Today, I’m posting on LeahAndMark.com for the last time.
I have a story for you. I moved out on my own two days after my 18th birthday. Two! DAYS! Now that I’m actually a grown-up (because let’s face it: when you’re 18, you’re not a grown-up), I can say with complete and utter certainty, that that was nuts. So much could have happened to me. Bad stuff. Mistakes. Poor decisions and no money to pay bills. Failure. BUT.
Moving away from home when I did was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in all my twenty-seven years of existence. And not because I hated home, or hated my parents, or hated the safety and comfort of my cozy little bedroom. I had one of the happiest childhoods I’ve ever heard of, actually, and my parents have somehow, in that weird full-circleness of life, become some of my very best friends. I left home not in spite of the lovely things I had surrounding me but because of them. I needed to be on my own. To make decisions myself. To risk mistakes and crappy judgment and empty bank accounts. To chance failure. And I wasn’t entirely alone anyway- I brought along my tall, dark, and handsome high school sweetheart to chance those things alongside me. I had a partner, yes, but the experience was all my own. And it shook me and shaped me into the evolved version of myself that I am today: strong(er), smart(er), and even more fiercely independent than I was even as a kid. That experience of jumping into the unknown is what did it for me.
So now, I’m leaping from the nest again so to speak- still shooting, still blogging, still growing as a photographer every single moment, just over at KristaTurnerPhotography.com instead. It’s weirdly parallel to how I’m feeling now and how I felt when I was 18. Excited, anxious, impatient, and scared shitless too. Applying for the LeahAndMark.com internship was the single greatest thing I’ve ever (EVER) done for my photography, and right up there in my top ten for best decisions of my life. Coming onboard as an Associate Photographer- with that fancy little + sign in front of my name- has been equally life-changing, and soul-shaping and mind-bending and FUN. The things I’m coming away from this experience with, well… they’re things you’re not going to find anywhere else. (Trust me. I looked.) And the best part of it all is the camaraderie you’re building with these other incredible photographers- it’s awesome because you’re surrounding yourself with so much creative energy, you can only go up from where you started. And it’s because of Leah and Mark that I’ve been able to experience this.
And so, thank you, Mark and Leah, for bringing me into your family and showing me who I am and how to appreciate it. Knowing you both has changed me forever, and there aren’t a whole lot of people I can truly say that about. Thank you for helping me. Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for everything.
Thank you to my fellow Pluses- they’re beautiful, talented photographers and you should definitely continue to follow their journeys too. Also, they know what it’s like to wrangle Mark. These ladies are simply amazing.
I’m not delving into this new chapter alone. My tall, dark, and handsome high school sweetheart is now my husband, and he happens to be my very favorite person in the world to have next to me when it’s time for a new adventure. Plus he makes me laugh and fixes me coffee late at night whenever I ask. (I’m so very lucky.)
I remember on my first night as a new Intern, a million years ago it seems, Leah was talking about the importance of our blogging. She said we’d have readers, even if we didn’t realize it, and so it was important to keep writing (and shooting) for them too. And she was right: so many times, I’ve felt like I’ve been talking to myself in my blogs, which is totally cool because writing is a ridiculously therapeutic habit to get into. But then I’ve been out, and people I’d had no idea were even paying attention would start conversations to punctuate whatever I’d talked about in that week’s latest blog. And that has never ceased to feel really really neat to me. So thank you for reading along. I guess I like talking to myself a little, but I like talking to you so much more.