2014. As a little girl, I have anticipated the year 2014. My favorite number is 14 because my birthday is April 14th. I have always thought to myself "Man 2014 is going to be so cool because of '14' but it's so far away!" Well years and years later, it is finally here. Hard to believe. Really hard actually. In the eyes of that child, I thought 2014 would be amazing simply because of a number. Now at age 27, I am here to tell you, 2014 WILL be an amazing year because I am so blessed. I have recently discovered life through a whole new set of eyes. A new life resolution.
Life has thrown me around so much, just as it has to each and every one of you reading this. Wonderful ups, and crazy downs. But when you sit down and really think about it, everything you have been through makes you who you are today. Some people realize what I am about to tell you sooner than others, and unfortunately some people never realize these things. If you haven't discovered a vision like I have, I challenge you to open your eyes, ears, and heart -- and listen closely. You never know, this could change your life just as it has mine.
What is life really about? The big fancy house, the nice things, or who has more to their name? Nope, you're way off. Sure those things are awesome to have, and there is nothing wrong with having nice things. I hope to have many extravagant things in life, but none of those tangible items can compare to the non-material things in life. Memories. Those moments that you cannot replace. I have come to know memories are the best things you could ever have. Love. Have a love for life, a love for those who care about you. Even have a love for those who hate you. I promise you love could turn this whole world around. As cliche as it sounds, I really believe love is everything. Attitude. Be positive. A negative mind gets you no where but down. Every encounter in your life will not be great, but it is all how you look at things. Keeping a positive mind will get you through things a lot easier than a negative attitude ever will. You get what you expect to get in life. So why not expect great and receive great.
All these things, and so much more, tie together. It all makes you a better person. Having these qualities will make you a million times happier. Don't believe me? Just try it. Next time your about to blow up at a situation, take two seconds and breathe and think "Does this really matter? Will this matter tomorrow, next week, next year?" It probably won't. Don't let the little mishaps in life boggle you down.
In this year, and for the rest of my years, I am vowing to myself to be this better person. A better mom. My children needs me, my family needs me, and I need me. Sure I am not perfect nor will I ever be. However, I can aim to be the best person I can be. Treat others with love and respect. As the golden rule states, treat others like you want to be treated. That is the simplest idea ever, but yet so many people have trouble doing it. Be nice, do the right thing. Stop bickering with those around you. Love those who matter most to you, and tell them each and every day. Never fail to make sure those you care about know how much they mean to you. You never know when your time on Earth is done. You are not promised tomorrow. Make today the best day. Make memories to last a lifetime and cherish every second of them. Hold those little hands around you a hell of a lot more than you hold on to your phone. I have been terrible about electronics. In the past, I have been more worried about checking Facebook/Twitter more than what is going on in front of me at the moment. That's sad to sit and think about. In those moments that I was more hung up on social media, I lost those precious minutes, hours, days that I could have been spending with my children. Electronics will be there when those little souls lay their heads down to sleep. Save the stuff that will remain there for those times that won't. As a photographer, I have to invest a lot of time into my computer - whether it is editing, growing in social media, or simply researching how to get better at what I do - but what needs to come first are the finer things that really matter. Life is really about love, family, friends, and just enjoying the time you have here.
My favorite lyric that is more true than anything I have ever heard comes from Ben Howard. "Heaven is a place we know. Heaven is the arms that hold us long before we go." How real is that? Those precious moments, those little hearts that love you more than anyone in the world -- those are the real things in life. Please open your eyes and see that before it's too late. Realize you are blessed beyond belief. If your happiness is all you have, if those who love you and you love is all you have - that is all that matters. Learn to be happy.
I challenge you to join me in doing the things I speak of here. What a wonderful world this would be if everyone thought like this! We might not change the world, but I promise you that you will change your world. The way you think about things will forever change. You will be happy if you just realize what is most important in life. Be yourself. Love yourself. Have a spark that no one can extinguish. Keep your heart strong.
The year 2014 is going to be awesome for many more reasons that just a number. I wish all of you a great year. May every one of your dreams come true. May you be successful in all things you do. Most importantly, may you grow into a life that is unforgettable.
With So Much Love, Julie