Let’s be real here, I am not a normal 19 year old in any way. I am a college student, but also a photographer and a business owner. To be honest, balancing being a full time college student and an entrepreneur is hard. It’s really hard. But all that hard work is SO worth it. Yes, I am different. A friend once taught me that “if God made you different, don’t change”. Don’t change for others and become someone you are not just to feel accepted. I know this to be true because I’ve lived through it, and it was one of the lowest points in my life.

I was so determined to be a ‘normal’ college student and to fit in, to feel accepted, until one night I had a breakdown and discovered that’s not who I am, and that’s not the person I want to be. I looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t see me anymore. When you try so hard to get someone’s approval, you become a part of yourself that you never wanted to be. I lost my glitter. That sparkle of who I am. So now, I’ve gotten rid of all the negativity in my life, ended some relationships that weren’t healthy for me at all, and pursued JTP harder than I ever had before. And look where that got me today; I am living my DREAM!! I love love love what I do. Not only am I a senior photographer, I am a wedding photographer; this didn’t even seem like a possibility for me at the time, but JTP has become such a success in a short SIX months. I have met people who have changed my life forever and who I am so incredibly grateful for. They inspire me every single day. I usually spend my Friday nights with my friends playing Disney Scene-It, or on my computer in my room editing: running a small business and singing along to show tunes while other college students are out partying and drinking. Because frankly, there is so much more to life than the party that’s going on a Friday night. While my friends are spending money on trips and the latest fashion trends, I’m putting my money away for expenses and thousands of dollars in camera equipment. To be completely honest, that doesn’t bother me at all. I can’t wait until years from now; I’ll have graduated college with a business degree, pursuing photography FULL time and I can relax after a busy week on a Friday night with a glass of wine while wrapped in 10 blankets on my couch in yoga pants watching Netflix and editing my latest wedding. And I know I will eventually travel the world (Europe especially!) + I will have the time of my life doing it. This is what drives me every day to be that person, to love every part of myself and to be different.

So the point of this blog post is to encourage other women, other girls just like me, and other creatives, to embrace who you are and to be brave. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being different. This post took me over a year to be real in front of you and finally find the words and write. I hope that I’ve encouraged at least someone to be just a little more courageous + confident each day + to truly be themselves: to find their glitter and to be different… to live their dream NOW. It is possible friends! Because that moment you decide to be different, you see the world from a better perspective + with a fuller heart and anything is possible.

My favorite actress, Sierra Boggess, (who I finally saw on Broadway!) always quotes, “You are enough, you are so enough, it’s unbelievable how enough you are” and you guys, this couldn’t be more right! xx