Our Rural Roots

The Courage To Change

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I recently loaded my truck with cameras and headed to what I had determined would be my final job as a wedding photographer.

What once ignited a passion in me had dwindled to a flicker, and I knew it was time to let it burn out to allow room for another opportunity. Tears spilled as I drove along. Sometimes, even when we know change is right, it's still hard.

These same tears have come before. Quitting my corporate sales job to come home to our farm, family and start a photography business was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. After a year of discussing, praying and weighing, I knew it was the right choice, but right isn't always easy. Six years later, reassessing the business I've worked hard to grow is just as scary--and exciting--as it was in the beginning.

Leaving familiar for unfamiliar, comfortable for uncomfortable, and sure for unsure is a crossroads we all eventually come to one or many times. Needs change. Dreams change. Families change. Life is nothing if not a series of choices and change.

From my experience working with (and being one) farmers, they can be especially resistant to change. Long-held expectations and, sometimes, other's dreams can become burdens we weren't meant to carry or own.

There's no shame in leaving good for better and, in the process, living into a better self. Change may bring struggles, but, it also builds strength that comes from tearing down walls we weren't meant to stay in. Once through to the other side, we're better equipped to navigate.

In this new year, I resolve to be open to the path of change in my life and not be afraid to chart new directions. It is a process that requires understanding what is right today may not be right tomorrow, and not being afraid to find the courage to move forward anyway. In the moving forward we not only gain wisdom, we gain strength.

When she's not cuddling calves and kids, Meredith Bernard writes from North Carolina about farm life on her website and is also active on Twitter.


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