2020 in Pictures
The Beginning – What I thought
What I thought was happening before the pandemic started, was that 2020 was going to be the best year ever. When the pandemic first started, I wanted to start a new company that would help businesses better build and understand their brand. At the beginning of March, I was looking for co-working spaces in Madison. I couldn’t wait to build a new business and couldn’t wait to combine my love for digital marketing, photography, and design to help small businesses grow. By the end of March, I was sitting at home- trying to figure out what in the world was happening. I couldn’t have a co-working space, my photography business was considered unessential, most of my children were all of a sudden home trying online schooling. With a looming pandemic, I was scared for my son who has cerebral palsy. Everything just came to a screeching, scary stop.
This photo was taken right before the pandemic. Ready to take the world on.
Messy Middle – Non Acceptance
Trying to reflect on what exactly has happened from March until November is difficult for me. The word “nonacceptance” comes to mind. I just thought that if I tried hard enough that everything would be o.k. Silly me, I thought that this was about me. I let go of the idea of having an office in Madison, I gave up the idea of starting a new company. I spent time working on my photography business and opened a studio that I could go to whenever I needed a creative space to hang out. I wanted to be ‘ready’ for when things went back to normal. Wanting to keep my head up high, I wanted to show the world that I was thriving. (More on this next.) My life though was not thriving. Trying to keep a happy face when I was slowly dying inside is like trying to put out a forest fire with a garden hose. It wasn’t working. For hours, I would stare at my computer screen- and I wouldn’t even know what I was doing. Work piled up, homework with the kids piled up, laundry piled up. I was still in nonacceptance, I just wanted to get to the next day. For some odd reason, I always felt like the next day would be better. Slowly, I was fading.
December 2020 – Acceptance
2020 for me, has taught me acceptance. Acceptance of who I am and being o.k with that. For me, knowing that I have a place in this world and people that love me is truly enough. I have learned to not push through the hard stuff because that hard stuff has some really valuable lessons. I have learned to accept that I cannot change people, and I have accepted that people cannot change me. Who I am is who I am. I have learned that I don’t have to put myself on hold to make other people happy. I have accepted that other people’s happiness does not depend on me what so ever, and that is very freeing. I feel like through this whole 2020 craziness, I have become free. Accepting that I do not know the answers, accepting that I am who I am, accepting failure and defeat. All of it, to me, is freedom.
I would love to see your 2020 in pictures! What have you learned about yourself? What did you have to let go of?
Feel free to email me at Stephanie@Stephshanks.com