December 28, 2011

Something About the Chase

It was almost exactly six years ago. Six years ago next month.

I was about to begin the final semester of my final year of law school. Justin had gotten hired over the break for a quick photography job back in his college town of Rochester, NY photographing cookies, and he asked if I wanted to come along. And I said hey where there are cookies, that’s where I belong. So we packed up his Volkswagen Passat and went to Rochester… in January. If you are not familiar with Rochester in January, let me be the first to tell you that it snows 47 feet in Rochester…in January. The temperatures hit somewhere around negative 212 degrees, and your eyelashes freeze directly to your eyebrows. In Rochester. In January.

While we were there, and because we were dirt poor, we stayed with the owners of this cookie company for three days. For three days, we got to see life first hand as an entrepreneur. To see what it looked like to work for yourself, from home, doing what you love. And…it was intoxicating. So intoxicating in fact, that I came back and wrote this blog post about it:

We talked about a life where we would both work from home. A home with a fireplace and candles burning and cool citrus basil lotion at the sink. And tea. There would be a lot of tea. Peppermint and Sleepy Time. And cinnamon apple in the fall. There would be cranberry walls, and a big silver “M” that hung over our dining room table with star garland wrapped around the centerpiece. There would be quilts and blankets and wedding pictures in silver frames. And a little golden fur ball to make it all complete. And we…well, we would be happy.

It was almost exactly six years ago. Six years ago next month.

A few days ago on Christmas Eve, Justin & I sat on the couch staring into a roaring fire. And all at once it hit me. Like the signs had always been there, but I had been too blind to see them. I looked around the room and asked Justin, what do you see? And he looked at me like he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about, and why would he really. But before he could take the champagne away, I said I’ll tell you what I see. I see a fireplace and candles burning and a big silver “M” on that desk over there. And maybe the lotion at the sink is meyer lemon not citrus basil, and the walls are silver sage not cranberry. But there are quilts and blankets and wedding pictures in silver frames. And a not so little golden fur ball to make it all complete. I see that somewhere along the line when we weren’t even looking, every dream we had for what this life would look like has happened.

And we almost didn’t even notice.

As you go out and you chase these dreams, it may take longer than you had planned. (As Lady Gaga would say, six WHOLE years). Chase them anyway. You may get off track. You may take the long way around. You may have to go all the way across the country to remember that you wanted to be home. The dream itself might change. The list you keep may grow. But remember why you got started in the first place. And just keep coming back to that. Because no matter how far off it feels right now, one day very soon you may just blink….open your eyes. And realize you have everything you ever wanted staring you in the face. And trust me, you don’t want to miss that. Because that’s when you can look back and say (Lady Gaga take us home…)

There’s just something, something about the chase.

  1. Ashley Terry

    Oh, I just love you guys! You deserve every bit of sweet success that comes your way.

  2. Mayte

    This was a great post! It gave me the little boost that I needed to keep my head in the game and not give up! Thank you for this.

  3. Emily Hall

    Inspiring. So. Inspiring. Thanks for the reminder to stop and take it all in.

  4. Joe Don Richardson

    Ok so I officially declare that I am in Love with everything Justin and Mary all the time. Sometimes I purposely try to not like a post because my friends look at my wall(now timeline) on facebook and say what is with this guy and all his likes for Justin and Mary.

    This Post is espicially(I can never spell that work correctly)moving. The chase. Sometimes it just seems like why but then I am inspired by everything Justin and Mary(and have to also give shout outs to Spring Smith, Mellissa Jill, Jasmine Starr, and Lara Krimmerer) To keep going to be inspired and to keep my Faith.
    That is why I read you’lls blog everyday and can’t wait for the posts. I know that it will be hard not to automatically like because it is Justin and Mary!

  5. Jasmine*

    Dream chasing and Lady Gaga references in one post? PERF!

  6. Alicia White

    love this post! dreaming big and chasing those dreams! Thanks for the reminder to slow down and enjoy the moments! <3

  7. Christy

    I LOVE this post! I just did my 2011 year in review blog post & I can see my dreams are slowly but surely coming true. Thanks for being such an inspiration and reminding us to keep our heads up! :) xo!

  8. Lani Ledingham

    Made my eyes water! Christmas is such a great time to realize these things. I am chasing a dream right now and every once in a while have to stop and realize, that I already am living my dream. To travel, write, photograph, create and contribute. I follow you guys feverishly and love how you brand and live your life. Well done, from one artist to another :)

  9. Gabby / En Route Photography

    Lucky lucky you! I´m still at the vocalizing that same dream phase but photographers like u give me so much hope and inspiration for the new year and my new life!!!! LOVE! ;)

  10. Stephanie Stewart

    So true, Mary, so true! Love this post! And now I have that song in my head! :)

  11. Sandra Fazzino Photography

    I don’t miss Rochester winters, a car hidden beneath six feet of snow, nor the bitter icey wind. But I love dreams realized. And am so happy for you two. Keep on keepin on. You make this world a happier, prettier place.

  12. Abbey

    Great message to end the year and kick off the new year!!! Love you guys!

  13. Julie Villarreal

    I love your message. Sometimes it’s the journey and sometimes it’s the destination; either way I will be happy!

  14. Kelly Green

    It’s an amazing thing to achieve your dreams, you guys inspire me to reach for mine : )

  15. Regina Marie

    LOVE THIS! It’s so amazing being able to look back and realize that you have created the environment you’re living in. And a realization like that can help enforce the fact that you can continue doing that for future goals. ~I love hearing that. I’m taking baby steps towards the life I want, and love hearing about others that have achieved theirs!

  16. athena p

    just when i think i can’t possibly adore you any further, you go and write this.

    i want you to know, for every crazy insane email i have left in your inbox, for every hope, for every wish, for every limb i climb out on, every single desperate attempt to grasp this dream that i chase…..that i am wholeheartedly thankful to be chasing at all. to be dreaming. to be living the life i’ve imagined.

    and i’m on the edge of glory….

    i hope.

  17. athena p

    ps: one of my besties lives in rochester. small world. and yes…crazy ass amounts of snow. but then, i live in minnesnowta, WI so i’m pretty well versed in frigid white winters. and quilts! oh the quilts! which i fell so deeply in love with i decide to make them. but enough of my thoughtless drivel. happiest of days to you both! oxox

  18. Shannon Rosan

    There is definitely something about the chase…The days when everything is piling against you…but somehow the chase keeps me going..Fighting for living my dream… Creating a life that I can be proud of. Cheers to you and Justin for being such an inspiration to me :)

  19. Abby Grace

    This post is so encouraging! I can’t wait to write you an email in all caps telling you that I’ve finally made the switch to full-time, but I know that however long it takes me to get to that place? It’ll be worth it. Although I’m still hoping for sooner rather than later.

  20. lauren

    I came across your post a few months ago..As i sit here and study for my boards you have given me hope to keep going. Its taking longer than expected but I have a wonderful baby boy sleeping in the next room and a husband that loves his family very much downstairs. Thanks for your posts everyday. If you do not have dreams/goals what is there to look forward too. Good luck in 2012!

  21. ashley barnett

    Thank you for reminding me that it doesn’t have to happen right now, tomorrow, next month or even next year. It just has to happen…and it will :)

  22. Faye Bernoulli

    I really needed this. We just finished our first year of business, and lemme tell ya, you seasoned pros are right– there are dark days. Very, very dark days when you wonder, why am I doing this? I need to count the blessings and not the if onlys, and I definitely need to stop comparing myself to others in the field (so&so shot this number of weddings their second year; why do I only have half that?). But the dark days and moments of doubt are what keep me chugging along towards my goal of making this business my living. To proudly say "I am a wedding photographer," not shyly say "Photography is my side job." To live not only the dream, but MY dream…no matter how long, dark, and twisted the road.

  23. Sarah Goodwin

    What a wonderful post as we enter a fresh new year & renew our current goals & making way for new ones. Its a great reminder to focus on the reason you do what you and go at your own pace because success is different for each of us. I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for everyone! :)

  24. Kristi Chappell

    Beautiful! Your exactly right. Cheers to you for chasing your dreams! I also enjoyed listening the both of you on talk radio! I had a few problems with the connection but what I did hear I took it heart!

  25. Caitlin

    I teared up through the entire second half of this. More than teared up, I’ll admit I let a few of them fall. What a beautiful post. You guys are an inspiration. I don’t exactly know what I am chasing in physical terms, but I know what I want my life to feel like, and this just summed it up perfectly. Thank you, thank you. Happy New Year!

  26. Nancy Mitchell

    I am chasing my dreams, even if you guys might be the only ones cheering me on! xoxo~nance

  27. Karen Allen

    This is simply amazing, and beyond inspiring! I’m not quite even a full year into this wild, exciting, roller coaster of a ride called photography, but I’m loving every minute of it. Thank you for reminding me that dreams are worth setting, goals can be achieved, and things just may turn out even better than I think. But no matter what happens, I’m thankful to be on this road. Thank you for inspiring and daring to dream…and sharing that with all of us.

  28. Lindsay

    thank you for this post. just thank you. i love reading your blog, you are so…real. and very inspiring!

  29. Melissa

    Such a beautiful post. I’m only slowly coming to the same realization you had 6 years ago, but I’m hopeful it turns out as wonderfully as your!

  30. Ray

    Thank you for this. It made me cry. Just thinking about "The Chase" makes me scared, though.

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