Do not fear the leaves changing for it is leading to the best season of your life yet.

Just like the crisp air outside reminding us that Fall is right around the corner, I feel the seasons changing deeper than just the weather. An unusually warm fall day had me out wandering in the garden. Gathering not only what was left on the rebellious vines, but also my thoughts. It was on this warm fall afternoon that I reached for my camera out of want, and not because I had a job to do. I truly wanted to capture the beauty of my late summer harvest. The plump berries and the overgrown pumpkins. The last few flowers blooming and the smell of fresh basil in the spiraling through the garden.

2020 was the most successful year to date for VHP, and also a year that will be written into history. The year our country divided. I tripled my profits the year of the pandemic. It is also the year that broke me. I watched my hobby gain momentum as our country fell apart. My plate was overflowing. I faced blessings and obstacles. I tackled homeschooling my son who was very recently diagnosed with autism and ptsd. I co-parented my daughter through her first year of highschool on zoom calls, missing the in-person high school experience. I celebrated one year of having the sweetest husband in the universe. He is my best friend and biggest fan. I am beyond thankful for the blessings that 2020 gave to me but I’m not afraid to say it is also the year that broke me. I gave every ounce of myself into healing my family, growing my small business, and learning a new normal. Consistently putting my needs second and third to all of that. I do not recommend this. I realized that while I was successful and accomplishing everything I ever dreamed, it was coming at a cost. With the new season, change was forced upon me. It was messy though.

Super fucking messy. 

Anyone who knows me, knows that capturing the moment makes my heart happy. I was faced with a season that demanded change. I was tired. Mentally, physically, to my core exhausted. I almost gave up. I almost quit. I had a front row seat to my dreams coming true, but my eyes were closed. To be honest they weren't closed. They were binge watching Grey's Anatomy and ordering too much DoorDash. Hiding under fuzzy blankets from any real responsibility of growing my business. I realized I was dreading any hours that were dedicated to VHP. While McSteamy was a nice distraction, the realization that my hobby had grown into a responsibility was a harsh one. How could I be in this position? How could I contemplate throwing five years of experience away? The short answer is, I couldn't! Each humbling and inspiring moment brought me to where I am now. No one has experienced my adventure. No one is Shyla, the one the families come back to year-after-year.

I had to make a change. I embraced the new season of messy and broken. I decided what I wanted, and what needed to go. I looked at it with new possibility. Realizing that the beauty in broken things, is that they are fixable. I faced each pain point with new optimism. I addressed and grew from each step I took. I stepped back from the front lines of my business and worked behind the scenes. I listened to podcasts while pulling weeds, and invested in myself instead of keeping my calendar full. I researched how to successfully grow a small business, and my tomatoes. I took breaks, lots of them. I said yes more, and made less excuses. I explored new places and spent lazy Saturdays on the couch. I made messes I didnt clean up. I spent countless hours in the mountains exploring, and staying way too long at the swimming hole. I traveled and nourished relationships. I let them be little and I learned to let go. I trimmed out the parts of my life that didnt fit. When all of a sudden I was faced with not enough time, I became consious of how I was spending it. My soul needed this warm season of sticky memories.

With the change of temperature and a refreshed mind, I decided to start romanticizing my life. Drinking pumpkin coffees in august, and decorating too early for fall. Spending too much time at goodwill and asking strangers about their day. I started talking to my plants and singing loudly in the car. I listened to hours of Stevie Nicks in the bakyard with my chickens. The universe gave me the gift of falling back in love with my life. It gave me the time to heal, and to process. To expand and appreciate where I am in my story. I've always loved Fall, but I think this one will be my favorite of all.