I have re-written this blog three times!! Tonight, I asked Mike….how in the WORLD will I write this blog and not sound so…smug? So righteous, so full of myself. When I write blogs to get heavy things off my heart, he and I know they need a purpose. A full layout to the reader that says “here’s the issue, it did this to me, and here’s how I SOLVED IT” — a successful blog that ends with a lesson.

I’m going to do that here, but the disclaimer I’m tossing out first is this: If you don’t read my words with sincerity, with a calm and genuine tone– then don’t read them. Promise me! Okay, if you’re still reading, I’m assuming you promised 🙂 Social media is such an amazing thing but it’s also very tricky– we are all reading one another’s words, and not hearing them…and trust me, that makes a big difference and creates intense and unnecessary relationship or potential relationship barriers. As hard as we try sometimes, we can’t understand each other’s tone through words on a screen sometimes. So, even if you’ve been one of the people who I’m about to discuss, don’t take it personally– just READ my words and understand the point!! 🙂

I have a really, really, really good problem. The problem with this good problem is that, it hurts…even though it’s a compliment. I feel silly writing this– but enough people have messaged me (several..not just 1 or 2…several) within the last year to tell me something very strange, but honest, and bold.

They didn’t like me because I was too happy.

Did you just read that? Detailed, heartfelt and truthful admissions of either not liking me, being jealous, being hesitant to believe I am truly this annoying positive and that I love life this much!!! People who have said to me, “I am so sorry I didn’t believe you could actually be that happy. And now I realize you really do choose this happiness daily- because I’m practicing it in my own life finally!”

HAHAHA — I KNOW!! I know you are thinking, Amanda stop being so darn smug! You are bragging! But no. Don’t label me as anything but keeping it real right now y’all. Believe the words pouring out from my heart to my fingers to the MacBook on my lap in my $995/month condo with a horrible paint job from the 90’s…believe me. I am not writing this to brag– THIS WILL REACH SOMEONE. THIS WILL EFFECT THEIR LIFE. It’s for THEM!!!

Still reading the way I asked? You promised! 🙂

To those people who have sent me this message…thank you for your honesty, but let me tell you something. You made me cry. You really hurt me and I know that sounds weak and pathetic but you did. I’m grateful for your honesty, I am, but just because you aren’t on the same page…telling someone they are fake for their positivity, their happiness, their overall GOOD outlook on life…it’s just not fair. What I wanted for a brief moment was a window to pull them up to and tell them to look into me sitting on the ground waiting for the awful bus in Norfolk to take me to work, where I was lucky to make 10% tips from half of the customers where I worked. When I finally got a car how it was immediately broken into. The partying that almost consumed me because of how depressed I was, the awful boyfriend who treated me like dirt. The weight issues, the assault I mentioned in the Reuniting With God post. So— you think I’m fake because I’m this happy now?

I am thankful for the admissions, like I said! I AM! But you know what, thank God I made it through those hard times and today I am alive, thriving, a mother and wife and doing something incredibly important and meaningful for a living! I pray that anyone else, watching and judging someone live out their dreams can find happiness for them instead of resentment or jealousy. I PRAY that people will stop reading things in the wrong tone on social media. I hope that a revolution of kind and confident women is on the horizon and instead of the critics and trolls — we will have leaders, learners and INSPIRED artists and business owners everywhere instead of competitive Debbie Downers all over the place! One blog post that helped me SO much recently was by my dear friend, mentor and wedding photographer Katelyn James. The girl is everything. She’s an innovator, she’s an artist, she’s dedicated to God and to serving others and treating them like gold. I LOVE her heart and how much she has gotten me through the hardest few months and wanted to of course, give her a shout out here today! You must go like her page and you will LOVE her work, trust me! 🙂

We’re in life together. We’re on this journey together. I’ve grown up more in the past couple of years, especially the last year than any other period in my life. It’s like a re-birth and it’s amazing! I am seeing things from a more clear and mature perspective, and although I’m SO flawed and let my emotions still get the best of my sometimes, I’m practicing and learning about grace daily. We all deserve a little, but how can we work toward not needing to be forgiven so often in the first place? In The Best Yes —  the chapter I just finished is about WISDOM, and practicing slowing down and making wiser decisions constantly…starting with small, small life things. This means thinking more deeply about what you want to assume, think, say, how you want to act. OHHH did I need that years ago, but I was failing miserably! Now I do my best, and when emotionally evoked, I do explode a little from time to time but I am getting so much better! She says “Wisdom makes decisions today that will still be good tomorrow” — so before you assume, think it through. I can’t believe I have the good problem of not being liked for happiness, but after everything my life entailed years ago….I will TAKE that.

When someone tells you they don’t like you or are upset with you– and they give you a reason that seems kind of ridiculous, silly, over-analyzing or immature– think about what they’re really saying. Is it about you…really? Or is it about themselves? Give yourself credit when those who don’t know you and your heart are trying to burn you or even control the moves you make and who you are because of what they want you to be. Take it as a good problem and move on — build a STRONG foundation with the bricks thrown at you! And you know what? I’ve thrown bricks, too. I am FLAWED. I am a human who is SO flawed and has been so wrong before but I’m a completely different person than I used to be as I’ve evolved, grown up, found my purpose and my own personal reasons to be happy and grateful! I no longer feel the need to throw bricks but to help others pick up the bricks that others have thrown at them and HELP them build those foundations!!!! And make them STRONG!

I believe in my heart you can get past these moments. If you are positive and are surrounded by negative people, peace outta there OR work to change their hearts. Start a happiness revolution! You deserve to spend your life on Earth as happy as possible and don’t your kids deserve that from you? Your husband? Your pets? YOU DESERVE IT TOO! I wish you the BEST of luck!!! 🙂

Come live in the sunshine with me! 🙂

And one of my favorite texts from a friend over the weekend:

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Posted by:amandahedgepeth

<p>Hey there! We’re a husband and wife team who has the honor to document inspiring wedding days for the most cheerful couples around. We have three daughters lovingly referred to as the mermaid mafia and we love nothing more than salty beach days, laughing as much as possible and living the simple, good life.</p>

17 replies on “A Good Problem | Personal

  1. Amen. Well said. You are so right. Misery loves company but they don’t deserve your company. Only those who are positive and pushing daily toward righteous living. Isn’t it freeing to be mindful of our present moment? Doesn’t it feel great to be unapologetic about our happiness? It’s remarkable to see how much we have progressed. So much to be grateful for. I’m grateful for your progress and the journey you continue to embark on. Keep up the greatness. Later you can send a postcard to those downers saying “there is plenty of room up here for you too. Lighten up and come up here because the air is marvelous.”
    Sending you peace, and positive vibes. 🙂

    1. What a GREAT comment to wake up to! I can’t even thank you enough, and you’re right– that is not the company I want! Even in my hardest times, I still managed to be happy for others who had great things happening to them! Another friend graduated from college when I had to drop out, another engaged when I was newly single, I STILL felt joy for them! You’re wonderful, thank you!!!! 🙂

  2. Loved your post. 🙂 I so get it, and I think I see a whole other take…that maybe the don’t understand your JOY. Joy, is true contentment that comes from internal factors like our faith in the Lord. True joy is everlasting and not dependent upon circumstances. Where as Happiness based more on our situations….so when someone doesn’t understand how you can be “that happy”….I feel like they don’t understand that you are “joyful”. They don’t understand that you can be unhappy, but still have joy. Joy radiates, it’s infectious, and gosh darn it…it scares people. Be Joyful sister! It is a beautiful thing! 🙂

  3. Amanda, haters are gonna hate hate hate hate hate 😉 When I first met you your positivity was one of the things I immediately loved MOST about you!! I love reading your blogs about OBX life, your girls, your journey, your view of the couples you work with – all of them because of how HAPPY your posts are!! I have been lucky enough to spend some time with you and I know you are NOT faking this happiness – after reading some of your stories I know you have CHOSEN to live in the sunshine!!! You also did one of the most amazing things for yourself and your family that I can wholeheartedly identify with – you made a move for your soul and it impacted your happiness levels in a whole new way. You moved to the place that makes your soul feel better – just like I did!!! If anyone has an issue with your happy OBX posts and how the salt air just inherently makes you FEEL better, FEEL happier all the way to your bones,because they don’t understand then send them my way because I have the same convictions as you about it all – and you know it!! You love and your light are amazing and inspiring and SEVERAL people know it! Keep doing you girlfriend and shake the haters off!

  4. I just have to say I love your happiness! The bright and cheery photos of your girls and your huge smiles with your husband, push me to smile thru those toddler tantrums and endless snowstorms where I live, and realize that at the end of the day we are all blessed in some way or another! Stay happy and shine on!

  5. You are such an amazing and transparent person Amanda. You have such a beautiful soul and I am so lucky to know you! You rock girly! You are real, you are inspiring, even when rough times come you always do anything to see the light. Why waste our days dwelling when there is so much out there to be thankful for. Love you!

  6. Amanda – your joy for life, for your family and for your career have always been an inspiration to me! As a fellow photog, YOU are a breath of fresh air!! Life can be really cruddy sometimes. It sounds like we’ve both had our fair share of it… But we are all responsible for how we respond to it and how we let it affect us. It’s easier to let it defeat us than it is to change us, so kuddos to you for letting it be something that changed you for the better. I barely know you, I only met you once, but I’ve been “stalking” your blog and posts since then and I can honestly say that I love your infectious joy and happiness. God is good and you are awesome!!! 😉

  7. YES!! Thank you for writing this. I am so happy all the time and had a few ladies in my life that kept bringing me down. Recently, I just allowed myself not to be a part of that… for me, for my family, so I can smile daily and not ever think.. Should I be this happy? YES we all should!!! 🙂 You are such an inspiration thank you for the honesty in your blog. xoxo

  8. If you Happy all the time I feel it means you are following the path you’re meant to live. I enjoy seeing your blogs and pictures in turn it makes me smile. Don’t worry what others think keep smiling sooner or later the sun always breaks thru the clouds..

  9. This blessed me this morning! I love your work, your writing and YOU! We haven’t met but I know your precious mom and I see where your great attitude originated. God bless you both. I know you have recently suffered a great loss in the death of your brother. But I know that God will carry you through these tough times. Keep doing what you do, and don’t pay attention to those who are simply….jealous! You’re a beautiful young woman and I’m sure you make your momma proud! Love and hugs to you from a mom of four beautiful children and five INCREDIBLE grandchildren! God bless you!

  10. Girl, the reason I love you is because you’re so full of sunshine and happy!! And it’s contagious!!! I can’t not smile when I see your photos come through my Instagram feed – you’re one of my favorite accounts!! And I just LOVE this post!! I’m actually going to go right now and save it that’s how much I love it!! Can’t wait to squeeze you again in March my fun sized friend!! xoxo

  11. I would tell you not to cry, I would tell you not to let them get to you, I would tell you not to listen. However you have such a huge heart and it overflows. There isn’t a thing wrong with being happy, happy for you, happy for your friends and happy for people you don’t even know. Take it from a happy person, some days I can’t contain my happiness and it comes gushing out and splatters on the unhappy, and a little rubs off on them. Be happy, be grateful and spread that sunshine everywhere you go.

  12. Amanda,

    How could someone not like your happiness?! Crazy! Bless their heart! I could not imagine what they must have been through to not want to be happy in life! Your happiness was the first thing that immediately made you stand out to me! Your lifestyle, photography, family, and home is a reflection of that happiness. Personally, you are making a BIG difference in this world. At least I think you are. Keep on shining and “living in the sunshine” 🙂 you worked hard to get there and you deserve that!

    Ashley

  13. Yes x1000! I have also been told that I am “too happy” and I think I was too stunned to really believe that what the person was saying was true. I love living in the sunshine. 😉

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