Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Big One

Right in line with the title of this blog, I feel it's about time to confess this exciting little secret I've been holding onto for some time now. There are so many fears and reasons why I haven't wanted to directly divulge what's been going on behind the scenes but I think it's time to "come out."

I'm gonna be a photographer!

If you happen to read my blog frequently or any time in the last few months you might recall my excitement over my new camera that I bought this year in preparation for our summer vacation. I never wanted or planned for it to become a career, and heck, I didn't even buy a DSLR, just a nice point-and-shoot. But I fell in love with it. I started seeing everything through photo filters, not my own eyes, but in the way it would be captured. What intrigued me even more was the film aspect--making movies and capturing the little moments. I toted my camera around Vermont documenting every moment of my family's reunion (celebrating my grandma's 90th birthday!) and I was totally, overwhelmingly consumed by the end of the trip as I scrambled to put together a little video to send back to the fam.

I never thought much of it, I just headed back to work and my daily tasks, but secretly kept watching my video whenever I thought of it; it made me happy on those long days.  One day near the end of August I was chatting in Starbucks with a friend when it hit me--this is what I want to do with my life. It was crazy. My brain immediately attacked the idea. I went back and forth convincing myself it could never happen. Or could it....?  I told my friend that I would start small, maybe someone would let me take video footage of their wedding for free, if I offered to make a little wedding video for them...   But then that was it. A dream deferred. It was a silly thought, and I have bills to pay, right?

Perhaps by now you can imagine my surprise when I was handed one of the greatest opportunities to ever come my way. I was stopped at a red light when I heard my phone, alerting me of a new email. I opened it up and this is what I found:

(A little backstory, Yessenia and I went to college together and while we took the same classes, I never really spoke with her. Our friendship consisted merely of Facebook and Instagram interaction. She is an amazing pro photographer on the side, and just got engaged this August!)

My heart nearly fell out of my chest and my jaw hit the floor.  Me?! Are you kidding?! I felt guilty even entertaining the thought, in fact I didn't even tell James until much later! But the idea was spreading through my mind, entering every corner of possibility until I couldn't take it anymore.  Then I started asking anyone who would listen what they thought about it. I was unconvinced and I was nervous as all get out. But then my mother-in-law said one thing that really solidified the conclusion I was ebbing towards: "She wouldn't have asked you if she wasn't confident in herself that you would be ready [and able] in time for the wedding." Bam. That was all I needed to hear. I was in.

I guess the rest is history, or at least you'll have to wait to find out. We've been meeting up for photo dates, tutorials and editing sessions whenever we can find the time, and let me tell you it's been amazing. I really love it and I really fear for my bank account (why does camera equipment have to be so darn expensive?!). I love learning with no expectations and I am so thankful for Yessenia's patience with me.

I don't know where this will lead, and for the time being I still don't expect it to be anything close to a new career, but it's still exciting to think of the possibilities!  Jeeez guys... I'm shooting a WEDDING next year!! Yikes!

For the full story, or rather, for Yessenia's take on things, check out her blog post --->HERE

15 Before '15:
11. Pursue my creative dreams

Friday, November 8, 2013

Just Like That

"You never know the biggest day of your life is going to be the biggest. The days you think are going to be big ones are never as big as you make them out to be in your head. It's the regular days, the ones that start out normal, those are the days that end up being the biggest."
--Izzy Stevens

For quite some time I've been looking for a new job, one that means health insurance and a stable, calculable income, and for months I've come up with nothing.  James got hired "temp-to-hire" at Yamaha in September and while we are hopeful his contract will be bought out in December (meaning he will come on board as a Yamaha employee, with all the amazing benefits), I'd rather be safe than sorry.  

Ever since my hip surgery in March I have longed for a job that would get me off my feet. I don't know if I will ever forgive myself for cutting my rehab short and going back to work before I was painfree. I worry I've done more harm than good, working long walking hours to make ends meet while James was unemployed, and I'm honestly too scared to go back to the Ortho doctor, out of fear he will confirm that I've done more damage and that I need another surgery.  

This past Wednesday I was off from work at Stacked, about to start my day which consisted of errands and laundry when I got a phone call asking me if I had time for an interview today or tomorrow for a job opportunity that opened up.  I thought I should play it safe and pick "tomorrow" so that I'd have time to prepare, but in the end I was asked to come in merely two hours later because they had already booked interviews for the next day.  Such short notice!  I printed out the latest copy of my resume and hurried to curl my hair before pounding down an iced coffee and running out the door.  I felt wholly unprepared and a little rusty when I showed up to speak with the President and Vice President, but apparently I wow'ed them nonetheless.  They gave me the usual lip service, telling me they really liked speaking with me and that they'd get back to me the next day.  I drove home thinking I wouldn't tell anyone about this, like it never happened, because I probably wasn't going to get the job, and last time I interviewed for a job I told everyone about it just to let them all down when I didn't get picked.  As I was trudging up the stairs to our apartment I got a text from a number I didn't recognize-- "U got the job!" 

I called them back and it turns out they cancelled their interviews for the next day, and I start on Monday! :)

I wish I felt total relief or excitement at that moment, and admittedly I did a little bit, but if you know me you know that I hate confrontation and all I could think about was how I was going to explain to Stacked that I needed to quit on the spot.  The next morning I walked into the restaurant with as much confidence as I could muster, and in what has to have been an act of God, the one manager I preferred to speak with just happened to be there, and in a great mood.  He took it so well! I was honest and told him I had been working towards this for a long time, that my family needed this and that I needed this, for my health's sake.  He was completely agreeable and actually gave me many congratulations. He reassured me of my strong work ethic and said I am great.  And that I'd be great.  And that if I ever needed anything, including one last free meal, that he'd take care of me.  And most importantly, that I didn't even need to put in a two-week's notice.  And then the relief and excitement really came.  Even in my wildest dreams I could never have pictured that conversation going so well. I bounced out of there and home to my husband to tell him the good news. :)

So today was my last day of part-time life, and I have to say I am a little sad.  I will miss my mornings drinking tea and catching up on chores and tv shows.  I will miss lunch dates with friends and being able to make appointments at non-peak hours (when the working folk get their stuff done).  But I will tell you what I won't miss, I won't miss the inconsistent hours, or financial instability that came of it, I won't miss working on holidays and weekends, I won't miss the girl-drama or the not finding out about my schedule until the week before, but most of all I won't miss coming home with swollen feet and aching joints.  Call me and old lady, but that is truly my favorite part!

Timing is a funny thing.  It's like you try so hard to make something happen, you try for such a long time and you try every avenue possible, and nothing happens.  You wake up expecting to fold laundry and stay in your pajamas most of the day, and the next thing you know you're driving to the next biggest opportunity life has to offer.  One of those times where, in the blink of an eye, your whole life changes. Just like that. I guess everything does happen for a reason, and I'm so glad.