything is new and that can keep us from venturing out. Fear of the unknown will definitely keep us from accomplishing our dreams.

Comfort is a liar. A dirty rotten liar that promises all these nice things if we simple do not step outside of its warm embrace. But success and everything we have ever wanted is just on the other side of that embrace. I encourage you to make it a habit to regularly do something that makes you uncomfortable. Put yourself in situations that stretch you and push you towards your goals. The person you are right now inside of your comfort zone has to change in order to become the person that accomplishes your dreams. Stepping out and going for it, no matter the uncertainties, can make all the difference.

4) Celebrate the little things.

Life can be really tough and it can be very discouraging sometimes. Things weigh down on your chest, things like stress over school or work, and it can keep you from feeling like you have an incredible life. When we look at the big picture it can be overwhelming and overpowering. Sometimes, we just have to look for the little things.

There are always things to celebrate, yet I feel like we can get caught up in trying to celebrate the big things and the incredible events. All around us are little moments that are so beautiful and worth celebrating. Sometimes the most necessary thing to celebrate is getting through another day. What an accomplishment! We managed to get through another day and have added it to the vaults of memories in our minds. That is definitely worth celebrating. Never miss an opportunity to celebrate the little things, they make life vibrant.

“Out Of The Dust”
October 13, 2013

5) Find the meaning.

Striving after something aimlessly is something I am sure we can all admit to do. We continue to do a job because it pays the bills. We spend our nights scrolling through social media. We live a life of aimless wandering wondering where the meaning is when in reality we have to craft the meaning.

In order to find meaning in what we do, we must craft the meaning ourselves. Without a bit of soul searching and contemplation we will often continue living life without the meaning we so desperately wish to have. No matter what we desire to have meaning in, unless we search for it and put it there ourselves it will never be. Meaning has to be crafted out of the message we desire to share that stems from a conviction deep within us.

6) Enjoy the moment you are living.

I blinked and suddenly I am six years older than the girl in the photo below. Life flows by so quickly and when we look back it seems like everything was yesterday, not years ago. The concept of time is incredibly tricky to grasp, but there is no doubt about it, time seems to be flying by.

Because of this perception, I have discovered how necessary it is to live life in the here and now. So often we get caught up in stressing about tomorrow and regretting yesterday that we forget about this second. We are living in this moment, soon it will be over and done. Never again will we experience right now, what are you doing with it? Are you cherishing it and enjoying all of it? Or are you subconsciously throwing it away on things that will not matter in years to come? We do not want to waste the precious time we are given, so I encourage you to enjoy this moment. Smile at the past, dream about the future, but enjoy the present, it’s all we have.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

4 thoughts on “Day 19: 6 Lessons For 6 Years”

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