This year I traveled at least 1 week out of every month except December and spent time in Denver, Boulder, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland, and Kansas City.
I birthed Hempsley into the world and helped it grow by speaking at KCNORML and Mason Jar Event Group's Hemp & Seed Dinner, stepping out from behind the camera to create informative video reviews thanks to Connor Frazier, joining forces with Canna Curious Club for our #LAGetaway event series, hosting four local events in my home community, Columbia, Missouri, sponsoring one of the first of Maggie Murphy's Green Goddess Lodge Gatherings, and becoming a member at The Hatchery.
I drove into a tornado on my way to Colorado. I cut off part of my left index finger about 90 minutes before my first ever Hempsley event. One of my best friends went to prison, and I got a first-hand taste of just how fucked up our system really is, and was reminded every single day how important it is that we work to change it.
I worked with some insanely amazing brands in the cannabis industry that made this crazy career feel like a community, including Canna Curious Club, Haiikuu Design, LEVO Oil, This Cannabis Life, Mason Jar Event Group, Sativa Science Club, Eves of Eden, TreatWell, Artisans on Fire, Highly Devoted, Sage Analytics, and so many more individuals.
I spent 4/20 in Colorado for the first time, and at Mason Jar Event Group's SPRING event, no less. I was almost car-jacked. I had my first-ever encounter with a rat as it was falling out of a tree right next to me. I pieced back together my broken heart and offered it up to have it shattered again, and again.
And somewhere, somehow, in between all that...I finally fell in love with myself. With my life. I started to see how every piece was an important part of my story, and every experience was just a small part of the collection of lessons my soul has set out to learn. There will be pain, there will be joy — and through it all, I will be ok knowing that I am infinitely loved by the only being on this planet who truly matters: myself.
2018, here I come.
Since I'm normally behind the camera, I try to get at least 1 portrait of myself every year.
These images were taken on December 31, 2017 by myself, using a tripod. As I was taking them, I felt really frustrated with how they were turning out. I probably shot for about an hour, and had 213 shots by the end. I felt disappointed with myself as I put the camera away to go out for my New Year's Eve plans, but when I returned at 4AM to sort through the images, I ended up really liking a lot of them. I enjoyed sorting through them, and realized it was because I was in a much better mindset about myself after my night out, after my anxiety had been reduced by good friends, laughter, and love. I loved seeing how happy and content I look in some of these images; it filled my heart to see myself shining joy. This is the mindset I want to become permanent in 2018.
So since I rarely share images of myself anyway, I figured I'd share a handful of my favorite from the 213 with you. I hope you enjoy :)