Raleigh Portrait Photographer for Creative Small Businesses

A Look Back: Reverse Bucket List

Is it weird that I often dream of surprising my future children with all the random things I've seen, done, and lived through one day? I actually imagine them seeing me as a stable mother with not much there past being a mother, and their eyes widen as little pieces of information leak out over the years, like "wait - you owned your own business? You learned how to out run alligators? You were born in a blizzard?"

Maybe it's the story teller in me, but I get a kick out of unraveling their worlds and everything they know with stories about life before them.

Needless to say, it was fun putting this "reverse bucket list" together for Kiki's linkup, The Circle. You should definitely participate. It's a wonderful, positive exercise, especially when you're feeling stressed or unaccomplished.

Ok, ok, enough crazy talk. Here's my list:

started my own photography business

My business has gone through so many changes over the past 3 years, and seen many ups and downs. It's currently playing second fiddle to my full-time job, but I'm always thinking hard about smarter ways to run this little business and get to the point where I can devote my full time to it. I've done weddings, portraits, and pets. Now? I've finally found my passion niche - photography for creative entrepreneurs. 

Portrait for photographer, YouAreRaven.com

certified cake decorator

One summer in college, I was working in a grocery store bakery and wanted to move up to cake decorator status. The only way to be considered was if you took cake decorating courses. So, for an entire summer, I decorated cakes every week. I was certified, but never became a cake decorator in the bakery department. The summer ended, and I went back to school.

born in a blizzard

I'm not sure if this is something to consider an achievement, but then again, blizzards are known to be tricky things. My mother remembers this story being updated on the news and hearing a woman say, "the dingo ate my baby." It was February, there was a blizzard, and she went into labor. 

Participated in a Haggis ceremony in Scotland

If you know what haggis is, great, if not...look it up. As put off as some Americans are by it, it's actually quite delicious. Anyway, I was in Scotland and randomly picked (you'll notice this is a trend in my life) to carry a platter of haggis behind a bag piper. There's a whole ceremony for it which is actually quite fascinating. After dinner, there was a traditional Scottish Highland dance, and it was the most fantastic night of my high school life.

married a man with an incredible spirit

Choosing to marry Matt was probably the best thing I've ever done in my entire life.

Wedding portrait - palmetto club fish hawk

found by Jesus

Let's be real, we don't find him. He finds us. Every time.

graduated from college

It seems a college education was a difficult thing to really nail down in my family. There are a lot of partial degrees, associates degrees, or finishing college later in life. I'm definitely not the only one or first one with a college degree earned after 4 consecutive years, but it's still a big deal in our family. I'm glad to say I've accomplished this. 

studied french

I studied French all through high school, was an officer in the French Honor Society, and carried on with French up to my sophomore year of college. I feel like I was so close to being fluent, but I didn't continue with it, and no one around me spoke French. I can still recite poetry, and every now and then I'll talk to the dog in French, but I can't carry an in-depth conversation. 

lived in Germany

I was really little when we lived in Germany, but it's exciting to tell people that I used to live in another country. 

traveled all over Europe

I had the privilege of doing a two week tour with a group from my high school. My mother's graduation gift to me was also a trip to the UK. 

surrounded by a pack of howling wolves - and survived

When Matt and I were honeymooning in Seattle, we went to visit a wolf preserve. It doesn't sound that romantic, but it was seriously one of the memorable experiences of our trip. At one point during the tour, one wolf started to howl, and then another, and another, until we were surrounded by over a hundred wolves, howling in unison. Even our tour guide was shocked. He'd never heard them howl like that. We were told that America's wildnerness would never host a sound like that again as long as wolves remain endangered.

been slimed

Remember Nickelodeon? Here's one of those always "picked at random" situations. I was at Nickelodeon studios when I was kid, sitting in the audience of some live show (I don't think this was aired though - if it was, good lord), and picked to come on stage and be slimed. I was taken backstage to be instructed on how to act (make sure my mouth is closed, ect). They slipped some goggles on me and pushed me out on stage. The slime was so heavy it forced some of my hair in front of my face. I went to flip my hair back, sending a wave of slime flying behind me. The audience shreiked with laughter and "EWWW." It was awesome. 

sat at a table with a holocaust survivor

This is one those things that you realize becomes more and more rare as the years go by. I went to a Holocaust museum during high school, and afterwards there was a luncheon. At each table, there was a survivor who shared their life story. 

interviewed a war veteran

This was an assignment for my news reporting class in college. I remember having to call around to figure out how to get access to a VFW to interview this guy. They don't just let anybody in, you know. I remember walking through a crowd of men having a laugh, a few men playing pool, and out back to a picnic table where I listened to an incredible story of national pride and sorrow. I remember the feeling of his story, but not the words. 

It's making me antsy that I can't find the interview.

bought a house

I never thought this would be possible so soon, with Matt in grad school, but we did it. Homeownership has definitely thrown us some punches, but we're kind of ok with that. I don't think I could ever go back to renting.

First Time Homeowners

been published

I'm not sure they're pieces I can be entirely proud of, but they were published pieces nonetheless. I had a few photographs and articles published in my college paper, and few pieces at a local paper I interned for. 

I also had articles published for New Tribes Mission - the most amazing internship of my life. 

saw Radiohead live

One of the most incredible sounds I've ever heard.

learned to swing dance

I love dancing so much. Matt and haven't been in years though. We talk about picking it up again, but we never do. Maybe I need to add this to the bucket list as well. 

grew up with Harry Potter

Ok, here comes the super nerd. I know I didn't actually grow up with him, but listen - I was the same age as Harry when the first book was published, and the books were released nearly every year for a while. I was always within a year or two of Harry, so when the series ended, I felt like I was saying goodbye to a dear friend. 

learned traditional Japanese folk dancing

My paternal grandmother was Japanese, and she spent many summers teaching me the art of Japanese dancing in the traditional kimono. I even did a few community performances. 

Big thanks to Kiki for thinking up such awesome prompts! 

// Questions

What about you? Any accomplishments or achievements you forgot about, but totally love looking back on?