Photography by Idara Ekpo

Top: VICI // Jeans: H&M // Boots: Urban OG // Necklace: AWE Inspired

As I reflect on the past year, there has been quite a few ups and downs. I’ve conquered some of my goals for the year, while unfortunately falling a little short on others. However, everything that I’ve gone through and experienced in 2018, both good and bad, has allowed me to grow in so many ways. It’s allowed me to really appreciate the life we are given, and make the best of every second that we get in this lifetime. Below, I have listed just a few things that I’m very grateful for this year.

Moments: Most importantly, this year I’ve learned to truly cherish the time we have with our loved ones. Back in April, my grandmother lost her battle with cancer. It was hard to lose yet another grandparent, but I’m glad she’s no longer suffering. Dealing with loss is never easy, but I’m thankful that I was able to see her one last time before she passed. It’s moments like that, that you’ll cherish forever. Within the last year, I’ve had some friends that I met in Arizona move away to start their new careers, or just to have a fresh start, and as a result, I don’t get to see them as often as I was before. The same thing happened when I made the decision to move to Arizona from the Midwest. Although I still keep in contact, I definitely don’t get to see my best friend, sorority sisters, family and friends nearly as often as I would like to, but it makes me feel blessed when I actually do get to see and spend time with them.

Connections: As a photographer and through my blog, I’ve been able to foster SO many business relationships and genuine friendships within the last year. Some of them have become such close friends, and I’m very thankful for that! The connections I’ve gotten to make, with the brands I’ve worked with thus far have been absolutely wonderful! They’ve been so supportive and encouraging of everything I’m doing, even outside of my fashion blog, and I couldn’t be more excited to see how those relationships will flourish in the coming years.

Growth: The amount of growth I’ve seen within myself, and even those around me, throughout 2018 has truly been amazing! Looking back, I can truly say that I have grown in every aspect of my life. I’m still learning and growing, but I’m thankful for the path that I’m currently on, and excited about the woman I am becoming.

Experiences: Having a career as a photographer, has allowed me to do more traveling this year than I have over the last several years. Through my career, I have gotten the chance to visit new cities, along with the ability to see and experience so many different things. Had it not been for those jobs, I probably would have never gotten to enjoy the raw beauty that those locations had to offer.

God: With everything I’ve been through and achieved throughout my lifetime thus far, I know that without God, nothing would be possible. Within the last year, I’ve been able to really grow my relationship with God. I’ve learned to fully let go, especially of the things I have absolutely no control over. I’ve learned to completely trust in God’s plan for my life, and just know that he has something amazing in store for me. Through strengthening my relationship with God, I have also learned the meaning of true patience, how to listen to what God is telling me, and how to let go of worry and anxiety. Often times, our circumstances can impede a lot of doubt and fear into our minds about what’s to come, but the truth is, we will never know what the next day holds. What I do know, is that God has always comes through regardless of the circumstance, so I’ve learned to trust in his plan, and take each day as it comes.

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