Maxeen Kim Photography, Life of a Photographer

This morning when I opened my eyes I was not only opening them to a new day but I was also opening them to a new year; the last year of my twenties.

Life up until this point has been filled with twists and turns and adventure. I have been blessed. But while to the outside world it may have looked like a fantastic party, it has also been filled with huge hurdles, massive heartbreaks, loss of people I’ve loved and most of all HARD WORK and PLANNING.

I will be leaving my twenties a completely different person to the person who entered them. I am changed and it’s something I am so proud of. My heart and mind have been opened to the world – and it’s full of possibility!

This last month I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on the journey so far. I’ve been journaling a lot and I saw a pattern or a list forming. A list of things that I wish I could tell my younger self (although I am painfully aware of the fact that I would have listened to none of it). So today I’ve decided to share my list in the hopes that it may help someone else.

It’s Ok Not To Know, You Actually Have The Directions

When I first finished school I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. It took me a few years as well as a few failures to figure it out. I now absolutely adore what I do and am so grateful I followed my heart and passions – even if it was a harder road to take or didn’t always make sense at the time. I firmly believe that we all know the path we have to take in life. Not necessarily in the sense of having it completely mapped out, but we know the general direction. I think it’s one of those secrets God tells us when we arrive on the planet and then we keep it so secret, we don’t even tell ourselves – we kind of whisper pieces or directions to the right path to ourselves as we go along. As if we’re on a staircase and we just know enough to know we can step up onto the next stair. Trust the whispers of your heart.

Don’t be afraid to say no

Saying ‘no’ was not something I have always been good at. I used to feel uncomfortable or guilty saying it, like I was letting my friends or work mates down if I couldn’t always help out. But having boundaries and saying ‘no’ does not mean you are letting anyone down. You let yourself down if you end up doing things you don’t really want to. Do the things your heart is in or people will keep asking and you could end up feeling unappreciated. I found learning to say NO and meaning it was actually a confidence booster for me and gained me a lot more respect from those around me.

Nourish your body and soul

Take the time to nourish your body with exercise and your soul by reading, journaling, yoga – whatever works for you. Spending time with yourself, doing something that makes you feel healthy and leaves you feeling relaxed and connected to who you are is so important. Set aside time to do something just for you on a daily basis – even if it’s just 30 minutes. You only get one body. Love and look after it.

Aim for contentment

Everyone always tells you to ‘Do What Makes You Happy’. The problem with this is that happiness comes and goes. It’s an emotion and it’s impossible to be happy all the time. The aim in life should not to be ‘happy’ but to be content. If we aim for contentment it doesn’t matter if we are happy or not. We know we may have ups and downs because that’s life. But when you are generally content with what you have, those ups and downs won’t affect you so much. You’ll be able balance life and feel a lot more secure.

Keep the circle smaller

When we’re younger we worry about being liked by everyone. As I’ve got older I realise that I am actually more worried about having just a handful of friends that I can really love and support. I would rather have 5 friends I know I can count on, trust and share anything with, then have an army of ‘luke warm’ friends which leave you wondering where you stand. Find your soul sisters, and hold on to them. Everything else will just fall into place.

So here’s to turning 29… Let this year be great. And let the next decade be even better!

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