Beginning Again Outside Of The Box

From a very young age we begin dreaming of what our lives will look like. For some of us who dream in detail, we can feel the rumble of our dream car as we picture it, we can see the exceptional view from the office at the job that was taken from climbing up that ladder, or hear the wedding bells playing off in the distance at our future wedding. Up until the moment that those dreams reach our fingertips, we are often aligning ourselves in the pathway to ensure that they all come to fruition. But what happens the moment that you get everything that you have ever “wanted” and you realize that it wasn’t the dreamscape that you painted? What happens when you realize that you are living a life that you can no longer picture yourself in? What happens when your cinematic daydream comes apart at the seams and you find yourself in a box that confines every move that you make? 

I can tell you what happens, because I have been there. I have wrestled with self-destructive thoughts that broke me into a thousand pieces on the floor of a home that I had consciously built with good intentions. The words, thoughts and opinions of others have haunted me from that first sip of coffee to that last sip of wine. The vices grew strong and the voices grew loud. I found myself at the lows that felt more like the end of the road. And I was one of the lucky ones, because I survived. But I’m here to tell you that you are going to as well. And one day you are going to realize that breaking out of that box is the best thing that you will ever do for yourself. 

At the end of what you thought was going to last the rest of your lifetime – whether it was a relationship, a career, a family, or a possession – it is very easy to feel lost. And it is very easy to feel as though YOU have lost as well. But the moment that you stop looking at those changed plans as failures and start seeing them as the life lessons that they are… THAT is the moment that your life will begin again. Your life begins again when you let go of the self-judgement, the attachments, the habits, the desires and the fears that have been standing in the way of your true happiness. It is time to make peace with that past of yours, whatever that past might look like, and begin to embrace where you are and where you want to go next. Your book doesn’t end, just because you have ended the chapter that you thought was going to be the best in the story. In fact, how exciting is it that your happiest chapter hasn’t even happened yet? Remember that when you are feeling anxious about what will come next for you.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to dream again on the basis that your first dream didn’t work out the way that you planned. Life rarely does, but we have the power within us to manifest a beautiful future as long as we open up our hearts again to the love and adventure that awaits us. Believe in yourself, push your limits, conquer the goals that set your heart on fire and experience life for all that it is – the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful… the imperfectly perfect time spent on this earth. It is never too late to break out of the box that confines you and begin again. 

by Emma Jaye Velazquez

Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado and raised in Youngstown, Ohio - adventure had been instilled in my soul at an extremely young age. Being raised by a big Italian family provided me with the unconditional love and support that taught me that I could do anything I truly put my mind to.

During my junior year at Kent State University I took a leap of faith and changed my major to photojournalism. Hands down, this is the best decision that I have ever made for myself. This was where I discovered my passion for visual storytelling and found affirmation that I am doing exactly what I was meant to do.

I finished out my senior year studying my craft and living in Florence, Italy - where I firmly believe I began to develop into the best possible version of myself as an artist. My love for lifestyle, music and documentary photography has taken me to places I had never anticipated and has introduced me to people that have changed my life forever.


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