Nicole | Personal | Brisbane | 30th June 2015
Wow! I don’t even know where to start this blog post. The last couple of months have been some of the hardest, most challenging, most exhausting but exhilarating of my life. So much change has happened, finally all of the damage (studio and car) from the stormaggedon (crazy hail storm) back in November last year has been finished and I am adjusting to life in my new normal.
But what is my new normal?
I guess change has been on the cards for me for a while. I think it was around this time last year (or maybe even a little earlier) we started planning our epic American trip. We counted down the days, planned some great adventures and I worked my butt off to save and invest in a holiday of a life time. The trip came and went and I came home really sick with a chest infection. I started feeling sick in New York, but sucked it up and hit the cold and flu to ensure I could still enjoy myself as much as possible. When I got home I stopped taking them and it hit me really hard. That together with jet lag it took me a really long time to recover. What I didn’t count on though, was how burnt out I was feeling creatively. I had worked so hard, often sacrificing personal time for business to work towards going away and when I got back I was so sick and creatively drained that I found it really hard to focus on business and do anything else other than sleep.
About six weeks after we got back from the states, I had booked a trip to Melbourne for another conference – Zero Regrets. I was really looking forward to the conference for helping me to be inspired and motivated to get me out of my creative funk. I had been to a Matt & Katie workshop before (who also organised this conference) but what I wasn’t prepared for was how much change it bring and impact my life in the coming weeks.
I was super excited to be learning from and being inspired from an incredible bunch of photographers from all of over Australia and the amazing international speakers who were also present. Each speaker was so willing to share their stories, their challenges and what inspires them to be not only great photographers but also great people. We laughed, we cried, we were challenged to face our fears all while meeting a new bunch of friends. We were guided to share our fears and our hopes and dreams and had some really interesting conversations. The kindness and friendship that I witness at Zero Regrets was awesome.
One of the big revelation moments for me, was when I was sitting in a small group with one of the speakers on day 3 (My speaker was the wonderful Jeremy Cowert, seriously look him up he is an awesome photographer and an awesome human) and we were asked to explain our fears and challenges. At that moment I realised that my biggest fear was ending up alone in life after being badly hurt after a long term relationship ended that I threw myself into my work and hided behind work instead of getting out there, dating and having a social life. I was hiding behind my work, content in capturing other people’s happy moments but not being brave enough to create my own. So right there in that circle I knew what needed to change.
The above photos are the views from the rooftop pool and out of my bedroom window. I just love it!!
So over the past eight weeks I have had some incredible change occur. My lease on my current home was up and after some careful consideration and a bullying property manager, I decided that it was time to move home. The place that I was living at was my healing home and it was time to shake things up and do something different. So I found a new apartment to live in with amazing views, great facilities, a creative cultural vibe and an awesome new flatmate. As murphy’s law would have it, I had a phone call from the Project Manager looking after the insurance repair job for the studio organising the tradies to come and start work on my studio. So the same weekend of my house move, I also had to pack and move everything out of my studio for repairs. I seriously didn’t realise I had that much stuff in the studio until I had to box it all up and move it out. Thank goodness for my parents massive shed, in which I was lucky enough to be able to store my 20 plus boxes and all of the studio furniture.
So while the repairs where happening, I decided that it was the opportune time to also do a bit of a renovation and refit of the studio. Part of the reason of moving home was that I no longer wanted to do all of my editing and office work from home. When I am home, I am relaxing and doing the things I love outside of photography. But in order to do that I needed to make sure that I had a great office space in the studio I could work from. So we reorganised, rebuilt and added some new blinds to the studio that make it the perfect location for me to have an office and separating work from home.
This week is the first week where the studio is back to normal, my home is a sanctuary and all of the moving, packing, cleaning, building, painting and renovating has been done. The last three weeks have been the most intense of my life and I am so glad that I have come through the other side still smiling. I am still a little bit exhausted from all the moving but I am slowly day by day getting into the routine of my new normal and actually loving the downtime. I have already found that I am itching to shoot again and actually do some personal work and getting back into blogging regularly again.
I am really looking forward to the next six months – setting new goals, setting new boundaries, making plenty of time for social events, trying new things, creating new experiences and catching up with family and friends. I finally feel like I have my priorities straight and everything is feeling so much more calmer.
And before I finish this really long post, I just wanted to give a shout out to my wonderful parents and the few close friends who have been there for me over the past two months. Without my parents I wouldn’t of been able to do three moves in two weeks and those few close friends who have checked in on me when I was MIA and struggling and asked if I was ok and if I needed any help and for that I thank you. Your support has been amazing and I am incredibly grateful to have you in my life.
So here is to the next six months! It is going to be awesome!!!