Two thousand and eight… an open letter.

Many people will tell you that this year was a year of change. I prefer to think of this year as a year of progress. This will be a letter of personal insight to share with you a bit of my last twelve months. I will not be rambling on about politics, current affairs, or the like… I have a personal blog for that.

I have dealt with many life changes this year. Some exciting, some hurtful, but all for the better. My year centered mostly on work; and I’m currently many miles from where I started the year – both figuratively and literally.

I used to work for a company called Riverview Systems Group. I handled Graphics and Video support for major corporate events and tradeshows. I traveled a lot, had some great friends at work that were more family than just friends. I was learning a lot and meeting new people. And while my job slowly shifted from video to full-bore graphics and computer support, it still was not the direction I wanted to be heading.

I also both fell in love and had my heart broken this year. Picking up pieces of yourself off the ground is never easy. And while healing takes time for anyone, members of my family don’t slow down. It’s one of the traits that allows me to be successful in many things I do. July was one of the worst months I’ve had to deal with – but it forced perspective.

When you have something, someone, or some event force you into stepping back and looking at things, we all come to realizations about our life. Without hesitation I embraced what life handed me.. I chose not to take a step forward – no – but rather a leap.

In August I quit my job, I said good bye to my friends and family at home, and I moved out to pursue photography full time. It’s easily the best decision I made for myself all year.

I have spent the last four months doing exactly what I love to do. I hope that all of you have found something that makes you truly happy. I’m not talking about a boyfriend or girlfriend. I’m talking about something you do for yourself. Sure, my photos pay my bills – but I do my work for me just as much as I do for my clients. I LOVE what I do.

You guys can spend your year buying new “toys”, material items, food, clothes, etc. But try and find what happiness really is to you. Because believe me when I say that once you’re doing that, you will have a better understanding of yourself, and you will be more satisfied than any other object could do for you.

I have no idea what this next year holds for me.
I do not know where I will be living in a couple months.

I do know that I will continue to do what I love.
And I know I will continue to push my limits and push myself.

I want to thank everyone that has helped me this year, or been part of my life.

A few of those people I’ll mention here: Mom, Dad, Monica, TJ, Cassandra, JD, Ben, Rachel S., Steff and Adam, Julia, Jacque, Jennie, Marvin, AJ T., Derek Y, Charley C, Joe B., Michelle S., Franco, Jo’Juan, T-Rob, Aaron A., Nat, Evan W., Jon H., Ricky, Ray, Scottie, Panda, Brooklyn, Hunter, Michelle D., Vu, Anish, Quan, Jake, Mac, Sandy, Fred, Amy, Joey, Blue, Des, Asura, Alejo, Don, Richard, Rick, Ken, Hung, Ron, Kaan, Hiro, Vincent, Rob, Spencer, Andrew, Mark W., Marissa, Evon, Alex S., Kent M., Teri J., Casey S., Benz, Brand, Cliff, Rosa B., Heather C., Court, Lauren F., Jaci B., Chris F., Tiara., D’vil., Jason, Caitlin, Justin S., Jeff/Seven., Rick Thorne, Samantha W., Al, Fred/Show., Fred, Alex, the rest of TopDown, Aaron B., Ashley S., Linn H., Kelly B., Rachel D., Cherie and Hedley of Cherie Foto, the Nikon DSLR Dev team, Mike and Kris!, all the guys at Adobe, Justin and Summer I., Jaime L., Liz Q., Karen L., Melissa S., Joe L., Ryan B., Ryan W., Dee, Boston, Theresa, Kyle D, Adam, Aaron T., Naidymar, Justin and Natalie W., Kevin M., and tons of others that I’m forgetting to mention…

Extra thanks go out to my parents and sister for supporting my “go for it and make it happen” attitude. TJ and Cassandra for being there any time I needed them. Maya and Hillary for their kindness and helpfulness in giving me a chance. Beau for being there to listen and support. Phil and Bryan for believing in me.

And everyone else that has pushed me, held me down, praised me, hurt me, or in one way or another has touched my life this year.

I would not be where I am now without your influence.

To a crazy, hectic, busy, and successful 2009!

I’m ready.