We've all made sacrifices for something or someone we love, and it can be heart wrenching at times. It can feel like the world has just crumbled at your feet accompanied by an overwhelming sense of fear. When it comes to being successful in anything in our lives, we must make sacrifices. People often see others at the top, but forget or lack the understanding of what it took for that person to get there. They don't know the journey. They don't know the sacrifices that person had to make in order to get to where they are today.
There are three (if not more) things that have happened in my life, and three times I had to sacrifice in order to push onward.
In 2014, I had just graduated with a B.S. degree in Equine Business Management, had a full time job working in the Equine Department at the University, my own apartment, a boyfriend, and my horse. Life appeared to be great, except it wasn't. I had never felt so empty in my entire life. That summer, I went on a trip with my younger brother to Montana, The Last Best Place, the very place where my soul lived. We were there for two weeks and during our trip, I felt life breathing into me again. Physically, I felt alive for the first time in a long time. Before I left for that trip, my long distance relationship was crumbling and it got to the point where I didn't even know what I was holding on to anymore. While I was in Montana, I began to own my worth and realize I deserved better, not just from a relationship, but for myself. I had fallen out of love with myself and became only a shell of the woman I wanted to be.
When I returned home from Montana, I only felt longing to go back, to feel the way I did while I was there, to be who I was when I was there, which was me. So, I quit my job, dumped my boyfriend, packed two suitcases, and bought a one-way ticket to Montana. To this day, this was the scariest and greatest thing I have ever done in my entire life.
2015 was my lesson of letting go. I've always been one to hold on to mistakes or people, simply because of the time I had invested in them. I lost many friends in 2015, along with my best friend. Turns out people aren't always who you think they are, and I had to learn that, that was okay. Life takes us on many different paths and sometimes there are some people who don't continue on the journey with us. My best friend and I were growing and traveling on two separate paths, which resulted in the ending of our friendship. Sadly, I was more relieved than anything. It was becoming a job to hold onto this friendship, and I no longer had any room in my life for that. Letting go is so difficult, but once you do, so many other things, better things, and better people come into your life because now you know what you do and don't vibe with.
You may have read in my first blog post that I no longer work for GCR, and this was a devastating experience for me, but before it ended, how it began was also a huge leap of faith. I had a very well paying job at a four star hotel in Big Sky, Montana. This was also where I was getting published in magazines for my food styling photos. All great things were happening, but once again I felt like I had hit a peak and my life became stagnant. I was looking for a place to board my horse and move her from MA to MT. I stumbled upon GCR, and it ended up turning into 3 interviews and a job offer as their Development Director. However, I was making significantly less, and was only getting
paid once a month. My heart still sinks in fear just typing this. I struggled a lot, but it was so worth it to me because I was making an impact, while putting my degree to use. Unfortunately, we all know how this ended, but during this time I was able to expand my photography skills with horses, and even received two more paid publications, which is amazing.
And here I am today. I am by no means on top and I don't think I ever really want to be. I want to be continuously climbing and chasing after my dreams. I view my life as a never ending mountain with cliffs jetting out from the sides. Each cliff is a goal, and I'll never stop reaching for those. I'll never stop fighting, and I'll never stop sacrificing, because that's what got me here and that's what will continue to get me to any dream I could ever imagine.