Kashmir, merino and thoughts

While this year continues to fly by, I remain optimistically uncertain about next steps. At present, the colder darker months are welcomed as a break from client photography and an opportunity to focus on my own personal portfolios. I have met some wonderful people on my journeys this year, people who have unknowingly and by chance influenced my directions.

This year, forgetting about daily stresses and spending time climbing and meditating, I've found my sanity slowly creeping back. Recently I' have been restless, perhaps because my love for content creation is growing in conjunction with a gentle dim in the wedding season. Slowly, step by step, I have been able to grow my passions and let them develop. After meeting my 2013 goal of kicking

heart disease

, only five months into the year, all other challenges seemed obsolete in comparison. What's a mountain in height when you've just reversed your life sentence? I keep mildly freaking out at the thought of my next steps with my career path, but then, what is there to be scared of?

With the support of this blog I have been able to achieve huge hurdles so young:

*I set up my first online vintage clothes shop

*Sold my prints in my etsy shop

*Created a wonderful photography business which I love

*I found a voice for honest writing

*Attended industry events and fashion weeks that I never imagined possible

*I was lucky enough to work for myself in a way which supplemented the limited financial opportunities in my industry career.

Most importantly though, I made mistakes, which might just be the biggest thing I have been blessed with, my horrible horrible mistakes...

*I accidentally gained a self employed income which at a young age, I didn't realise required so much government and tax documentation. I got stung through not having my paperwork in order. Now, I am spreadsheet master when it comes to taxes.

*I sold out to brands which I didn't believe in, like IT crap which was not lovely or positive in any way. As a result I lost readership who were beyond page impressions but friends I had found through the internet. Now, I have 18 different polite and lovely "thank you, but no thank you" drafted emails which I send out to brands and companies who don't reflect these pages with the same truth as my voice.

*The writing was sideswiped for flimsy regurgitated content and quantity started outweighing quality, as a result, the statistics dropped and it hit home that the numbers didn't matter if I wasn't utterly engaged and in love with my online self.

*There were a few opportunities which I tried to hold onto, and in the end, my selfishness resulted in flogging dead horses. The vintage shop ended up costing money to run, despite dropped sales during the recession. I should have trusted my insight and ended a good relationship. Now though, I have so much more confidence in my judgement and have become more aware of bittersweet endings.

*I forgot how to disconnect. The delusion that the online world needed my attention no matter what, had engulfed me. I ended up remaining in friendships with people I didn't really like and ended up bitter and resentful. Over the past recent years I have had the best person in my life, and from our growing positivity, like has attracted like. There are wonderful people I love so much, just yesterday I realised it had been over a week since a catchup with old buddies and I missed them so much. One of the most poignant offline realisations for me when it comes to friendships has to be a dialogue with someone you care about, a dialogue without superficial judgement.

This winter I'm drafting up continuous guides and content so that you don't have to make the same mistakes as me, and that you can grow from my lessons learnt. For now though, if there is anything specific you want to chat about, give me a shout in the comments here or tweet me, let's start dialogues!

There's alot ahead over the next few months and I cannot wait to share my travels and new opportunities with you...

I have also found a growing passion for quality over quantity. Simple layers and true textures, created with skill and expertise, are a wonderful daily essential. This winter I've found myself curling up in the evenings in kashmir and thermal merino essentials... and I couldn't be happier...