Hope. and a future.

I turned 40 last week and it got me thinking... The story of my life is made up of the people I grew up with, the ones I have loved, those who have loved me and the mountains/valleys those relationships have been through. That's what makes me who I am. Those relationships hold the memories of my life. I've lived a pretty amazing life...so far. I have loved and have been loved. I have been hurt and I am still learning what it means to forgive. I have risked and learned to be brave. I have lost and gained...sometimes in the same day. I have learned so much about myself and life.   

Wise words from older me to younger me:

- sometimes life isn't fair. don't just focus on when it's unfair "against" you...be thankful for how it is unfair "for" you. 

- learn that you are beautiful. really beautiful. just as you are. whether people see it or not. no one does you better. 

- don't lose sleep over the things you can't change. (Serenity prayer is a good one)


- learn who you are. learn you are enough. keep being you.

- sing and dance every day...cause it gives you steps on your Fitbit. (Must. Beat. Sisters.)

- love. because love always wins.

- boy bands are timeless. and they always make you smile.

- you are stronger then you think. 

Through my life people have always told me that I’m strong. Hearing that as a child made me feel like a super hero! At times that strength was a source of pride, but lately I find myself not wanting to be "strong." I think it’s because of the simple principle that if you are strong, than it's likely that strength will be tested. I know we all go through hard seasons...it is through the storms of life that we find out the truth of who we are. Here's a little secret: Sometimes strong people don’t want to be stronger. But, I'll tell you what I do want. I want to faithful. I want to be brave. I want to content in every season. I want to believe in hope and offer that hope to those around me...because, I really believe that joy will come in the morning.

Hope has been a powerful source of strength to me during this season. I wrote about it a couple of times on this blog.

So now I'm 40.

For my birthday I went California with 2 friends and we had an AMAZING time! We laughed a lot.

And I came back ready for the beginning of a new era.

40 is weird. It’s the first time you start saying, “I don’t feel old.”

(I remember thinking people 40 were really old.)

It’s the first time people start saying, “You look good...for your age.” (um, thanks?)

If I am getting old-er, I’m really okay with that. I love that peace that comes from knowing myself. (I’ve gotten to know a few things about myself over the years.)

I’m happy my grey hair is coming in "pretty". (Only at the front on my hairline...thank you mom and dad for good hair genes.)

I can honestly say that I’m happy for my freckles and fair skin because it means I have been forced to wear sunscreen every day of my life (well, it felt like it!) And, now I don’t have wrinkles because of it :) It might even make all the teasing in elementary school worthwhile? Who gets the last laugh? Bahahahaha.

40 is kinda that half way marker. I get to look ahead and realize that there’s still life ahead of me. (My car accident this past year taught me so much in that area.)

I still have dreams. I’m going to keep walking towards them. And when I reach them, I'm going to keep dreaming new dreams.

I'm looking ahead to a great year of photography, I'm working on my art degree and loving being back at school, I'm pouring out into the wonderful people that I have in my life and enjoying living. I have hope for the joy to come...because after the winter always comes spring.

This is me at 40.

A little softer. A little wiser. A little quieter. A little stronger...but, still me.


Photo Credit: Shelley Paulson 

Noemi Hedrick

Noemi Hedrick is a passionate wedding and portrait photographer based in Minneapolis. Noemi loves capturing the beauty inside every person. Her vibrant energy for life, love and family are grounded in her own values and loved ones. Noemi has been proudly serving as a wedding photographer for over 15 years and also offers a wide range of photography workshops for professional and amateur photographers.