Just when you thought my period of giving thanks is over, I keep on finding lists of things to give thanks for. As they say, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.” And I’ve yet to hear crystal-shattering tones. There’s something about the festive season that render me reflective, which is something I love and appreciate, because there are countless things to be grateful and thankful for.
I’ve had more than my fair share of love, when I realise the extent of which I am surrounded my people who love me, it makes me tremulous (to take a page out of Anne Frank’s diary).
I have, inwardly and outwardly, beautiful friends. Only made more evident this year through all the help offered and received in preparation for the wedding; something that I’ll guard against taking for granted. I thank them because they will make writing “thank you” cards so easy when all the stress and hubbub is over. So, the one way I chose to pay homage to them this year, is look back at the years of friendships and look at random photos I’ve taken in retrospect.
This year, I didn’t have the need to play dress-up, I didn’t don a Santa hat, or make myself a golden wreath, because all I need for Christmas is right here.
Merry Christmas folks. I hope everyone out there experiences the same warmth and love as I have.
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So, it’s Thanksgiving, huh?
Apart from all the stories I hear about turkey dinners, weeks of leftovers, and crazy black Friday sales, I have to admit I know nothing about this American holiday. That is, until I met Melissa, who is a part of our Basically team and she has lovingly inducted us into the traditions of Thanksgiving. Yes, along with all the food, and beautiful, beautiful pies that she makes. What I do like is that it gives all of us an opportunity to really sit down and share everything we are thankful for, not that you should not already be thankful for what you have daily, it’s a wonderful tradition that keeps everyone focused on the things that really matter.
So, I thought this might be a perfect opportunity to re-open blogging again. Call this a Thanksgiving post, or call it an extended update, but I do feel that there is merit in counting my blessings. Here’s everything that I am truly thankful for.
1) My Amazing Husband-To-Be
He whose name shall remain hidden from the world of the internet (for now). He who I lovingly dubbed “My Shyguy” because he hates it when I take his photo (although he has gotten loads better about it).
Yes! We are getting married!!! He popped the question earlier this year, 12th February, to be exact. It was a quiet affair, there was champagne involved, there was him. I give thanks for him because he has been ever patient with my very impatient self, he withstands all my idiosyncrasies, he is always there for me even when I don’t ask him to be, and he makes me a better person. We cannot be two more different people, yet we complement each other perfectly and fill in the gaps of where we lack. I can go on singing his praises (but I won’t for now), and I cannot wait to start our lives together.
We start being tied to one another next March and I’ll try to give more updates on the wedding planning process, which has become quite nerve wrecking. But let’s move along for now, shall we?
2) A Career Leap-Of-Faith
For those of you who didn’t know, I was working for my dad for a good seven years and it was something that I did mainly because I felt he needed my help, and not because I truly loved it. Basically, I love my dad, just not the job.
When he decided to have an early retirement this year, he asked if I was keen to continue. I knew in my heart from when I first started with photography that I would not be staying in his company for the rest of my days, and that moment was it! There were so many factors to consider; should I take another full time job, should I delve right into building up my business, what about the wedding, what about if I wanted to start a family soon.
The wonderful thing is that my friend, Shaun, offered me a position in his company that made having the best of both worlds attainable! I now work with his company, T25 Films, as a producer and photographer, and it also allows me to work within my own branding for wedding photography as well. I am learning new things, traveling to new places and honing my craft all at the same time now, and I cannot be more thankful for the given opportunity.
3) The Upcycle Project
Speaking of opportunities, one of the projects that I embarked on was with Participate !n Design’s “The Upcycle Project”. I went up to Mizah when Basically was holding an even together with P!D and told her that I’d love to help out in terms of photography because I believed strongly in the work they were doing. I went in only thinking that all my job scope would be was providing my photography services, not knowing that at the end of the shoots I would come out touched by all the recipients of the upcycled furniture. This project broadened my perspective, and inspired me to start exploring new ways I may be able to help the community in future.
The amazing thing was that P!D decided to work in conjunction with The Thought Collective to put out an exhibition with all the photos featuring the work of the designers. It was such an exciting end to the project as we managed to get all the designers together for the launch and arranged a sharing session. It was also my first time speaking about my work in front of people and I was so-very-nervous! But it was all in all my proudest moment.
I’ll have a separate post on this with more photos (I promise)!
4) A Relationship with God
You may or may not be religious. I may receive flak for this by putting this up on the internet, but the one thing that I believe has sustained me so far throughout the year is God and I believe it is time to start giving Him due credit for everything.
I have learnt this year what it means to rely on Him and truly live by my “daily bread”. Obviously with the change in my career path, and with the Shyguy also trying something new out all within the same timing, the topic of struggling to make ends meet is something new to me and I am growing out of it day by day. With the wedding, and moving, and daily expenses, I’ve come to learn what it is like to rely completely on God, and I am happy to say that He has been faithful. Every time I think there may not be enough for us to pay for everything that we are setting out to do, God has proved otherwise.
Now, it is very dangerous to assume that everything will be “laa-dee-daa” with life. I do not believe that what I am currently going through are detrimental to my life, there are many believers going through worse things than me, and I believe in the possibility of big impending trials that will come my way in the future. But what I would like to say is that it has been immensely comforting to be able to rely on a God who is above everything that exists, and knowing that He has everything planned out for me.
Talking about my faith has never been easy for the fear of modern-day persecution, and I’ve always admired people who openly blog about it. But with everything that I’ve learnt this year, I thought it was time to put my head-knowledge to practical use. If you’d like to talk more to me about it, you could leave me an email and I will be more than happy to carry on a conversation with you. =)
That… is my year so far. It is wordy, but I assure you that it is very honest.
To end off, HAPPY THANKSGIVING y’all!!! A blog post with all the usual image heavy goodness will soon follow!
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The end of year is nigh!!!
I usually say that with a heavy lilt of panic in my voice whenever December rolls around each year. However, things seem a little different this time round! All of my heavy backlog has been finished, which frees me to concentrate on personal projects, like figuring out how to use the new film scanner I bought this year (exciting, I know). Even my marketing postcards are nearly ready and all that is needed is to collect the printables and start the packaging, addressing and sending them on their merry little ways.
December is also when I normally start reminiscing back of the year past, and start giving thanks to the many things that have happened, good and bad. A major milestone this year was my 30th birthday. Yes, I just turned 30, can you believe it? I’m not sure I do just yet.
Yet, despite it being the big 3-0, I settled for celebrations ranging on the quieter side, contented with little meet ups with my pockets of friends for quiet meals and good fellowship. I am truly thankful that I have friends to celebrate birthdays with.
And cake. Lots of cake.
One of the mini-celebrations I had was at Madnest, where Shaun and Wenai bought all of us present this huge Hoegaarden dispenser, beer included, to share. It made for early-in-the-day happy hour. If you and your friends cannot decide on what to have, Madnest is a great place for a compromise. We feasted on morsels of varying international cuisines. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
*If anyone wants a batch of postcards from me (complete with a personal message), send me an email and I will be sure to send some love your way!
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