Bethany Olson2 Comments

DEAR 2018...

Bethany Olson2 Comments
DEAR 2018...

DEAR 2018… you were something else.

WHAT A FRICKN YEAR. So much has happened in 2018, that it honestly feels like a blur. Let’s just say that a year ago at the end of 2017, I had no idea what to expect. I thought 2017 was one of the worst years of my life, but I had no idea what was going to happen in 2018. The one thing I knew, was that I felt like I needed “to go with the flow”. Fam, that was my life this past year. Going with the flow….

I’m not going to go into huge details about my past year since a huge majority of you, or all of you know what I was dealing with. I was dealing with lots of health issues that turned into thyroid problems, which lead to a thyroidectomy I had on October 8, 2018. You can read my blog post about that here. Most of my year was doctors appointments, getting blood work done, lots of thrifting, and lots of family time.

My health issues took over my life, and a majority of 2018 I didn’t feel myself. I didn’t have the energy to focus on my career and goals I set for myself. I’m the kind of person that thrives off work goals and career challenges. I love my job, and I’m grateful that I get to do what I do for a living. I’m also grateful that Cory and I get to work together because we get to spend so much time with each other. Yes, that can be challenging, but I want to look back in 50 years and be happy that we had those precious moments together. Anyways, when it came to 2018, I didn’t have the mental capacity to focus on my work goals as much as I wanted to, which led to a lot of doubts and fears.

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Last year I wrote in my yearly recap that I wanted to learn how to go with the flow since I’m the type of person who likes to plan and have control in certain situations. Well, 2018 taught me a lot. A LOT. I honestly don’t think I’ve learned so much about myself in this past year than I ever have. Dealing with thyroid issues was the biggest challenge and obstacle I’ve ever faced. I feel like I sound like a broken record since I’ve talked about it a lot, but it’s insane what thyroid problems do to you mentally and physically. It affects everything. It affected every single part of my life. I’m just so glad that it’s in the past, and I can finally move forward. Yes, there’s still some hormone imbalances and I still have my days where I don’t feel one hundred percent, but I know that will get better over time. It comes back to “going with the flow”. Ironic that I felt that going into the new year last year. But this was a situation I could not control, and one that was very unpredictable. Let’s just say I’m better with “going with the flow” than I was last year. Mentally and physically I went through a lot, but I know there’s going to be a time when my energy all comes back. I can honestly feel like it’s going to be soon. But who knows… I know that God’s plan is bigger than my own and he’s using this hardship in my life for the better.

I’ve been doing photography for 12 years now. The first time I picked up a camera and started shooting, I was 15 years old. I can’t believe that I have spent almost half my life looking through a piece of glass and documenting moments. It’s such a crazy and wild thing to take in. It’s almost overwhelming thinking about all the special moments, portraits, campaigns, projects, and beautiful things I’ve been able to capture. I feel beyond blessed to have that as a part of my story. Photography has played such a huge role in my life, and I know it’s something that always will.

For the past few years, I haven’t been able to focus on it as much because I started my fashion blog. It’s challenging focusing on both photography and running a fashion blog at the same time. So for about three years, I stopped taking photos. I wanted to be in front of the camera instead of behind it. Little did I know that over time, it would be so mentally exhausting.  I love being able to run this blog and my social media since it has been able to be my career and I’ve turned it into a business. But, over time I’ve been thinking, “what’s next?”. What can I do differently?

Cory primary shoots all my content for my blog, and yes he’s the best “Instagram husband”. He’s an extremely talented photographer, and he’s very quiet about it. I could go on and on, and brag about how awesome my husband is, but he honestly might hate that (which is why I love him). But, my brain works entirely different than his does. After a little over three years of being married, you’d think I would have figured that a while ago. But it took me a this long to get to the point of figuring that out. I will have a photo in mind that I want to create for my blog, with an outfit I styled, and have Cory take the photo of myself. If you know me on a personal level, most of you know that I’m HORRIBLE at explaining my thoughts sometimes. But it came down to being all about myself; what I looked like, what I was wearing, how I hated how I looked in an image, and honestly my selfishness took over my creative brain. All I wanted to do was create an image, and I would get frustrated that Cory couldn’t capture it the way I wanted it to be captured.

And then I realized… wow. What have I been missing out on. My brain isn’t meant for just doing fashion blogging. I’ve always been a photographer. Yes, fashion has always been something I loved and I’m not giving up on that. But what I realized is that I’m not challenging myself to a point where I’m growing. Of course having health issues will hold you back from something like that, and that’s what had happened to me. But once you get over that hump, you can finally move forward and fulfill your purpose in life. When you have a season of taking a break and stepping back, things are put into perspective.

For the past year, I’ve felt like I needed to be a certain someone for people to like me, and for people to follow my every day life. For myself, I now realized that’s not true. I realized if I conform to what the basic standards are, I’m going to obsess with that and never go anywhere. For me, it was like a hamster stuck on its wheel, going around and around and never stopping or going anywhere. I wasn’t being creatively challenged and I wasn’t pushing myself. For the past three years I feel like I have grown at some level, but I settled with not creatively pushing myself. I don’t want to create art just because my followers like it (and yes there is some level of giving your followers what they want), but I’m so sick of not being creatively challenged. Putting an outfit together, standing against a blank white wall or out in nature and holding a prop in my hand, doesn’t challenge my brain. Like I said, I love my blog and I love putting outfits together and it’s fun being behind the camera sometimes. But, my brain isn’t meant to operate at a level of being comfortable with where I am creatively. It took me some time to realize, and I’ve been deeply soaking that in for the past few weeks.

Every day for the past month, I’ve thought about this one thing:

Someone with a creative mind that conforms to basic standards isn’t using their talent fully.

I finally realized that about myself, and I’m going to change that for 2019.

So for this next year, I’m going to push myself creatively I never have before. I want to challenge myself and create art that I never have before. I’m going to be passionate about what I’m doing, and I want to being open to failure and success. And I’m going to finally pick up my camera and do something different for once. So yes, I will be taking more photos, and I will be shooting a lot more.

So 2019, I feel like you will be a better year than 2018. I can just feel it. Of course there will be obstacles and challenges I’ll probably have to face because that’s just a part of life. I can’t ignore that. But what I can do is use every situation, good or bad, and turn it into something that I can learn from. I truly believe that my thyroid issues taught me that. And I truly feel like I understand what I’m supposed to be doing in this life. Love others, love yourself, love what you do, and put passion into everything you do. Life is precious and beautiful. You only have one life to live on this earth, so why waist it on something that you don’t love or won’t bring the best out of you?

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and has followed my journey that has been one, interesting whirlwind. Truly, it brings me to tears thinking about how grateful I am to have a platform to share my life and to hopefully inspire others. Even with my thyroid journey, it’s been so overwhelmingly insane and beautiful to see the people reach out and share their story to help me through this process. I’ve had multiple people tell me that they were dealing with the same symptoms I was dealing with. Because of my thyroid journey and sharing my story, those people have gone to the doctors and found out they have thyroid issues. IT BLOWS MY MIND. It’s crazy to see how powerful your story can be. I can’t thank each and every one of you that has opened up and shared your story with me because honestly, it means the world.

This song, Falls by Odesza was in my recap blog post last year. Well, I can’t even tell you how much this song means to me and how much I can relate to this song for 2018. They just released this new reprise and honestly, it’s beyond beautiful and truly hits home. Give it a listen and soak in the lyrics. They’re so beautiful.

So that being said…

CHEERS, TO 2019.

SAYING A HAPPY GOOD BYE TO 2018!

HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A SAFE AND AMAZING NEW YEARS! See you in 2019!