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 Thought Process of Starting Over

Hello, dear friends. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s chat, shall we?

I’ve been quite a flake this past year (for lack of a better word). Or at least I’ve certainly felt flakey. I announced my decision to quit my photography business a little over a year ago (our last official Nikki Tran Photography wedding is this Friday!) and have been flitting between ideas for so long I feel like I’m a little kid deciding which toy I want more on the shelf at Toys ‘R’ Us. I’m the poster child for Changing My Mind. And for the last year I’ve felt like something’s missing, like my life wasn’t being fulfilled enough. And when that thought started to creep in my mind, I began to downplay that thought by telling myself I’m just being entitled, or something like that.

Who was I to want more than what I already had?

I had a beautiful home, a perfect husband, a darling puppy, enough nieces and nephews to make my heart burst, and we were/are financially stable.

And then I began to think that maybe I had made a huge decision too quickly. Was I a failure for quitting photography, something I was actually good at it?? I had poured nearly 5 years of my life into it and now it seemed it was all gone. Earlier this year I cleaned my office out and I saw my old gift boxes and business cards, welcome packet materials and notebooks, all fall into the garbage. A slight panic ensued.

I tried to get passionate about something, anything really. I opened the Etsy shop thinking my energy would come back and I’d be awake until 2am painting away. I tried to resuscitate my Photoshop actions, holding onto any little strand of hope that it would ignite some passion back in my heart. I even began trying to write my book – the book I’ve been dreaming I would write/illustrate since I was in high-school. Nothing lasted, it was like dry sticky tape. Nothing stuck and I began to feel slightly hopeless, like I would soon just be pulled away with the current, never able to accomplish my big dreams and never able to say I own my own small business again (something I was incredibly proud of during those years). I would be lying if I said I had no regrets at all during this past year, but then something fabulous happened.

I got my spark back.

I don’t know why it happened, or why it took so long to happen, but I feel like I did back when I was in school and cramming my study hours with photography and contracts and website design. Maybe it’s because I’m combining all my talents and loves into one funnel – there’s no shortage of creative outlets to supply. I can switch from painting to Photoshop to writing to designing to business tasks.

It consumes me, friends. I go to bed at night (not yet able to stay up until 2am – I was younger then :)), reading business books, jotting down notes, smiling to myself, and sometimes even shedding a single tear from complete joy. I keep my notebook and books with me at all times because I really cannot get enough of it. I listen to podcasts and webinars on creative businesses whenever I have a spare moment, and I can talk Paul’s ear off about new things I’ve learned or ideas that have popped in my head or tasks I’ve accomplished.

And you know what makes me so entirely happy? You guys are with me through this, too. You’ve been there since I started photography in 2012, you’ve been there when I was so excited about new weddings and trying to create this blog, you’ve been there for my family get-togethers and garden projects, you’ve been there during my “retirement” announcement, and you’re still here for this new adventure. I wish I could squeeze you through the computer screen and give you the biggest hug. And I wish instead of me just talking to you, we could talk about what’s going on with you. Are you chasing dreams? Do you have something exciting that you’re working on? Is your garden blooming and you’re just bursting with happiness? Even if I can’t see you, just know I appreciate you. And thank you for riding along all these years. :)

Xoxo times a million.