Today marks the third day being a full time photographer. I have been dreaming about doing something this big for about four years now. Well really much longer then that, but that's when I finally knew what direction I wanted to go. When my camera came in the mail it was like a five year old at Christmas time - I was SO excited! I had done my research and I felt like I knew what I was doing. Ha!
And so began four years of painful mistakes and hours of web surfing, photo envy, and book reading. I filled my head with any and all knowledge I could get on the subject of photography and dreamed of the day when I could finally call myself a photographer and own it with pride and confidence. I met and married the most amazing man over those four years, who has pushed me to be so much more then I thought I ever could be. In the beginning, we decided I would stay at my job with my family, but as time went on, I started feeling that same sinking feeling I had felt many times before - that feeling of standing still. Yes things had changed and I was living somewhere new, but somehow I was still ending up in the same place I had been all my life. I wasn't moving forward. It felt like I was a bird that never quite made it out of the nest. But even then I kept making excuses so I wouldn't have to push myself beyond my comfort zone. It's always colder and more lonely beyond the comfort zone. You are way more vulnerable. That little voice in my head would say: "why would you leave everything familiar and safe? At least here you will always belong, here you can be sure of yourself. You should be grateful for so many blessings that you've been given, don't just throw those away." It's funny the things that run through our minds as we try and procrastinate to ourselves, convincing ourselves that we can't and that we need to stay where we are to be safe.
I have been working with and for my family since I was 16. In that time I have worked in data entry and customer service in my Dad's business and then moved to working full time for my Mom as a cook, meal planner, grocery shopper, housecleaner, chauffeur, laundry-folder extraordinaire and whatever else needed doing on any given day. Like anything else it had it's really good days and it's really bad days. I'm a super detailed person and maybe a little bit of a perfectionist, especially when it comes to cleaning. So having seven younger brothers who are not as adamant about perfection as I am prone to be..... Well let's just say it's challenging. It was a game of "how-fast-can-you-pick-it-up-before-they-put-more-down" Lol. But I got to spend time with my family everyday, I got to see my brothers grow up in front of me, and I watched as they exchanged old hobbies for bigger better ones and grew from children to men. It was hard, but there were indeed blessings generously sprinkled throughout. But I still felt as though I was holding myself back. I felt as though I was choosing the job I was doing because I didn't know how to do anything else, and it was SAFE. There's that word again.
The google definition of the word Safe is, "the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury." As a baby, how would you learn to walk without risking falling? It's both unsafe and risky so why would we do it? Because we know that we will never go any farther than where we sit I we do not risk suffering a fall for a chance to walk. I knew this to be true, yet I still wanted that safety net beneath me. When Steven and I decided we were going to do this, I remember feeling excitement and sheer terror run through me all at the same time. "It's finally happening!" What if I fail? What if I'm not good enough? What if I fall so flat on my face I never get back up again?
But then I have to remind myself, so what if I fall? Sure I'm nervous, I would be lying if I said I wasn't. But I will take it each day one day at a time. I have cut away the safety nets and put aside the excuses. I'm doing this.
If a baby can fall and get back up again, then I can too and with each fall I will learn something new. When a tree is bent by the wind it's roots plunge deeper into the earth and when the next storm hits the tree still stands. I am excited to see what may happen and where I could go from here. So many possibilities, so many challenges and opportunities for growth. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I hope I fail ... and often. Because If I'm failing at least I know that I must be trying.
So look out world, here I come! You can't miss me, because I'm the one who will be falling on my face! Lol