A Little Life Update

WOW it has been a longgg time since my last blog post. Like, maybe even more than six months? I'm kind of afraid to look and see...

If you've been following along on Instagram you probably know the reason: as soon as we decided we were going to build a new website I kind of got that "new website fever" and didn't want to post anything on the old format of the blog because, surely, pretty soon a new, sleeker, cleaner looking blog would be able to house those blog posts (sigh!). Obviously, getting this thing up and running took a whole lot longer than I expected. But I'm back, and I've been writing a bit again and have an exciting line up of posts I'll be sharing in the next couple of weeks and, ultimately, that's what matters. Let's just pretend like I never fell off the blogging bandwagon and am a much more efficient website builder than I am. Deal? Deal.

So, because it's been such a long time since I posted on here, I thought I would do a little life update (which is repetitive info if you've read the title of this post). A lot has changed since six or so months ago, and in a weirdly cliche way very little has changed at the same time. Life looks very normal for us right now compared to where we were at a year ago without an apartment, living out of a suitcase, booking it from one almost-missed flight to the next, albeit getting more exhausted by the day, but grateful for where God had us at that point, if not simultaneously starting to feel like we were going to want to wrap up that style of living sooner than we may have anticipated a few months before...

Nowadays, we're living back in Boston, in the same apartment we were in before we left to travel, in the same neighborhood we love, starting weekend mornings making tea with the same kettle and going for walks down the same streets (with a new, furry sidekick named Duck). I'm not the type of person who would have ever tagged myself in the past as appreciating normalcy, but I'm most definitely that person today (give or take a few hours here & there). Don't get me wrong, we absolutely loved having the opportunity to see so much of the world so quickly, and getting to go places and experience things we never EVER would have been able to afford without the opportunities photography and Instagram provided us with, but home is home, you know? If I were me a few years ago right now I'd probably be shaking my head thinking, "Nope, I don't know," so I'll try to explain a little bit better why this new stage of life, being Boston-based photographers, Porter going back to a full-time job outside of photography, putting travel on hold for the most part, and just soaking up a pretty average existence has been so great for us.

If I can sum it up in a sentence here it is: we have extra energy. Extra energy to give to each other and our friends and our families and things we enjoy outside of traveling and photography and that app that I appreciate some months and other days wish I could take a months-long hiatus from (you know the one!). When you live out of a suitcase, your life moves fast, like, lightning speed, and that kind of existence though thrilling and fascinating and stretching is also TIRING. Somedays you're functioning on autopilot and other days you're trying so hard to live in the moment but are just wishing you could curl up in bed and pretend like you've already been to this new place you're in for twenty-four hours or so.

Now, I definitely don't think I'm speaking for everyone who's tackled the lifestyle Porter and I led last year. Some people, surely, thrive on it, and some people do it a little differently, like choosing fewer places and staying for longer. But as soon as Port and I started to feel like we weren't really thriving anymore (which I believe occurred at a little cafe near an Air BnB we were renting in Bali) we decided to call it. Really, this had been our plan all along: to hit the ground running and see as much of the world as we could and then, when we looked at each other and said, "I'm ready to tap out," to do so and to head back home without regrets but hopefully with a new understanding of ourselves and each other and the world around us.

So back to the bit about having extra energy. When we were traveling, life was pretty consumed by that reality: creating work for our clients and moving from place to place dictated every single day. Sometimes that looked like a beautiful sailboat ride from one Maldivian island to the next and other times it looked like open-mouthed sleeping on the floor of an airport at 4 am. We loved what we were doing and we still love what we do on this platform and over on Insta, but somewhere along the way, it got tougher and tougher to have conversations and put energy toward anything outside of that or where we were heading next and for some reason, that didn't make either of us very happy. Granted, I don't think we realized any of this until we were back home, BUT as I said, at that cafe in Bali we knew SOMETHING was up, something wasn't sitting well with the traveling lifestyle for us anymore and something needed to change.

And this was it you guys: extra energy. We were tapped out. We had none of it. We were having fun and laughing and seeing amazing things, but we both are the kind of people who have always had a range of interests, and suddenly that range was siphoned toward two things only: shooting and traveling. But focusing on something outside of those two things seemed impossible, there wasn't enough time in the day, we were hustling in order to continue to be profitable, and we also happened to love what we do, making it tough to say "no work talk after x hour" or that sort of thing to open up an opportunity to put energy toward other things.

And then we decided to come home, and we came up for air, and we got a puppy, and started reading books again, and having longer conversations about hypothetical things after dinner, and spending time with friends doing other activities we loved, and setting limits on screen time, and making photography clients a priority over purely creating for our own Instagram, and the extra energy slowly started to trickle in and the infinite ways to spend it in a city like the one we live in started to open up in front of us and suddenly normal didn't feel so boring, after all, it felt like it had added a fathom of depth we hadn't quite been able to see before.

I'm not sure what the big takeaway of this post should be (or if there even is one) but this is the sort of stuff that's been on my mind lately, so I wanted to share it here. I've started to realize, for me at least, the level of excitement you feel about your life has so much less to do with where you are or where you're headed and so much more to do with where you put your energy and whether where you're putting your energy refuels you or taps you out. I think we live in a culture today that champions busyness just for the sake of busyness and doing as much as you possibly can, but these past few months away from the blog, I've realized big time that busyness is overrated, that it's not the quantity of things you get done or check off your list, but whether doing those things springboards you toward more opportunities that replenish your energy supply instead of draining it.

So there, that's today's post. A bit scattered, a bit of a life update, but a very true representation of where my head's been at lately, and where our life's at today. And I couldn't be more grateful, and I don't think we've ever been this happy.


Anna Lisa

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