Living the Sweet Life: A Few Years in Review

By Alisa Murray
Nationally recognized
portrait artist and
award-winning columnist.

How many of you are sitting with your presents wrapped and your hot chocolate in hand wondering like me, how did 2018 fly by so fast? I am sure I am not alone in my feelings, and as each year passes more quickly, I find myself feeling quite old.  I typically write down a list of things to accomplish in January, but now I believe we’d all better get a jump start and make that list right now!

For the better part of my life, I have been a driven person, and for those who are close to me, they sometimes get overwhelmed with all of the things I want to accomplish. I remember when I had my first child, a close friend said to me, “Why can’t you just be happy being a mother?” I might have been content if the good Lord had given me a different temperament but having been born with this mind of mine, I can be at times my worst enemy or my best coach depending on the day of the week. In my impatience to “get things done,” I encourage you to hold tight to your dreams and desires because it takes about ten years to accomplish some of the big goals. I hope that you’ll trust me on this, so you can avoid that aggravation yourself. I have been trying for at least that long to figure out a way to diversify my name, my brand and feel more accomplished as a person.

I have dreamed of writing books, being famous, doing stand-up comedy, being a real estate mogul and a luxury brand influencer. I have thoughtfully pondered, “How in the world can I sit on a beach and plan vacations for my clients?” I have wondered just how long I can continue to be creative in my fine art of expecting mothers, newborn babies, children as they grow and families as they are formed? I think all of us likely have similar thoughts.  Once in a psychology class, I was taught to dream the elephant, break it down and take tiny steps daily to get accomplish that big goal. For me it feels like swimming in a sea of dreams of high self-imposed expectations, sometimes feeling like the ship has lost its way, while other years feeling like I am taking on everything all at once.

Three years ago, my father-in-law passed and a legacy in real estate literally dropped back into our hands. We came to Texas in 1991 to actually do real estate, and in my true “Alisa” style, I just couldn’t live in the shadow of something already done. I got my real estate license in 1992 and attempted to work in the family business, but it just wasn’t my own. Hence the birth of the photography studio and building from the ground up a brand.

For the better part of 15 years, I was coasting out to sea, and my world was content. After Daddy’s death, however, something began to weigh on my mind. I wondered if I would ever be more, do more or finish strong.  I realized I was no spring chicken, and if I was to get more accomplished, I had better get on it.  I wondered if  I could even get my license again, and if I really wanted to?

I began classes this year and that lead to the juggle of relearning things while continuing to build the studio and make a living. I wasn’t sure how I would accomplish all this, but I had a burning desire. All of the goals I had been working towards suddenly came together all at once – at least it felt that way this year. I opened the travel division in May, got licensed in June as a Realtor and just kept rolling. Seriously, it has been a long journey.

One thing I realize is that accomplishing your dreams never comes fast. It never comes when you want it, and sometimes you don’t even realize it has already come until it has gone. That last one scares me to death, because there’s not enough life given to any of us to waste a second not becoming and working towards whatever it is we dream to be! So now as I prepare for 2019, I am thinking about finally writing that book, challenging myself to do stand-up because I am scared to do it, and I don’t want to leave this earth being scared of anything! I know that it might take a few more years, but if you have a dream and make every day count, eventually you will live that dream. Just don’t give up, and don’t be foolish about recognizing the blessings as they come into your life!

Take Care of YOU!