When I was in graduate school, I started this accidental photography business. It was one of the busiest times in my life, and a time I look back on with so many regrets.
Graduation day for me was so bittersweet. Bittersweet because as excited as I was to graduate and dive more into photography, I felt the weight of everything I missed out on those two years of my masters.
Missed moments. Missed intentionality. Missed opportunities and relationships.
While I was saying “yes” to a lot of things, I was saying “no” to many others. And it all hit me at gradation. I promised myself I’d simply never feel this way again. It was my “rock bottom” in a way, and I'm grateful for it so early in my business—before I started a family. God was so merciful to take me down this road during two years of graduate school versus the first two years of Luke's life. And while I rock my baby to sleep tonight, because he's sick, I realize all of this. It took over two years for me to figure out that the most sour feeling at graduation was the biggest blessing in disguise.
Setting your own hours and being your own boss is the best and hardest thing. Sometimes I say “no” to a client, so I can say “yes” to be a friend; and vice versa; sometimes I say “no” to a friend, so I can say “yes” to my family; and vice versa. Knowing when your yeses and nos are right is hard. It’s still hard.
Sometimes I still don’t say “no” to the right things, but having that remembrance of graduation day has been such game changer and blessing for the way I see my business personally.
I don’t ever want to look back on Luke’s childhood like I️ did my grad school years and think, “why did I say ‘yes’ to so many things and miss out?” I can’t get those years back, but thankfully, I can be stronger with my “no”s during a season that’s more rich. The Lord has graciously been showing me over this past season--how important these boundaries are to me personally. Every mama, every entrepreneur, every person has their own boundaries for their own convictions, and this is one area I learned about particularly early in life. Do I feel like I've mastered it? Not by any means. But the idea of it? Yes, I'm very aware, and I'm so grateful for that.
So today and tonight, I'm saying “yes” all day go cuddling my sick babe, and melting a little inside when all he needs to feel better is his head on Mama’s shoulder. Saying “yes” right now is the easiest thing.
Am I alone or are there other entrepreneurs/moms out there who have walked similar paths? Don't be afraid to say "no" and set boundaries. Don't wait until you feel like I felt at graduation. You can take control, and do it now.
Sending you all the power and grace,