Think Small : Ramblings and Thoughts // Personal Post {Husband & Wife Lifestyle Photography}

Over this past weekend Kevin and I hosted a yard sale.  It was one of many we have had over the course of the last few years.  Even today we are still picking up the pieces of it’s aftermath.  If you have ever had a yard sale you know just how taxing they can be.  From the prep, the set up, the early birds, the bargaining, the heat, and the ever loathed tear down which is quickly followed by the moment where you stare at all that is left over saying to yourself “now what do we do with this sh*t”.  Isn’t it funny how all the things you once loved and couldn’t live without have now become “stuff”?  Our lives become the ever rotating cycle of accumulating and discarding, taking on of new tastes and shedding ourselves of dated styles.   At least for Kevin and I that seems to be the case, a familiar cycle from which we reevaluate and reestablish our priorities.  Though this weekend had the facade of an average sunny day yard sale, for me, it held a bit more meaning.  A meaning that I didn’t really take notice of until late Friday night while decifering if I put out my favorite Fleur-De-Lys glassware that has sat in our storage trailer for now over a year.   Ok some back story…

About two years ago Kevin and I moved out of our large 3 bedroom suburban home and moved into our Vintage Airstream.  This wasn’t a first for us.  In fact, years ago we resided in our first Airstream while Kevin lived out a dream of building a hand scribed log home.   It was several cold, cold months in Northern Minnesota that we lived in our beloved tin can.  Looking back it was well worth every minute in memories and dream chasing.  

Fast forward to being back in CA and we had drastically changed our simple gypsy trailer lives by moving into a large, beautiful, and overpriced home at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains.  Not gonna lie, it felt like heaven most of the time.  The space, the yard, the fruit trees out back, the huge kitchen, and the space to do all the entertaining we could afford.  With a garage out back for Kevin to use as a man cave, a room to house my grandmother, and a spare room which we used as an office/studio to help build what would later become “The Why We Love“.  When we chose to take “The Why We Love” to the next level and move from passion to profession we took a step back and began the familiar cycle of reevaluating. We came to realize that there was “stuff” in our lives holding us back from ever really moving forward in pursuing our passion, our dream, our business.  For us, aside from the common fears of failure and inadequacy, it was literal stuff.  Expensive cars, a big house with a big payment, and all the furnishings filling that space.  We got serious about our desires.  We stopped listening to the naysayers that would lead us to believe that 1) we couldn’t do this as a team and 2) we most certainly couldn’t do this during the current economic climate.  We made the hard decision of moving out, downsizing, downsizing, and downsizing some more. – (Enter the first massive yard sale) –  We sold a lot of stuff, we moved into our second Airstream then eventually moved in with family.  We made (and still make) every possible sacrifice in order to pour into this company.  It has not been w/out it’s share of strife and frustration.  Even the successes we celebrate today were built on a fair share of failures.  We are thankful every single day that we have been fortunate to have the support of family who believe firmly in the choices we have made and come along side us making their own sacrifices on our behalf.  So, though that life, that home, those cars, that stuff seemed ideal for us in many ways, who’s “ideal” was it really?  Were we sizing ourselves out of a bigger picture?

Fast forward a bit more (or rewind depending on how you are following along;) to last Friday when I’m pondering the release of my Anthropologie glassware to potential buyers, or better yet imagine me at the end of the yard sale as I am looking at what is left of my “Big” life as it sits in a total of 10 or so packed boxes.  The words resounding in my heart and mind as I stood there with Kevin were as audible as if Kevin himself were speaking them out loud.  Though he swears he said nothing, and though it was in a still small voice, I distinctly heard: “think small as to fit into a much bigger picture”.  Really?  small?  In business, and in most of life, we are taught to “think big”, “dream big”, “go big”.  I don’t disagree entirely as I am a firm believer in taking risks and following dreams, but I started to wonder if there is another way of looking at things.  Something I was missing, or in my case, something I had forgotten.   The words “think small” don’t seem to make an impact all by themselves but the following “as to fit into a much bigger picture” seems to leave me with a heavy heart and a sense of wondering.  So many images come to mind.  A puzzle, a large building, anything and everything under the sun really is the manifestation of that one simple phrase.  You can’t get more metaphorical than that, can you?  In all of the images that flash in my mind, two distinctly stood out, and stick with me.  First the image of a mosaic.  Somehow the idea of small broken and shattered pieces placed perfectly together to create one beautiful work of art. OH MY, how I want that to be my life.  Or the image of a beautiful, lush, fertile garden.  One where different plants thrive and give off beauty and life.

For the past year, or few years really, we have been shattered into a million little pieces.  As a result, I have seen how we have, by the hands of a so loving God, been picked up and are continually being put back together and formed into what I can only hope will be something more beautiful then ever before.  As we move closer and closer to the type of spouses we want to be, the type of artists we long to be, and the type of business we desire to thrive in, we have decided that thinking small isn’t such a bad idea.  We have witnessed in the past year an amazing amount of growth in all of the aforementioned areas.  That is to be celebrated for sure, and we don’t by any means want to stop there.  That is not what I mean by “think small”.  I mostly mean, I (we) want to be the type of people that never think more highly of ourselves, (or more highly of others for that matter) as to size ourselves (or others) out of a bigger, better plan.  I am not saying I want to simply “fit in”.  On the contrary, I want to be an individual in my own right.  But I am saying I never want to out do, or over shadow.  I want to collaborate, partner, spur on, encourage.  I want to support, serve, and celebrate.  I want to compliment, uplift, and share experiences.  I want to move, inspire, and challenge.  I want to be a beautiful budding peony that on it’s own is stunning but who’s beauty is enhanced when a part of a magnificent garden.   Most of all we want to be the type of human beings that are not too big to take on projects we are passionate about, travel to places that we dream to see, document stories of those who we encounter, and perhaps one day help be the visual voice of those who are not easily heard.  Our desire, ultimately is to grow, even grow big.  To do that, we realize that we must start off small.  Prune back our branches as to not overshadow or choke out those around us, and just grow.  Small, steadfast, until we are a beautiful part of something bigger, much, much, bigger than we could have ever imagined on our own.