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  • Elizabeth

Season Change & Life Changes

October, I've been waiting for you. To celebrate your long awaited arrival, I spent last night taking updated self portraits during this absolutely perfect golden hour.

I've only had two off days since Labor Day, so October brings a huge sigh of relief to me. As an update, I quit one of my day jobs and just finished up with my last wedding of the 2017 season through my internship (which is where I snagged these beautiful flowers/leaves for my hair!) so now I will have more time to focus on the things that I love.

I'm still in school full time, so I do have an exam tomorrow and a bucket load of homework to do, but I actually took the majority of this first week off from my other (now only!) day job. I have engagement photos scheduled with my first wedding couple of the 2018 season this week (which I am SUPER pumped for) and am finally going to see my boyfriend again next weekend after a way too long 5 weeks of long distance.

We're going to go out of town to celebrate our *official* two year anniversary and run another half marathon. We're trying to run one in each of the 50 states, and Virginia will be my eleventh state.

We'll only be there a few days before heading back to reality and that will mean back to a less busy (but still full) schedule for me. School, work, and transitioning into an almost booked up photography schedule, I'll have my hands full, but it's nothing that I can't handle.

People tell me all the time that it seems like I have everything together, all my ducks in a row, my plans set. But let me let you in on a little secret: I absolutely don't.

The saying always goes, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans, right? Well. I had plans and I thought they were fool proof. I had everything I needed and everything was going to go my way. But God needed a giggle and here I am, absolutely lost on what to do next.

For those of you who do not know, I graduate this December with a degree in Exercise Science. The plan *was* for me to go to graduate school to get my doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. This has been "The Plan" for the past seven years and my grades and work experience show how much I've worked at making this happen. Basically, even with how competitive it is to get in, if someone saw my application I would have been in no questions asked.

However, no one gets to see my application. I paid all the fees, got everything submitted to the application site at the beginning of September, and started waiting. The problem is that my transcripts didn't have enough time to be verified and received by both the application site and each school on my list. It takes 4-5 weeks for this to happen, after getting everything squared away with recommendation letters, having just over four weeks wasn't enough to meet the October 2nd deadline.

Yes, I still have the possibility of it all falling into place today, but if I'm being honest with myself I don't see that happening. Yes, I still have the two outrageously expensive schools that have a November 1st deadline that could still work out, but my dream schools have closed their doors and there wasn't anything that I could do to control it.

What it comes down to is that I have to reevaluate things. How badly do I really want to be a PT? Is it worth the schooling and debt? Is it worth it to reapply next year? I'm so frustrated because I had everything done and ready on my end back in July, but it became such a waiting game and made me feel like I was pulling teeth trying to get everything I needed from everyone else. And I feel like I missed out.

What I'm saying is that I have things to think about and decisions to make. Is it worth it to go to a more expensive school this year if I get into one? Should I take my year and a half gap period off and apply again next year? Is it even worth it for me to do this, or is this like a sign saying that I'm made for something more?

I'm also frustrated because I feel like I wasted the past four years going into debt and not even being able to look into a separate career path with my degree. I know that this is probably coming off as a "everything's falling apart" post, but I'm not even going to apologize about that.

I started looking into other real life jobs that I could dip my toes into to see what possibilities are out there and I have found a few ideas. I'm not entirely sure that if something like it exists, but I would love to work for Runner's World magazine (owned by Rodale) and mix my background in photography with my love for running, exercise, and blogging. And then I would even feel slightly better at stretching the excuse that I would be using my Exercise Science degree (even though that probably isn't the case haha).

Another dream job that I've had for a long time would be being the lead photographer for Aerie (American Eagle's lingerie and apparel side store that focuses on messages I LOVE). I just feel like working with the girls there would be SO much fun and would make my heart so unbelievably happy. However, you need connections for something like that and your girl here knows no one. (Ha).

Other than those possibilities, I'd love to see where I could take EAC Photography and if I could do destination elopements and lifestyle couples, I would love that too.

Writing this makes me realize that I have so many different dreams and possibilities in my life, it's just hard because I thought that PT school was at the center. Now that I don't have that anymore, I have to do some reevaluating and see if it's something I still want there at all. Working in rehab everyday, I absolutely love my patients and love the atmosphere I'm a part of. I just don't know how long I'll want to be involved with it if I can't be a therapist myself.

I really appreciating you letting me rant and I appreciate you more if you made it this far (just kidding people love listening to other people talk about how things aren't going as planned for them, so I'm not actually too surprised you made it this far). But now that that's off my chest, let me talk about these portraits for just a second!

Once again, tripod + my Nikon remote. I got these flowers/leaves from a wedding and stuck them in my hair, the dress is actually from my mom's closet! This location is actually on the side of the road and it's one of my favorite places to take my clients.

It was actually SUPER awkward because there was someone else there AND I was right in front of the road. It's by a really tight turn so cars naturally slow down, but when they see me standing in a field looking like a crazy girl in front of her tripod, they slow down even more just to observe. But that's fine, I got some AMAZING shots anyways.

These are probably my favorite batch of self portraits I've ever taken just because of the vibe they have. Warm and fun and celebratory of an off day. And my mom's dress shows off my tattoo oh so perfectly :) But just because this post is about learning, growing, and changing, I'm going to end with a transformation photo. On October 1st of last year (exactly one year ago in 2016) I was actually at this location taking self portraits with a group of friends. Same location, same field, same time of day. I edited the photos from that shoot then and I was super proud of the way that they turned out. Now that I've been back and have had a year of practice and have completely changed up my editing style, I'm amazed at how much I've grown and I'm so excited to continue learning more in the future. Now, look at this change . . .

October 1st, 2016

October 1st, 2017

Thank you for bearing with me season through season, change through change. Here's to new beginnings and crazy adventures.

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