So today we are setting out on a little journey that we will be sharing with you (if you care to follow along).
But first, I want to share the (abbreviated) journey and a couple of defining moments that brought me to this point. (I am often asked how I made the leap from corporate executive to professional photographer. This is the nutshell version).
January of 2010 – The wake up call. I sat in a corporate meeting and was delivered news that broke my heart and my spirit. I was going to have to lay off several senior and junior executives and several long term sales associates (not because of poor performance but because of a company wide initiative). Average time in jobs for the affected staff was 24 years of dedicated service. I could write a book on this alone but suffice it to say, these were very low and dark days for the staff that was affected, their families, the staff that remained behind to pick up the pieces and for me. I began strategizing (plotting) my own exit strategy after 34 years in the industry. When I once thought my future held a not so happy status quo end game, this event allowed me to dare to dream of what could be.
September 2012- the first day of my official creative journey. I began classes at the Hallmark Institute of Photography. That morning I arrived early and sat in the parking lot filled with trepidation as I watched very young adults file in through the back door of the school under inspirational banners. I missed the very young adult cut off by 30 years or so. And at that moment, in that parking lot I was realizing that I was the only ‘not so young adult’ in this HIP class. True story – I actually started my car twice to drive off. But my desire to be a professional photographer, to soak up all the knowledge and to experience the experience was stronger than the nagging dread. On my way to the door, with my Vera Bradley lunch bag in hand, another student approached me, introduced herself and confided that she was very nervous and she had been waiting in her car for me to enter the school. I assured her she was going to be fine.
June 2018 – while readying to photograph a large wedding, a former Hallmark classmate/ friend stopped in to my studio to see me. He ‘stopped in’ from India. He was traveling around the States to personally invite his friends to his upcoming wedding celebration in India. I was thrilled to be on that list! This young man is one of those rare individuals that is able to maximize both the creative and logical side of his brain. He has talent and the drive to see his vision come to life through his lens. And he’s a sweet and caring human being.
Today. Today Donald and I will travel to Delhi and next week to Jaipur India to witness our friend Aniruddh get married and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate with him, his beautiful future wife and his friends and family.
Funny thing about journeys, even though we tend to think about them retrospectively, the sum of our every-days is what makes up our beautiful life journey. Today needn’t be epic, but for me, it helps me make the most of it when I think about it as a new chapter in my life story.
I am blessed beyond words that God has guided me and helped me to navigate through some very messy defining moments of loss and devastation and graced me with moments of incredible joy and love, which led me to today ….and to yesterday and to the much-anticipated tomorrow.
Take the leaps and only look back to see how far you’ve come in the world of possibilities.
May you all be on your journey of joy in 2019 but if you find yourself at a lower point on your lifeline, know that it could very well be the defining moment of an entirely new path full of hope and happiness.