I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with our three yorkies, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (five with Rusty, Lucy, & Ethel) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with something warm and delicious and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

the blog!

If I had to choose:

The Life Plan

I know I’ve said this before, but if anyone were to tell me 14 months ago that I was going to be a photographer, I would have said they were crazy. That was not a part of Nikki Tran’s (previously Eckert) Life Plan. Yes, I had a list of what was going to happen in my life, probably since I was in middle school. I am personality Type A. Type A is defined on Wikipedia (reliable, I know) as:

ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management; Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence

I bet Paul is laughing right now as he reads this because he knows it’s so true. But anyways! Back to my Life Plan. The two biggest things in my Life Plan was when and who I was going to marry, and what I was going to do for my job. I’m assuming those are high priorities on everyone’s Life Plan (unless of course you’re Type B and you don’t need one because luckily, you are care free and stress free – lucky you). I knew I was going to be married by the time I was 23. Most people laughed in my face when I told them this or otherwise were very concerned for my well-being. Getting married too young is a risk factor for failure. Lucky for me, I met the perfect guy at 19 and knew I was going to marry him a month after dating. He knew it, too – I didn’t drag him down the aisle. :) I was married when I was 22 1/2 years old – checked off Getting Married By Age 23.

My next big thing was work. I knew when I was younger that I wanted to work from home. I mostly wanted to be a stay-at-home mom (like my momma) but I also wanted to have my own work in my own house. For a long time I wanted to be like my aunt and become a hair stylist in my home. She works out of her basement and for years that was my goal. I also knew I loved writing, so naturally I started college with a degree in journalism in mind. However, my main goal with writing was to write a memoir type of book. Did I have to go for journalism in order to write a book? Probably not. So, I was stuck in limbo and didn’t know what to do with my life. I could go for cosmetology, but my heart wasn’t completely  in it. By the time I was in college I wasn’t interested in doing hair anymore – I loved make-up but did I have to go to school to learn how to put it on? Probably not.

I was dating Paul at the time when I was stuck in limbo. One night we were discussing what I could possibly major in and it was Paul that turned the light bulb on in my head. He said, “You’re great with kids. Why don’t you think about teaching?” Holy moly. Again, something I had NEVER considered my entire life. I was literally shocked when he said that and then shocked at how much I actually wanted to teach. Throughout my entire life, my sister Toni was the one that loved teaching. She had an old school desk, an old chalkboard, and old textbooks. That was her “playing” and when I was little, I thought she was crazy. However, my passion for teaching grew with each class I took and it seemed like everything was on the right track for my Life Plan – except the whole working from home thing. Back then, which was only a year or two ago, I would think, “Nobody REALLY gets to work from home. The people that do that are the lucky ones. It’s just not possible for anyone.” So, I basically gave up on that dream, which also made me give up on the dream of being a stay-at-home mom. Talk about distorting the Life Plan!

Type A people don’t do well with change and I’m no exception. I was married and I had a career I was passionate about and working towards. Two months after we were married, fate stepped in. Remember when I said that when Paul brought up teaching a light bulb went off in my head? Well, when photography became an option, it was as if there was a fire. I became obsessed and wanted to know everything I could about photography, other photographers, editing, running a business, etc. I spent countless hours studying, researching, photographing random things, editing, and learning. The Life Plan was back in action. I worked hard to create my business even when I was a full-time student. I spent free time in between classes to edit photos, look for new poses, respond to emails, and build my website because I knew I would have homework or lesson plans to create that night. I graduated from college with an Elementary Education degree and unlike others in my class, I do not intend to use it as I once did so only 14 months ago. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED teaching. I loved my students and of course, my cooperating teacher. :)

So, what is the point of this post you might ask? Well, basically I’m telling you that if you have dreams or a Life Plan or a Check List or whatever, who is to say that you can’t have them fulfilled? I have been picturing my Life Plan for a loooooong time. True, I didn’t picture photography, but I did picture me staying at home and working. True, I love writing and wanted to write a memoir book, but now I’m sharing my life via blogging. True, I didn’t picture that the man I hated for many years would be the guy I married at age 22 1/2 (long story – maybe for another post…ha!), but I had a plan and I envisioned that plan to happen. God knows when the right time for things to happen. He picked me finding my passion for photography when I was almost graduated with a 4-year degree in something totally different. He knows and it’s funny how things turn out.

Now that Work From Home is checked off, what’s next for the Life Plan? A white picket fence. :)