I’ve been thinking about myself a lot lately. Not in a self-centered mentality, but in a “What do I want to do with my life?” kind of way.
I’ve noticed some patterns. Not all that I’m proud of, but I’m sure I am not alone:
1. I’m a perfectionist. If I’m going to do something – I have ridiculously high expectations of how it should turn out. Which is probably why I often just “dabble” because I’ll compare myself to “the ideal goal” and get frustrated.
2. I’m a day dreamer. I have visions of things I’d love to do – a person I’d love to become – things I’d love to learn and have time for. And I’ve always dreamed big!
3. If my heart’s not in something – I quit it. That can be viewed as good or bad. It explains why my college career lasted on-and-off over so many years with constant changes in my major. And why I never finished and still don’t have a degree. You know what though? I don’t regret it. I get bothered when I’m told that I will regret never finishing. But no, no I won’t. I learned a lot in college! I took enough classes across the board that I feel well-educated. What I WOULD regret is if I made myself miserable finishing my degree in something I realized I didn’t want to pursue. College made me pretty dang neurotic because I never felt like it’s where I belonged or what I actually wanted to do. I did not like feeling like I HAD to spend so much of my time, energy, and money doing something because it’s what I felt pressured to do or because it made others happy with my decisions…. I want to be HAPPY and PASSIONATE about MY decisions and the path I choose.
My whole life I always enjoyed art. Painting, drawing, doodles, crafting… CREATING was what I loved. I tried something new & took a film-developing photography class my Senior year in high school and LOVED it! Suddenly, I itched to take my dad’s old 35mm film camera with me everywhere I went. And I practically did. It became my dream to one day be good enough to own my own business doing what I loved.
Though… the art world is full of a lot of intensely passionate people – especially once I reached college levels. Sometimes their passion, drive, skill and unique creativity would scare me because I didn’t feel like I was on the same level; however, it was inspiring. Getting accepted into and being a part of the art departments at my University was terribly competitive. Seriously though – only being able to apply/submit your portfolio once a year and cross your fingers that you will be one of the dozen chosen out of hundreds of applicants… It was nothing short of disheartening.
I chose to focus on other things in my college studies – though the art-based classes were always my favorite. My parent’s surprised me and bought me my first Nikon SLR 35mm film camera for Christmas one year. I carried it everywhere and spent a lot of money on rolls of film! Paintbrushes, canvas, craft projects, and my drawers of developed negatives were what I loved far more than my school studies. I dreamed about but lacked the courage to do something great with my passion.
Skipping ahead – over the years I’ve had a handful of different jobs, life experiences involving travel, and many learning opportunities. I have met a variety of very different people and been inspired in many ways. I’ve gotten married and gained a companion that is a doer and 100% supportive and by my side. I honestly feel that because of him, I am starting to become the me I always dreamed of.
Apart from my husband, I cannot overlook certain people that have been placed in my path in the last couple of years. The tiny decision of who I chose to be our engagement photographer in 2012 has significantly impacted my life. I could go on about how that one decision randomly snow-balled into many great things, but for now, I just will focus on one. Lora Grady very quickly became a close friend of mine. We clicked & lucky for us, also shared similar interests. She taught me so much and motivated/pushed me to just START! Between her and my husband, I gained the courage to finally create my photography business despite my OCD of wanting everything perfect from the get-go. Everybody has to start somewhere. I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned in just 2013 because I decided to just start.
Now, it’s the beginning of 2014. I started making a list of my “Desires for the New Year” over the holidays and it looked like this:
I’d like to visit NYC
Having married into a family that gets everybody together frequently, I’d like to see all of my family together in one place for a change.
I’d like to have time to garden
I’d like to improve on meal planning and budgeting
I want to go on more dates with just my husband
I’d like to make more time to invest in my photography business
I’d like to work on my personal creative goals
I’d like to spend less time staring at a computer screen
I want to go on more walks
I want to finish a few paintings
I want to have time to enjoy reading books again
I want to send more snail mail
I want to be present for my family
In staring at my list, I thought to myself. Why aren’t these things happening now? My two big factors were…
#1 – I have a full-time day job where I stare at a screen all day.
#2 – I’m pregnant, so at this stage in the game, by the time I get home from work… I have no energy for much other than my pillow.
Making decisions has always been hard for me, but this time – It was surprisingly easy. Although I have been blessed with a great job, steady income, and excellent health insurance – I opted to give it up. WHOA – I know! I feel like lately I’ve been given many opportunities to learn, grow, and get help living my dream that I’d be dumb not to take the leap of faith to go for it. I need the time to make it happen. I’m ready to be my own boss and take charge of life.
So, even though we have a baby on the way and my current steady income/great health insurance/benefits would seem like the “wise” thing to stick with – I feel the opposite. I’ve put in the word and come the end of February, I will no longer be employed. Now is my time to REALLY start doing what I want to. Now is the time to get things going BEFORE my baby comes. I’m excited about the time I will have to invest in my business and passions. I’m blessed to have a supportive husband. It definitely will not be easy, but I have not felt better about such a decision.
Coming from someone who has been the QUEEN of procrastination, insecurity, and indecision – Just GET STARTED LIVING YOUR DREAM! Now is the time because “tomorrow” rarely comes. I am a firm believer that if you want something bad enough to work for it – it will be yours. Do not settle.
Let the journey begin!…