3 Things I Did To Be Selfish in 2019
Selfish. That was my word for 2019. I wanted to learn how to put myself first. Why? I'm a people pleaser. I like saying yes. I like helping others. My thought process was, "If I know how to do it, why shouldn't I do it." It took me a long time to accept that I was a people pleaser. An ex-boyfriend word it as "I let people walk over me."
I disagreed. I even asked my friends and siblings if I let people walk over me and they all said no. However, after I did gave it a thought, I kinda gave in. I may not let people walk over me, but I am a people pleaser. This is why my goal for 2019 was to learn how to be selfish, to put myself first.
But First - A Little Snippet Of My Emotional State in 2019
Before I share with you how I put myself first in 2019, here's a little snippet of what happened this year and how it affected me emotionally. My parents separated in the summer of 2018 and got a divorce in August 2019. I got fired from my job in the summer of 2018. And my sister, Elizabeth left on a missionary trip to Guatemala that summer of 2018. My emotional state entering 2019 was not pretty.
I think it's safe to say that I started the year of 2019 depressed. I felt lonely. Sad. Angry. And stuck. I didn't have an appetite and all I wanted to do is lay on my bed and cry. But my mom wouldn't let me. She kept saying - "La vida sigue. Uno no se tiene que quedar encerrada llorando. De que sirve eso?" Which translates to "Life goes on. You cannot just stay inside crying. What good does that do?" And, as always, my mom was right.
So, when 2019 was only a few hours away and we were at the dinner table sharing what our goals for the new year, I said that I'm going to put myself first and do the work for my photography business. And to be honest, I did not know what that meant or how it will look like, but it felt right to say out loud.
How I Put Myself First
Before I continue with this blog post, I want to put a disclaimer - I am not in any way qualified or stating that I know how to get over depression. This is what worked for me. It helped me.
Putting myself first was hard. I didn't know where to start or how to start.
So I thought about what I wanted to accomplish this year. And that was to get a clear idea of what I wanted to do with my photography business. How to get consistent photoshoot booking? How to market myself strategically?
What did I do? I decided to invest in myself on an online course and join a membership.
1. Invested in Myself
Starting the year, I bought and join an online course that Amanda Bucci created - The Flourish and Conquer Accelerator. This course helped me get a clear idea of who my ideal client is, what my business represents, and the experience I want my clients to receive. Amanda and her team did a great job teaching the group how to show up and have a strong mindset. I'm glad I did the course.
Now, total disclosure, I didn't finish the course, but I still have access to it. I started the course and did the assignments that the Bucci team gave us. Toward the end of the course, I made another decision to be involved in a project that took most of my time and energy. I don't regret making the decision, but I should've given a thought before jumping in.
That was the course that helped me get a clear idea of how I want my business to represent. The membership I join gives me the resources and a community to show up online and talk about my business. Social Curator with Jasmine Star is the best! This membership provides a monthly social media marketing plan, captions and photos to use to show up on any social media platform. Basically, Jasmine gives me NO EXCUSE to not show up on social. The best part of this membership is the community Jasmine provides. The community is a place for accountability, sharing our experiences and asking the right questions. This membership is by far the best investment I did for myself.
After I invested in my business, I did the work. I showed up on social media, started doing lives on Facebook and Instagram. But the thing was, I wasn't feeling great. I was unhappy. And I could see it in my eyes. I was still sad, angry and frustrated.
2. I Got Away and Went To Mexico
I wasn't 'till I got away and was on my own that I felt better.
In the spring, I booked a last-minute flight to visit family in Mexico for the summer. I took this trip on my own. I wasn't scared to travel on my own nor was I nervous. My mom was nervous for me, but I told her that I'll be fine. And I was fine.
I had fun in Mexico. The last time I saw my cousins, we're teenagers. Now, we're young adults trying to find our way and taking it one step at a time. But we did have our fun. We hiked a mountain, visited nearby towns, went to a waterpark, took a road trip, drank beer, watch movies, and celebrated.
Not gonna lie, I was sad. There were days when I just wanted to lock myself away and cry all day. But I did not have that luxury. Instead, I talked about my feelings with my cousins, tias and uncle.
They all helped me gain a different perspective. That's is okay to be angry. That crying is okay. That is okay not be okay. Their version was much longer, but that pretty much sums it up.
By the time I was on my way back home, I was crying. But not because I was sad but because I felt relieved. I didn't feel heavy and overwhelmed with emotions. I was proud of myself. I went to Mexico on my own and learn that I'll be okay. That I'm doing fine. Things happen for a reason, and we just need to take it one day at a time.
3. Started a Relationship with God
Not sure how to describe this last part. So I'm just going to say how it was.
I started going to church, a Christian Church - Bethel Christian Church. At first, it was weird and ... weird. You see, I was raised Catholic. I'm baptism and I did my first communion with the Catholic Church. But, we weren't "church people." If we ever decided to go to a mass, we would go to a Catholic Church.
A friend of my mom invited us to her church. She knew we weren't "church people," but she believed that going to church will help us get through our family situation (a.k.a my mom and dad's separation). So we went. We didn't go every Sunday, but when we did go - I felt better.
The worship was very difficult to get through. I would cry through every song. The service was well given by Pastor Josh. I would cry, too. The community received us well. They made us feel welcome.
Every time we did go to church, I'd pray. First, I would say thanks - for my mom, brother and sister. And to keep my other sister safe (she was in Guatemala). Then I would say sorry because I don't know how to pray. Like, who am I to ask for anything from God/Jesus Christ if I haven't done anything to give back. And then I would ask for His help. To guide me to pray? How can I be a service of to Him? To help me with my emotions? And more.
And guess what? He answered. And it took all year for me to hear and understand His answer.
After I got home from my trip from Mexico, I allowed myself to be vulnerable in church. I started going every Sunday. I started to listen to His voice.
I started a relationship. I'm still learning. And I feel like I have a lot a work ahead of me to start servicing Him, but I feel that I'm on the right track.
What I Learn From Being Selfish
Putting myself first in 2019, aka being selfish, was basically healing my soul. As I said, I was sad, angry, lonely and frustrated. And it literally took all year to learn how to get through all those emotions. And I didn't do it alone. I had my mom, sisters, brother, cousins, tias, and friends to be thankful for. They helped my family and I get through the emotions and our family situation.
Here's a list of things I learn from investing in myself, getting away and starting a relationship with God:
I'm okay being on my own - I use to feel like I was still a teenager. That I was immature. But going to Mexico alone and getting a different perspective, I learned that I'm doing okay. And that I enjoy being on my own.
Patience - Taking the online course and being part of a like-minded community, I learned that everything needs its time. That I don't have to rush things. And, in order to see the results I want, I need to do the work and I need to be patient. Good things come to those to wait.
Doing 1% is enough - Jasmine Star always that doing 1% of the work is better than doing nothing. Do one thing different that will bring you closer to your dream life.
I know what I'm doing - For a long time, I felt like I was winging it. Both in my photography business and in my life. Sometimes, I don't know what I'm doing. However, I've been told it looks like I know what I'm doing. So, I finally own up to it. I know what I'm doing. (But there are days that I don't know, and it's okay)
God has me covered! - No matter what happens.
My Word for 2020: Get Uncomfortable
Now that I know how to put myself first, it's time to shake things up. Now that we've entered a new year, a new decade, its time to try new things.
My goal for 2020 is to get out of my comfort zone. I think I've been playing it safe. And it's time to get out of my room, out of my house and make some noise in the world. It's time to be uncomfortable. Time to do something new and commit to it.
How? I don't know.
But I'm going to start by committing to this blog. Last year, in February, I "launch" my blog. But didn't commit. I published SIX blogs in total. SIX!
I'm putting it out in the universe, that I'm committing to published ONE blog post per week. And I'm starting this post and then sharing gallery highlights of my photoshoots from last year. And after that, take it one blog at a time.
Toasts to 2019. Toast to 2020. Toast for an unbelievable decade that's head of us!
Personal Note from the Author:
I started doing quinceañera photography in 2015. And the reason why I started is that my mom insisted. "Got to start somewhere." I have an insatiable passion for photography, I know there's more I can do with it then just quinceañera and family photography.
But, as my mom said, I got to start somewhere. I am so thankful for it. Photographing quinceañeras and families is amazing.
I LOVE capturing the traditions and memories of families. I'm thankful that I have carved out a side-hustle for myself in this field, and what’s more, I get to help my clients enjoy and be in the moment of their celebrations while I capture it for them to remember.