Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. You are reading words. Words straight from the command center inside my brain composing what was once considered my blog. Every circuit within my cranium has been going haywire the past week because I’m behind on absolutely everything, including blogging. I’ve been pulling all-nighters in an attempt to catch up. I’ve been forcing myself to work at the computer until my eyes cross. So much so, one night I dozed off and at some point woke up with an open highlighter in my right hand, a calculator button indention on my forehead and my bra hanging from the office doorknob. It was definitely time for bed.
Being behind is 100% my fault and I accept the blame. I’ve been all over the place recently. The few days I spent with my beautiful mom in Puerto Rico was by far a highlight of this entire year. She hit a huge birthday milestone in September and in order to properly celebrate, I woke her up at 5am and told her we had a flight to catch to a mystery location. It was one of the biggest surprises and most memorable trips of my life. We laughed. We ate. We soaked up the Puerto Rican sun. We risked our life riding in a taxi with every single dashboard light illuminated. We celebrated. If creating those memories and others means I fall behind and have to crawl out from beneath hundreds of emails, I’m okay with it.
While in Puerto Rico, we had practically absorbed all of the rays our skin could handle and knew rain was in the forecast so we decided on the third day of our trip to go hiking in the rainforest. I had researched and scouted out the exact location I wanted to visit which included a breathtaking waterfall. We rented a car, mapped out our route and set off to the El Yuenqe National Park. Hiking in the rain forest was exhausting but incredible. A rocky terrain below. A canopy of trees above. Rushing waters alongside. The distant sounds of exotic birds singing in the rain. It was magical.
After hiking about two miles, we finally reached the waterfall. This was it. It was begging me to come and swim. With every droplet that bounced from the surface and landed on my skin, it was tempting me to jump in. But I wasn’t convinced. Even though there was clearly a trail leading into the water, nobody else was getting in. What if everyone else knew something I didn’t and what if I contracted a flesh eating disease or jumped into a pool of snakes? We looked. We took a picture and we kept walking.
With every step I took that took me further away from the falls, I regretted not diving in. I knew that if I didn’t turn around, I would forever remember my Puerto Rico trip as the time I chickened out and missed an opportunity to be spontaneous. I stopped dead in my tracks and decided to change the direction of the path I was headed. Sheltered by a palm tree, I changed into my bathing suit, ran barefoot back to the waterfall and didn’t stop until my body was submerged. I know what you’re thinking. “Good lord, Priscilla. It’s just a waterfall.” It was something bigger to me. For starters, I hate not being able to see what creepy things are swimming around me and thus refuse to go into the ocean once the water reaches my kneecaps. It was also a deliberate decision to forget my fears, relinquish my worries and swim in a once in a lifetime kind of moment. It was so refreshing. That is until the strong current started to pull me downstream and I decided time was up for my YOLO moment.
That memory is permanently engrained in mind. I replay it often as a reminder that there are no rules or regulations for when you can stop, change your mind and adjust the direction of your life. You don’t have to be a certain age. You don’t have to have a certain amount in your bank account. You don’t even have to be certain of the destination. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.
Every year I celebrate the day I decided to take a different path and focus all of my energy on my little wedding planning business. It’s been challenging. It’s forced me to inwardly examine who I am. It’s led me to so many things I could have never expected. It was hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This career has given me the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most talented and inspiring people and I’m beyond grateful for their support. Some of those said rock stars are the very ones who helped me pull off this boho chic photo shoot. I knew the moment I first met Perry with Perry Vaile Photography that she was gorgeous – inside and out. I had this idea rolling around in my head to create a bohemian wonderland and she was all in. Her talent is evident in how perfectly she captured my vision. She spent the entire evening with me, trekking through webs of butterflies (a.k.a. very large and scary spiders), climbing fences, misplacing keys and alternating between shooting in film and digital. I would also like to send a huge thank you to Gregg Kennedy with Brides & Bouquets for providing me with flowers for the shoot and for always having my back in this crazy industry. And these pictures wouldn’t be half as good if it weren’t for Patricia Love with Perfection by Patricia for squeezing me in last minute and beautifying my face and Jamie Baskett for taming and styling my ridiculously big hair.
These pictures remind me how much I’ve changed. Not just physically – hello lines on my face that once weren’t there – but as an invidiual and as a business owner. I am so grateful I’m not on the path I thought I would be on and I’m excited to see what unexpected twists and u-turns I make in the future.