"One day, you're 17 and you're planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your LIFE." - John Green
As people are getting in the full swing of going back to school, work, college, etc. from a marvelous summer, my mind has been recalling feelings of when I was a senior in high school. Honestly, my last year as a high schooler were filled with personal hardships but I still remember thinking "one day I will be gone and on my own, living and doing...." terrifying yeah, but man so exciting. At least to me.
But here I am, 'one day' is today and ya know, this LIFE is pretty rad, and definitely NOT what I thought it would be when I was a senior in high school.
I have taken many photos of seniors and I just love hearing their stories of where they've been and how they are looking forward to moving on into adulthood. The expectations of life to come can be achieved for sure, but change is a thing you can count on. I always chuckle when I'm done with senior shoots hearing the normal "I'm majoring in this, going to that school, hoping to move on to this job"...it makes me remember how drastically my own college / young adulthood experience didn't go according to plan...but it was simply amazing and made me who I am today.
I always cheer for the seniors I work with. I praise their uniqueness, dare them to dream, and honestly tell them life is messy! But man, LIFE is full of adventure, and growth happens when you least expect it. I hope I can show them in the quick moments between the camera clicking that LIFE is beautiful, and so are they...and that dreams have no limits.
This beauty is Kjirsten. She is my baby cousin and honestly, a young woman with probably the most caring, honest and gentle heart I have ever encountered. She has big dreams and big plans. She has gone through the most tragic of hardships, but has gracefully endured and is in college THRIVING. I had tears behind the lens most of the time during these shoots, and my heart even hurt with how LIFE doesn't stop for anyone. Babies grow, days become busier, people pass on, friendships end....and sometimes what you thought would be, isn't. Dreams of a high schooler can seem impossible or unrealistic....but the hope in those dreams is what can keep us all going.
Sisters. All have now been to the same college. Three have gone ahead, and one is left to make her own way. Thinking back to my last blog about Family...this family is full of HOPE. I have seen and heard these women dream high school dreams, grow and change, and become mothers full of life. Did their dreams match up? Maybe not 100%, but I do know they still live, love, and dream with that kind of Hope that propels them onwards.
Parents can pave the way for their children, and her parents have...while her Mama is not here anymore, I know many of the dreams Kjirsten has are straight from her Mama's heart. To love children, to teach and encourage, to love Christ. Dreams can last generations...if hope lasts.
I pray your hope hasn't died friends. Maybe look back at those dreams or aspirations you had as a senior in high school. If you didn't do them, or even completely failed...know that you LIVED and are LIVING. Keep the hope in your heart and dream.