“Miss Yuliya,” my sweet toddler niece punctuated my name on the other line, “Josiah broke my ballerina and mom threw it in the trash!” she loudly stated with a bit of sadness in her voice. While looking for something to gift my 3+ something year old niece for Christmas, I found a snow globe with a ballerina inside that twirled to the sound of Nutcracker snowflake dance song. If you’d only see her love at first sight with her Christmas gift, she carried it around and starred at it as if she’s waited for that gift for a lifetime. When her brother snuck out the snow globe from the room and dropped it on accident, Mimi’s dreams were crushed. She cried and she cried and cried some more.
I am now on a hunt for a new snow globe ballerina, but thinking of this incident reminded me of just how fragile and often over-exagerated our dreams can be. When I look at the past few years, I have placed so many superficial things inside of a snow globe, that I carried around with me in my notebook of big ideas, hoping for those things to bring me immense happiness. In my pursuit of the dreamed up status, place in society, prestige and career success, I’ve overlooked so many other things that bring much more lasting happiness than my snow globe of dreams.
The truth is, careers don’t last, many entrepreneurs end up on a different journey from original, and careers only bring happiness if the vocation allows you to do the things you really want to do anyway. Status and success get reinterpreted over and over when we change on the inside and our values change over time.
As the year draws to a close, I’m so thankful that I have given up so many fragile dreams this year and traded them for something bigger. My blogging went downhill, but I was busy doing many other things that I couldn’t have done have I still been chasing my snow globes. I’ve photographed more weddings that I ever have this year, and while once I would have called this immense success, I am only grateful for the ways I could serve so many people and truly give them something amazing to remember from their day. I am thankful for clients that let me into their lives, that befriended me, that made me feel like a treasured friend on their wedding, and even more so the clients that let me share pain with them over serious illnesses.
This year has been one of the hardest for me especially emotionally, but I’m grateful that the pain has made me so much stronger and so much more adequate to serve others with much more than just amazing photographs.
I’m sure I still carry around other snow globe dreams that can be shattered into pieces too easily, but I’m grateful for how far I’ve come and what can be done once you let go of the trivial. Here’s to dreaming big the right way!