Today I ate oatmeal for breakfast. I'm about to workout as my new month resolution, devotions, edit images I shot in Los Angeles over the weekend, work on emails, plan out my week for Tami Paige Photography, do some writing, and work on a couple design projects I have lined up.
Tomorrow, I'll eat grits for breakfast, do devotions, workout, and head to Jasmine's to work. I'll probably get an amazing lunch from JD, we'll work on prepping for the business summit she's teaching this weekend in LA, and I'm getting my hair cut later in the day. I may go back to work...not sure what that day will look like.
These are my days here in California.
Yeah. California. I've always said that I wanted to move here for at least a year of my life...and here I sit. It kind of boggles my mind. The last time I updated on my Tamifornia adventure was in August. Since then, I packed up my car, said some sad goodbyes, and made a very long drive across the country to Southern California where I've been working ever since.
I remember that first day walking into Jasmine's house. Jasmine told me that the timeline had changed from February to a question mark. She didn't know when it was going to launch and she was going to leave my stay length up to me. She wasn't sure if she'd have enough work to even give me at this point, but she had to trust that it was in God's hands and if I was okay, we'd go with it.
I remember driving home that day feeling both excited and a little anxious. I wasn't sure if I'd come out too early. Was it a waste of time? I didn't mind if I was worked too hard...but I minded not working at all. So I said I'd just breathe in it, work on my own business from a sunny side of the country and see where all this would lead. I also decided that if at all possible, I wanted to see this through to the end with her.
What I don't think either of us expected is that Jasmine...just in her own business...was carrying so much, that when she handed a couple things off to me, it was giving her some relief and giving me work and purpose. I've rarely lacked for work or things to do...which, I'm so glad. I've wanted to feel like I'm an asset to her business and that in the end, it's a "win-win" (a term I've learned to use a lot from Jasmine). :)
In a nutshell, I help create a lot of her visual content for this new business venture, edit a little, design some, cull, and act as her assistant. She jokes a lot that she throws me into the fire or asks me to fill gaps that I've never done before...and it's true...but I love it. It could be scary, except with Jasmine, she doesn't throw me in, she jumps in with me...she's incredibly patient with all my drafts. We'll work through revisions, reshoot, re-edit, rewrite...whatever it takes to get it right...but she does it with me.
This is a picture that her husband, JD, snapped of us a couple weeks ago. We're sitting in Dallas airport editing a video that needed to be posted that afternoon. We're sharing headphones, laughing at her analyzing herself on the video...and I couldn't love it more. This is us...and how we work. We work hard and push through, but take time to talk about life, laugh at each other, make fun of ourselves, and enjoy the process along the way. Jasmine will often say to her team, "Thank you for being the hand at my back pushing me forward"...but she does that for us...and it truly feels like I'm on a team working here...which I love.
At the end of her Dallas summit, she thanked each of her teammates individually, and when she came to me she described me as protective. I don't know if I'd ever been described as that...but she was right. I feel protective of her, her relationships...to honor the privacy she's let me into, the stories she lives, our friendship, her business, her clients...that is what I feel. I feel protective of her in a way I would a sister.
The past 7 months haven't just been filled with work...but a lot of good food (JD and Jasmine are foodies! yay!!), starting a side project with my sisters called Trio, a lot of soul-searching in what I want or where I feel God is leading in my future. I was honored to be a part of a very meaningful relationship that took a different turn than we had hoped, but knew I was better for having it and am forever grateful for that gift.
Keeping up with my relationships back home has been difficult...even with my family. I've realized that distance has a way of putting an exclamation point on communication skills (good or bad). I'm learning to hold things loosely, to not have to give or need the detailed updates I crave...and that's not always easy for me. Who am I kidding...that's NEVER easy for me. :) It's hard to watch my little nieces and nephews grow up through Instagram, videos...but I'm so thankful for those and am always begging my sisters to send me more! They are the best of moms and I love that they send me sweet snapshots of life back in Central, IL.
I've missed my friends terribly. When I'm home, there's only so much time...and it's been sooo difficult not to see these people I adore so much. I've never been so thankful for text and have even learned how to Facetime...although, it still feels somewhat awkward to me!
It's weird to hear myself explain an entire life, family, cultural, church, friend dynamics back to people who have been completely removed from it all. It's weirdly like therapy. I feel like I've learned more about myself and where I come from having to explain it than I've ever noticed before. I think it's because I've just lived it, but haven't explained it. I remember my mom saying to us girls, "If you can't teach it, you probably don't really know it." The joys of homeschooling. ;) But that's how I've felt "teaching" about my life...I didn't really know it until I've sat across from countless dinner tables hearing the words I'm saying back to myself. I've explained my growing up years on drives to and from LA. It's made me really thankful for where I come from and a lot of perspective of where I'm going. I changed my membership status to my home church this past winter...and if you don't know what that means, that's okay! ;) It was a bag full of mixed emotions...but ultimately, just so much love for those in my home church and how they continue to love, support, cheer me on, and give me accountability.
Yes, Dear Diary...it's been a lot...but not crazy, if that makes sense. It's not until I've turned around and looked back that I realized how much has changed. The one constant in my life has been change...and I'm learning to be okay with that. There is a deep part of me that craves putting down roots. Putting them down and going deep with them...not moving from where I plant those roots...but I also know that's not where life has me now. So I'm living it up to the best way I know how in this transient phase of life because I know I won't have this luxury forever. I get people telling me that my life looks glamorous...others tell me it looks hard. It's a little of both...just the way I think most of our lives are! It's real life, but one that I feel extremely splessed to be living!!
As Jim Elliot once said, "Wherever you are, BE ALL THERE. Live to the hilt, every situation you believe to be the will of God." So here's to living to the hilt and being all here. ;)
Diary, this has been a veeeerrrryyyyy broad paint brush overview of what the past few months have looked like. I'll try and write more so it doesn't have to be so general. :)
Be all there...wherever you are.