2012 – Lessons Learned in My Year of Travel, Changes, and New Perspectives

We’ve all heard the saying “tis better to have tried and failed, than to never have tried at all.”  Well, at the beginning of 2012, I set a lot of goals and made some new resolutions.  Let’s just say I had to remind myself of that famous quote when I sat down to think about just how many of those goals I’d achieved.

One of my goals was to post to my blog at least once each week.  And although I tried, I only had 17 posts…and um…I think that’s just a few short of 52.  So, to make up for some lost posts I’m going to summarize my year in this post and share a couple lessons I’ve learned along the way.

I started the year with a trip to the US Virgin Islands with my husband.  I had no idea when we packed our suitcases that a week later we’d be planning on making a BIG change that would change our lives forever.  We weren’t completely sure that it would be a change for the better, but what we did now is that it was a leap we had to take.  Ah, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Back in the USVI, we golfed, drank, napped, and even gambled a little.

It was by far the most beautiful place I’d ever visited.

St. Thomas, VI

St. Thomas, VI

March brought some exciting new changes in the lives of my good friend, Ann and her husband, Trent.

She'll hate that I used this picture, but I love it!  Ann & Vincent

She’ll hate that I used this picture, but I love it!
Ann & Vincent

The end of April began the hardest and most exciting part of my year.  My husband moved 1200 miles away to pursue an education that would allow him to have a career in an industry he loves.  We drove for 3 days through several states; stayed in St. Louis, Nashville, and finally landed in Hilton Head, South Carolina…and then I cried.

The Arch in St.Louis - Visited during our 3 day road trip to move Chad to his new temporary home.

The Arch in St.Louis – Visited during our 3 day road trip to move Chad to his new temporary home.

Chad on the beach in Hilton Head for the first time

Chad on the beach in Hilton Head for the first time

I learned how much we didn’t communicate when we lived under the same roof.  How to make conversations with my spouse a priority and how grateful I was for technology making it possible.  And…that even with all the technology in the world, distance is really hard.

What would we do without FaceTime?!

What would we do without FaceTime?!

He will also hate this picture.  I assure you he is much more handsome when his face isn’t distorted by taking a picture of a view of a picture.  🙂

In June, I flew to Chicago to learn how to be a better photographer and business owner from a woman I believe to be one of the best natural light children’s photographers in the country!

Coffee and Breakfast in Chicago

Coffee and Breakfast in Chicago

I learned that Art doesn’t have to appeal to everyone

Art Institue of Chicago

Art Institue of Chicago

In July, arguably the most difficult month of the year, I learned that taking time to walk my dog was just as good for me as it was for her.

Walking Lola in the park

Walking Lola in the park

I learned that when I see beauty somewhere, I shouldn’t be afraid to stop take a picture of it!

I still worry how silly I might look sometimes…work in progress though.

South Carolina

Marina in Hilton Head, South Carolina

Sunrise walk in the park

Fall Leaves

Fall Leaves

I learned that Henna tattoos can make you feel pretty badass…at least for a few days until they fade away. Really!  🙂

Tatted Up

Tatted Up

I learned that I should go to more concerts!  Even if it is 100+ degrees outside. Just say YES!

OH, and I also learned that wearing a hat makes everything more fun!

Ann & I at Red Sky Music Festival

Ann & I at Red Sky Music Festival

Bonnie & I at Colbie Callait on the VIP Bud Deck

Bonnie & I at Colbie Callait on the VIP Bud Deck

I learned that sometimes when you aren’t quite ready to say Good-Bye, sometimes fate or some greater force shows you mercy.  Next thing you know, your flight gets cancelled and you get a few more hours before you have to leave.

Pizza with Chad  in Bluffton SC when my flight got cancelled

Pizza with Chad in Bluffton SC when my flight got cancelled

I learned that it’s okay to take a beat every now and then.  Even if just a few moments to be totally present with the important people (or animals) in my life.

playing on the floor with Lola

playing on the floor with Lola

Oh, and that even if pictures aren’t of the best “technical” quality, they can be just as meaningful as those that are.

Laughing with my sister and her daughter over lunch

Laughing until we cried with my sister Kerry and niece Alex over lunch

Playing with my nephew

Playing with my nephew

Chad and Brad at the Cabin

Chad and Brad at the Cabin

Drunken Noodle in Vegas w/ Jasmine, Dave & Chad

Drunken Noodle in Vegas w/ Jasmine, Dave & Chad

Red Carpet Fun with Bons

Red Carpet Fun with Bons

I learned from my sister Kerry, that you really can do anything you put your mind to.  In 8 short months she lost over 100 pounds and ran her first 5k…and she did it on her own!

Kerry finishing her first 5k

Kerry finishing her first 5k

Thanks to my friend Kristen starting a book club, I learned I still love to read as much as I did when I was a child.  And that adult women really can find new friends in other women.

Backyard S'Mores Party for Book Club

Backyard S’Mores Party for Book Club

Sometimes exercise can be fun…especially when done with friends and family while wearing ridiculous clothes and getting sprayed with colored powder.

Ashlea and I after the Color Run

Ashlea and I after the Color Run

Shelby and I pre-color pounding at the Color Run

Shelby and I pre-color pounding at the Color Run

I also learned once again how much stronger my body is than I ever imagined.  I wonder what I could accomplish if I could ever get that self-doubt to go away…

The shirt after the shirt

The shirt after the shirt

I learned that at end of a day that feels like everyone is trying to tear you down, and make you feel small all you need is a little bit of light and a different perspective to suddenly be 10 feet tall!

Just me and my shadow

Just me and my shadow

I am still learning to ask for help, to be honest about my feelings, to take more time for myself, to believe that I can do anything, and to find gratitude in every day.

Here’s to learning more in 2013 – Happy New Year!

jen

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Categories: Photography

Author:jenlapel

Natural Light photographer

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2 Comments on “2012 – Lessons Learned in My Year of Travel, Changes, and New Perspectives”

  1. Kerry
    January 1, 2013 at 7:46 PM #

    Amazing!! I love this so much and sometimes we get caught up in the negative and this was really beautiful Jen.

  2. January 1, 2013 at 9:36 PM #

    What an inspiring post. Love it to bits. My favorites are that art doesn’t have to appeal to everyone and that when you find beauty somewhere you shouldn’t be afraid to take a picture of it. 😉 Happy new year to you and your family.

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