A year of extremes. || My 2015

Wow, was 2015 a whirlwind. Possibly even the most eventful year of my life. So, so SO many beautiful things happened, and so many tragic things happened. I learned countless valuable lessons this year and I feel about a million years older after all the experiences I've had.

In 2015, I dealt with toxic people. I had to make hard decisions on whether these people were worth keeping in my life or not. I struggled with the inner battle of feeling like I wasted so much time on people who weren't good for me. In April, one of my best, lifelong friends died in a motorcycle accident. This affected me more than any death of a family member ever has, and it was incredibly difficult to see how much potential he had in life, and how that was just ripped out from underneath him. In September, I applied for a more upper level job at the place I'd been employed at for 3 and a half years, knowing how much hard work I'd put in there, and wasn't even offered an interview. It was extremely difficult, and made me seriously question my value and self worth. I knew that I deserved the position, and was left attempting to figure out my employment, and I had to cope with the fact that maybe I had wasted too much time at what seemed like a dead end job. 

Lastly, on December 28th, I totaled my car in Wenatchee, 3 hours from home. After the most incredible trip to Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee with 4 friends (3 of which, rode in my car), we were headed out of town when we got into an accident that totaled the car. We were stranded in town overnight and had to find our way home. I am now without a car for an undefinable amount of time, and must find a way to work every day.

However, I absolutely cannot deny how many positive things came about for me this year. The couple of things I didn't mention about that car accident? Our friend Colton's dad got us a room in the hotel they were staying at so we had a place to sleep that night. Clare's dad and sister came and got us the next morning, driving probably a total of 7 hours that they didn't have to drive. I quickly learned, 3 days ago, how much grace I have been offered this year, and how amazing my friends are. 

When I felt like my job was dead end and was stuck not knowing what to do or how to continue paying my bills, someone I worked with at the library connected me with her friend who owns the business that I currently work at. My new boss hired me on the spot, without even interviewing me. I cannot even say how much I appreciate my boss for doing that, and for being so amazing and flexible with my schedule while I figure out things with my car accident, and try to move on, physically, financially, and emotionally. I seriously love my job. 

This year, I officially started my own business, "Jessica Mumm Photography." I shot 2 of my very own weddings, and I second shot others as well. I made the most money I've ever made on photography this year. Not that it was a lot, but it was something. It was a great start to the rest of my career, and I can't wait for it to grow even more.

I travelled to many many new places this year. They may not have been far away, and they may not have been highly significant, but to me, they were new sights. I discovered my love for Mt. Spokane this year. I went to Kootenai Falls in Montana, Boise, ID, to visit my best friend, Coeur d'Alene and Tubbs Hill, Keechelus Lake in Snowqualmie Pass, Bowl and Pitcher State Park, Lewiston, and now Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee. All of these places offered me amazing adventures and sights, and all were spent time at with some of the greatest people in my life. My travels are my favorite part of 2015.

In 2015, I successfully completed a 52 week project. For those of you that have not been following that, or don't know what it is, I did a shoot every single week for a year. Only 2 or 3 times did I fail to do a shoot, but instead went back and re-edited/improved an old shoot from either 2013 or 2014. I am so proud of myself for finishing something that I started, and growing so much in photography. This year, my style has changed significantly, and my work has improved ten fold. My portfolio is now filled with some of my favorite photos that really reflect what I want to portray artistically. In July I got a 35mm lens, which completely changed the perspective of my worked and kicked it up a few solid notches. Some of my favorite moments of this year are from photos that I've shot. 

The friendships that I made this year, or continued from past years, were so wonderful. I am so so blessed to have different friends in every facet of my life. I still have friends from high school, I have friends from college, friends through mutual friends, and am continually meeting new people that I want to include in my life. This was made especially apparent to me, when I was in the accident a few days ago. The amount of people who stepped up to help me and my friends in some way, or to go out of their way to make sure I was okay, and let me know that they would be there for me, was so surprising. People I was close with, and people I barely talked to wanted to make sure we were all alright. If you ask anyone who knows me, I absolutely hate taking help or charity from people, and even more than that, I hate asking people for help. I am quickly learning that I am going to have to ask for a lot of help in the next month or so while I'm without a car, and I am so happy that I have so many friends that will be willing to do that for me. I actually have the most incredible group of friends in the world. 

This has truly been a crazy year, and one for the memory books. I have so many vivid, beautiful memories to hold on to to remind me how blessed that I am, and that this situation that I am in is only temporary, and everything will work out. It WILL be okay. It's taken me some time to see that, but I have so much support in my life.

I've learned extremely valuable lessons in the last 12 months. Don't be in a rush. We have all the time in the world to make the right decisions. The decisions we make affect all the people around us, whether we mean for them to, or not. What we don't have time for, though? Toxic people. Cut those people out of your life, as soon as you realize they will only hurt you, not help you. Take value in your friends and family, and let them know how much they mean to you. They could be ripped away from you in a second. Put yourself into everything you do, and always be genuine. Take care of yourself, and your health. Remember simple things, like drinking water and taking vitamins. You will feel so much better in the long run! Budget yourself. You don't need that really cute pair of boots to go along with all your other cute pairs of boots. Do a job that you love. Your employment at a company that you don't believe in, love, or feel valued at is absolutely pointless and will not further you as a valuable employee for future jobs. 

I think I could write an entire separate blog post on things I've learned in 2015. But I think you all get the gist. Bottom line, thank you to everyone who has supported me this year, whether it's in my career, my personal struggles, my low times, my high times, or just in general. I'd be lost without my family or friends. I still need my parents. I still need friends to call to rant to at midnight. I may be an adult, but I don't have it all figured out. And 2015 has humbled me enough to let me figure that out on my own. 


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