When Life Is Scary Yet Exciting


"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." Helen Keller said these famous words, I'm sure we've all heard them before. As I've gotten older and grown in my business as well, I've learned the truth in that saying. If we aren't taking risks in life, or seeking the unknown, or wandering off the popular path, are we really living? Sure, there's a simplistic comfort in knowing what each day will hold. I love knowing that during the week, Andy will come home after work and we'll talk about how our day was and eat dinner together. But there are growth and life opportunities in trying new things, considering "what if", and doing the exciting things that scare us.

Lately, my "what if" had been "What would happen if I completely and 100% dedicated myself to my photography business? No more side hustle. Would I be able to survive?" The answer, so far, is yes.

At the end of October, I retired from my eight year career in the hospitality industry. Friends, this was a HELLA scary decision. I love the restaurant industry and the people I worked with and especially the people I worked for. I most recently had the honor of working at Hinterland Brewery, one of the most esteemed establishments in Northeast Wisconsin. My heart holds a special place for fine dining because I love all that it embodies: attention to quality food, quality service, and a quality environment. Because those values are important to me, I was, quite honestly, rather good at working in a fine dining setting. When you're successful in fine dining, it's a very lucrative career. But as I took a closer look at my life, I had to admit to myself that this part-time job was my safety net. With that safety net, I knew that if I didn't push myself in my full-time career, I would still have funds coming in from Hinterland. It was dependable and reliable. I also knew that I wanted more flexibility with my time, even if I was only sacrificing time by working a shift or two a week. In turn, a well-respected location like Hinterland deserves not only passionate employees, but employees that can give proper attention and availability to their job. So after thinking things over, I chose to give my life's calling my full devotion.

I almost wish that I could tell you that I have been carefully planning this for months, with a huge action plan laid out step-by-step. But I don't, and quite frankly, that wouldn't be my style. It's not that I don't have goals or next steps to take, but rather that once I make a decision, I fully support myself emotionally with that choice. I don't like to wait for the "perfect moment", I choose the daring adventure. I am choosing to believe in myself and my business. I was afraid that once I took the leap, I would be stuck with that "falling" feeling, the kind that wakes you up in the middle of the night and makes you clutch your sheets so you know you're grounded. Except this time, the falling feeling would have ended with me landing on my bottom, dreams shattered around me and admitting defeat. But you know what? It has been NOTHING like that. As I type this, I feel contented, hopeful, and home. If I didn't choose the daring adventure of listening to my heart, my life wouldn't be nothing exactly, but it wouldn't be as fulfilling. I get to shape the years ahead and look forward to a life of love, flexibility, travel, and a calendar filled with photography experiences. 

We all have choices to make in life, choices that will determine the way the rest of our life looks. Perhaps it's choosing the person we spend our years with, or choosing the place we call home, or choosing the career that we will identify ourselves by for years to come. Maybe it's something as simple as adopting a dog on a whim (I'm looking at you, Bella-Boo), or blushing as you sign up for a dating website (Andy and I reconnected after high school through online dating), or making the crazy decision to take your passion completely full-time. I'm not saying all of us won't experience failure at some point in our lives. Heck, I could fail at this crazy adventure I'm pursuing. But I'm willing to bet it won't end that way. As my business coach says, live in possibility. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their own dreams. And friends, this girl's future is looking pretty darn beautiful right now. I hope you can experience this feeling in your lives in whatever capacity you seek it. Cheers to the future, and as always, I am so deeply appreciative of your love and support.

Until next time,

Photo Credit: Carlee Secor Photography

Photo Credit: Carlee Secor Photography

Personal PostsLauren Grier