Happiest of holidays from my home to yours! I hope this season has you chock full to the brim of love, happiness, and food (obviously). If this season is difficult or has you feeling a little heavy, I'm walking along that path with you as well - you are not alone.
It's safe to say that this year has been a whirlwind of both amazing and devastating experiences. Probably more so than years past, I am very much looking forward to saying goodbye to 2018 and welcoming in 2019 with hope in my heart.
Our Personal Space has grown so incredibly quickly, and for that I am so thankful. The community of love, support, and understanding that we've built together has been something I think I've been searching for my whole life and have never been able to find before now. I absolutely couldn't do any of this without every single person that has participated, and every single one of you that reads these stories each week.
That being said, there are some very big changes coming to both my personal life and Our Personal Space in 2019, and I am finally in a place to be able to share all of it with you.
I asked my good friend Monique with Magnality Photography to come over and document Chris and I decorating our tiny tree for the last time in our first home together. This was incredibly important to me, as we will not be welcoming another holiday season in this sweet little space.
Those that know me personally (and those that know my partner Chris personally) know that we have both dreamed of moving back out west for years. One of our first conversations went something along the lines of, "Hey...so-and-so says you like vans and want to live in Colorado, LET'S TALK ABOUT IT!" (This is quite obviously the secret to a strong and loving relationship, right?)
2018 brought much happiness and celebration to our lives, but also a great loss that we are still working through every single day. I have tried to be transparent about the loss of Sarah, my dear friend and Chris's twin sister. I thank all of you for your understanding in giving me the time and space I needed to find my thoughts before I was able to begin sharing these stories again. Chris and I both agree that we need a new start, a fresh start, and we know that in working towards that, we are honoring Sarah in all of her strength, bravery, and light.
I am excited (and terrified and elated) to announce that Chris and I are moving in early 2019 and bringing Our Personal Space along with us. We are relocating to Colorado where we plan to continue to build our life together and hopefully watch this project grow and flourish in a new space.
If you are local to the Maryland/Southern Pennsylvania area and have been thinking of sharing your story (or looking to have any photos done), this is the time! I will be scheduling participants and clients through the end of February 2019. Please shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (and before you even think it - your story is important, it doesn't matter if a topic has been covered, your experience is what makes it unique!) and we can schedule a date. And if you know anyone in Colorado that may want to share their story, be sure to tag them in the Facebook post so we can keep this community growing.
As always, thank you for your continued support and love as we build and grow together. If you feel compelled, please consider making a donation to the Our Personal Space Project Patreon account. Our Personal Space has been such a gift, but comes with a significant financial cost to maintain, and I wouldn't be able to do it without your help. As little as a donation of $1 each month will help to keep this project going as we move into this new, crazy-scary-exciting unknown territory!
(Please note: All donations and purchases are poured directly back into this project and help to offset the costs of website domains, equipment maintenance and upkeep, software, travel for participant photoshoots, etc.)
I will conclude this post with immense thanks and gratitude for each and every single one of you. Thank you for being with me, with us, with this amazing community. Thank you for your support and encouragement along the way. I am so excited to see what we can all do together in the Wild West.
All my love, always!
xox - AM
Photography Credit: Monique at Magnality Photography