So far, every year that I have sat down to write my end of year blog I knew exactly what I wanted to write. I had a clear direction and could easily set off on writing those blog posts. This year, I woke up, poured my coffee, sat down on my couch and just felt dazed. Not overwhelmed or bewildered, not quite in a fog or confused, but somehow “dazed“ seems to stick out so clearly. I think I don’t have a clear direction this year because of that feeling, not as shocked as the word stunned would have you think, but a little blank on the inside of my brain. (Right now would be a great time to meditate, I think, if I did that sort of thing). So I forced myself: ‘You have to write this blog post Amanda Lynn. What are some of the best things that happened in 2019? What are the lessons you learned? What goals did you reach? You have that note you wrote to yourself at the beginning of the year, find that and read it. What will it spark, I wonder?’ As I walked back to my home office I thought about everything I have done this year; I forced myself to start reflecting. I read my note to myself. I had forgotten it was actually a list of goals and I started to let the first three lines sink in.
No wonder I feel like this. What. A. Year. I realized my business doubled in 2019 and I hadn’t really planned or prepared for that to happen. Now I just feel amazed. At the time I made this list of goals I thought they were lofty. I knew I might be able to achieve them but I also knew that I might not be able to pull them all off. Now I am tearing up. God is so good. The year 2019 comes flooding back and all of the good and bad are almost too much to hold at once. I have had a fantastic year but it is also a year where I have struggled greatly both personally and professionally. I truly believe that the only reason I made it to January 1, 2020, without everything falling down around me is because of the beautiful people that I have in my life. I trust that He knew what I needed and gave that to me so that I could continue my work, and the weight of that feeling is so amazing.
Imagine you’re walking along some train tracks (don’t actually do this, it’s so dangerous and a little illegal). It’s a beautiful spring day, the birds are chirping and you’re walking alongside some empty train tracks. A train is slowly coming up behind that you want to catch. It’s going slow enough you can hop/ grab on, pull yourself up and walk on the train with only slightly wind-blown hair. The moment arrives and the train comes up beside you, you reach out and as soon as you lock onto the train, it rips your feet from the ground a little harder than you expect. At that moment it starts to speed up and you think this maybe wasn’t the best idea. The force is too great and too powerful. ‘Why was this a good idea?’ you think. Then suddenly a nearby window opens and there are the most important people in your world reaching for your hands, wrists, and arms. They’re cheering you on and holding onto you firmly. Finally, the train starts to slow down, you think you can climb up onto a platform that’s just at your feet, and pull yourself upright. As you open the back of the train door and walk inside, you realize that your hair is slightly more wind-blown than you thought but you’re alive. If you’re being honest, that was kind of fun but you’d prefer not to catch a train like that again. You did it. You are a lot dazed and just as much amazed. You can’t believe that worked.
Looking back, that was how 2019 felt in review.
I couldn’t possibly begin to list and explain all of the people who played a role in the theoretical holding of my hands, wrists, and arms as I was gripping the side of my 2019-train. My only hope is that you know who you are and how much you mean to me because to be honest, I don’t think I would be where I am today without you. My thanks to you is that I plan to catch the train of 2020 a little differently this year and hopefully have better looking hair after I do. The key to a year of growth is to learn from the experience and then set measures in place to help those things go slightly better next time. I think… I have a better handle on it now. Even still, don’t let go completely.
Here are a few, very special moments from 2019!
Meeting Amy and Jordan Demos at ShowIt’s United conference in November!
I cried, then I cried some more, I wrote out an Instagram post and cried while writing it.
It’s easy to say, they are definitely mentors for me!
^^ Wedding days would not be complete without these ladies! ^^
(He’s going to love this! ;D) I don’t think I could have the dreams that I do without Paul to support and help me. There’s not much he does on the business side of things but he does help a lot at home and matching our schedules. When I go location scouting though, he comes with me and these are the most cherished memories!
I have shot with the same camera since I was in college. This year I finally took the plunge and upgraded to a few models newer and this little puppy sure is a dreamy step up!
Having my work published for the first time. WOW what a feeling that is! I wrote about this huge achievement in a blog post here.
Above ^ and below v… Making wonderful, amazing, talented and kind friends in the photography industry! These ladies have done more for me than I can say. Their endless help, assistance, ideas, suggestions, and understanding can get me out of any rut. They can inspire me to new heights and fuel me when I have felt like I was about to run out of energy!
My year-end blog posts are certainly taking on their own shape each year! Check out my past years listed below!
Favorite 18 in 2018 where I name my top three changes and 15 favorite images!
Then in 2017 my blog was titled – “These are a few of my favorite things”
My favorite 16 Instagrams of 2016
And if you’d like to take a leap WAY back in time… Favorite 15 from 2015