“Meg, I swear she was in kindergarten just yesterday. How did this happen?” my client muttered through tear filled eyes clutching her daughters hand as we looked at the large screen filled with images of her now High School Senior aged daughter. We were all assembled in my office for their Senior Portrait Ordering session, one of my favorite parts of my job. “I remember putting her on the bus that first day and in the blink of an eye, here we are viewing her Senior Portraits and talking about what college she will be attending.” I reached over and pulled out a few Kleenexes, two for her and one for me. As we dabbed our eyes she glanced over at the picture framed of my 3 little girls on my desk, “how old are they?” she asks. “2, 5, and 7” I say with smile through my moist eyes. My client looked back over at me with with a somber look on her face and begins to tell me with authority and conviction in her voice “cherish every single moment with them.” She hung her head again as more tears began to flow. That scene has played itself out in various forms and conversations throughout my career as a Senior Portrait Photographer but not quite as heavily as it did last year, or maybe it was last year that I actually began to listen instead of letting the words roll off my back.
This time last year, my business was flourishing. I had a built a business that I was so proud of. One that was not just financially healthy, but it had purpose and meaning. I was impacting lives of teen girls, something that has been my life calling. Showing them their true beauty through my lens. It was so fulfilling. I had a boutique business model which allowed me to work less hours, and had even outsourced a large amount of my workload and life. I saw and was with my kids more than most working my moms that I know. I was teaching workshops and speaking at photography conventions that I always dreamed of. Life was good. This was a dream career and I had made it in the industry being authentic and true to myself and my purpose.
I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. According to societies standards I “had it all” and I was so very grateful. However, in the back, hidden parts of my heart there was a longing for something different. A slower pace in life. I’d heard the words “simplicity” and “intentional” float around and my heart would want to burst out of my chest and I’d think “YES, that!” Those words resounded with me for months and I began to daydream about a life, a different kind of life. One that wasn’t always jumping in the car to get the kids to the next activity or scrambling to find a babysitter for my next shoot. One that didn’t include 10 different forms of outsourcing my life. The words of my clients telling me to “enjoy every moment with my girls” now began to pierce my heart. There were several times I sat in my car after an ordering session and cried realizing just how right they were. This time with them being so little is so short, just a brief moment in my lifespan, and here I was with them and their daughters away from my own.
During this time, a long and very divine series of events would play out and confirm all the things my heart had been telling me. It was time for a change and a new season in our lives. To make the story short, we moved to a fixer upper farmhouse on small acreage, I stopped my business, and am now homeschooling my children. How’s that for a life change? ☺ While life is still busy, it’s a different kind of busy, its an intentional kind of busy. We wake up, muck stalls, feed chickens, turn out horses, and water our garden. We have space to breathe, trees to climb, birds to explore, animals to love on, and nature is all around us. Its exactly how I dreamed of raising my children. I look around at this place and at my kids making forts and fairy castles all the while snuggling a chicken at the same time, and I know this is right where I am supposed to be.
Some of the things I used to resist have now become things that I love and treasure, and that inspire me. The sight of a calendar packed with work and meetings was once thrilling; now I cherish the blank days and empty slots. I’m so thankful for the past five years of my life, and now it’s time to pour into my family and soak up every fleeting minute of magical childhood in this short season I have with my girls.
While our life here is full of beauty, it of course isn’t perfect. I get stressed out, overwhelmed, have piles of laundry to do, all sorts of yard work and my kids still fight and drive me crazy often. However, the chaos of life has slowly shushed and I am continually learning to live with intention and see the beauty in just being, living in the moment, and soaking this short life in. I often think about my clients and all their words of wisdom. This season of being home with my children is such a short one and I am daily working on cherishing every single moment. Even the messy, loud, and imperfect ones.
So for now, my business doors have closed, and honestly, I don’t know what the future holds. I am taking it year by year, month by month, and day by day. My passion and energy for teen girls is still there and always will be, just right now, its all being poured out on “my girls.”
Thank you to each one of my incredible clients and supporters. You taught me that life is short and to cherish these moments. I am so glad I listened.
If you’d like to follow our life adventures on our little farm you can follow me on Instagram at @Megborders.
Below is a snapshot into our new life. We had such an incredible opportunity to do a “Day in the Life” session, something I’ve always dreamed of, with Shannon Boettcher of FotoNovella. All images by FotoNovella.