Friday, September 18, 2009

be one another

Recently I've spoken to several people that have lost their jobs, or have studied for years only to remain unemployed. They are making ends meet, but they are frustrated, disappointed, disheartened. Rightfully so - it can be difficult when your life takes you in a direction you never intended.

In my twenties I had a tendency to plan my life out in stages: stage one - go to law school, stage two - get married, and so on. I needed benchmarks like these to feel sucessful. I also had a lot of anxiety in my twenties - it really wasn't the footloose and fancy free decade I was expecting. In fact, not much about my twenties turned out as "planned" and I was not happy about it.

During a family vacation a couple of years ago I could hear echos of my anxiety-ridden twenty-something self in my brother in law, who was 21 at the time. He was going to graduate college in about a year, and he had no idea what he wanted out of life. It frightened him. And I remember telling him that at 31 I was living a life I had never imagined for myself - and I was loving it.

And it was true - at 21 I would have never anticipated what my life would be like today:

  • That I would not be practicing law
  • That I would be staying home with my girls
  • That I would be pursuing a photography career
My 21 year old self would probably be horrified. Ah, youth!

All this to say - for anyone struggling right now to find their way, for those without jobs, without direction, without purpose - take heart. You will find your way - it may not be the way you intended to go, it may take you longer to get there, but you'll find it.

I was inspired by Zach's story - he and his wife Jody make up Gray Photography based in Nashville. I love that with every turn to his life, there was another surprise, another chapter he was never expecting. What an inspiration to know that he didn't even pick up a camera until his late twenties (take a look at their website and you'll see why this is so stunning).

There are so many photographers out there that are giving of their knowledge, their skills, and their honesty - what a blessing for those of us just starting out! I know it is quite a thrill for me to hear once in a while that someone finds this blog helpful, or even inspirational. Maybe someday my story will inspire someone - you never know, right?

One of my favorite poems (and a shout out to my English Lit heyday in college):

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost

Enjoy your weekend - be inspired.


mary September 18, 2009 at 5:39 PM  

Love your post, Melissa! You are inspiring to me. :) And I used to read Robert Frost poetry over and over and you took me right back to 16 with that quote. Good reminder!

Angela September 18, 2009 at 8:34 PM  

Oh Melissa I hope you do know that you are inspiring others. I am constantly thinking "What the hang am I thinking starting a photography career at this point in my life" Its nice to reminded that not all photographers have been shooting all their lives and that others struggle with their decisions as well. Thanks....

Sweet Pea's mommy September 18, 2009 at 10:22 PM  

wow. thanks melissa! even tho I am an amatuer photog - this post fully inspires me to embrace my creativity and where I am at this stage in my life. things haven't gone "as planned" but I am enjoying it!

Dawn B September 19, 2009 at 5:56 PM  

I found your site/blog on Zach & Jody Gray's site..what a great post! I'm just starting out in photography but still in my day job after 30 years. I am tired of the job, burnt out, and ready to do something I enjoy for once! Your post was so encouraging. Thanks so much!


Katie Corlin Photography September 21, 2009 at 7:55 AM  

Thanks Melissa - I look forward to your posts every day!

Melissa September 21, 2009 at 2:35 PM  

Thanks everyone - I so appreciate your comments and encouragement. I am inspired by your stories and your dedication to learning more about photography.

Gray Photography - Zach and Jody - Nashville Wedding Photography September 22, 2009 at 6:24 PM  

So awesome girl! Love this post :) - JG