Don't Forget

You're dreaming about a day when you'll have your own office with a yellow couch and lots of books and a candle burning and some weddings to edit; a kitchen with a round table and fresh flowers and open cabinets and lots of mugs hanging on the wall; a puppy to sleep at your feet while you work; a breeze flowing through your open windows and sunlight streaming in early in the morning; your favorite music playing throughout the whole house. No day job, no papers, no french homework, no bus to catch, no classes. Your bookbag will be hidden somewhere in a closet, long forgotten, and your camera bag will be the one sitting by your desk all the time; all of your lenses will have red rings. You'll go to the post office, and meet brides for consultations and take engagement photos, and on the weekends you'll have weddings to shoot. You'll go to workshops because you can afford them. You'll brand yourself thoughtfully to the best of your ability. You will look back at this and think wow, it happened.

But right now is important too...

Bookbags tossed carelessly to the wayside. Jackets and scarves and gloves and hats strewn over chairs. It's cold out. Maybe raining; maybe there's snow on the ground, but inside it's warm. The TV is on in the background; if you're lucky it's Friends. Computers are opened and feet find their way out of shoes and onto the coffee table. Someone is telling a funny story about someone on the appalcart. Someone is complaining about a class or a professor or work. Someone is at the door saying goodbye as she heads to a club meeting or to her boyfriend's house or to the library. It's just beginning to get dark outside.

Savor this.

Savor the laughter of your roommates, and the hideous fabric of the couch on which you're sitting that you and your roommates attempted to cover up with some fabric from Walmart and a stapler, but found its way back into the open eventually. How many naps have you taken on this couch after class? How many movies have you watched? How many dinners have you eaten? Soak in this apartment; the cramped quarters of your room, which gets almost no light, is always cold, and is cluttered with books, and pens, and essay drafts, and papers that are riddled with sketches of business cards and thank you notes and branding ideas. You lose bobby pins all the time, and your bed is almost always unmade.

Remember this, because it's where you started. It's where you booked your first wedding. The place where you came home after meeting a bride and signing your first official contract, and you were so excited you skipped through the parking lot back to your car. This is the place where you started your blog, and you got those first emails. You sat on this couch as you had a panic attack about buying your first professional camera and where you clicked that 'purchase' button. This is the place where you woke up to text messages from friends asking for sessions. This is the place where you sat at the dining room table and checked your email, completely and utterly joyful to find just one waiting in your inbox. Just one: that's all it took to give you butterflies and make you smile and say a prayer of gratitude and run out to tell your roommates and call your parents.
Do not lose this.

You can see Ingles from the living room window. Don't forget that. Your freezer is constantly overflowing and something falls out every time you open it. Don't forget that. You can't see anything on the TV in the mornings because the light streams so brightly through the windows; you have a a beautiful drive to work and you always get stuck behind slow drivers who are afraid of curvy roads; you get ready every morning standing next to your best friend; you watch Friends every night at 11 with your roommate; you always make tea and leave it sitting on the counter, only to remember it hours later. Don't forget. 

This is where you'll remember. Don't wish this time away. Soak in your surroundings and the fact that you live with your best friends and the fact that you have 4 whole weddings booked and  that you get giddy every time you get an email inquiry.

If, one day, you make it, and you have your own office with a yellow sofa and weddings to edit, don't forget this.