Okay, I’m going to be totally transparent. There’s something that’s been weighing on my mind a lot lately and I feel I need to share. If there’s just one other person out there who feels or has felt this way, then I will know that sacrificing my precious kid-free-Netflix time at 10:00pm was totally worth it.
A little back story-
Growing up, I had no end game. I wasn’t born with a violin in my hand with a clearly carved path into Juilliard and an early acceptance letter into the philharmonic orchestra. I always felt like a floater. I went to school, and sometimes paid attention. I looked after my younger siblings, and gave my mother way too much trouble at times. I never really worried about the future, or had any goals. I definitely could have gone to college, but that just wasn’t something that I ever thought was in the cards for me. I worried about today, and figured things would work themselves out eventually like they do for everyone else.
Fast forward to life in my early 20’s.
Suddenly I’m a wife to an amazing, wonderfully stubborn man, and a mother to two wild and full of life children. I realize I have the one thing I always knew I wanted; a family. My heart is filled with so much joy and love, but there’s still an emptiness. Like a beach pail with a small hole in the bottom. You can keep pouring more and more sand inside, but its just never quite full enough to build that castle. I loved my family more than anything, but I still hadn’t found love for myself. I struggled with the idea that I may never find my calling.
I worked several different jobs when I wasn’t busy being a stay at home mother ( the hardest job of all ) and just never found passion. I wanted to be excited about what I was doing, and find something that motivated me, and challenged me. Something that would allow the creativity inside me to explode instead of hiding behind routine and mediocrity. I wanted to be independent and focused. I needed to feel something.
I would have never thought that my passion would start with a cheap camera from amazon and the desire to capture moments in the lives of my quickly growing children. I never thought I would find something that felt so natural, and inspired me. I loved to draw, but wasn’t amazing. I loved to sing, but could never make a career out of it. Photography, I was good at. There was passion.
The first moment I felt the fire, was when I was asked to shoot a very small, low budget wedding. Looking back, I made next to no money and really had no idea what I was doing. I remember being nervous, but not in a negative kind of way. I was nervous in a “can’t contain my excitement” kind of way. This was the first time I felt something when photographing anything other than my children. In those moments when the bride and groom said their vows, and promised to love each other for the rest of their lives, I was in it. I felt the energy, the anticipation, the love. I felt everything.
I’ve since become addicted to feeling. Ive had the opportunity to photograph families celebrating their lives together, couples dancing their first dance as husband and wife, and new lives being brought into the world. Every single opportunity I have experienced has filled a special place in my heart. I am so blessed to have found the love, found the passion and found the excitement. It has not been easy, and I am certainly not the greatest photographer ever known, but I’m totally okay with that. I have found something that makes me feel fulfilled, and confident.
When it no longer feels like work, when you can’t wait for the next opportunity. When you can’t stop looking for ways to grow and improve. When you can’t imagine life doing anything else, you’ve found it.
Find your thing. Find something that challenges you, but also fills your heart. Find something that makes you love yourself. The future you will thank you.