It’s April 7 and I’ve had a few days to unwind and collect myself after returning home from two of the most amazing weeks of my life. My 14 days in Amsterdam and Paris rank right up there with my wedding day and honeymoon. As I considered the blog posts I would unleash unto the interwebs upon my return home, my head spun. There is so much I could write about, so much I could share! But how to organize it? Well, let’s just say I’m still feeling a tad overwhelmed.
One topic I knew I wanted to write about, however, is the term “lucky.” Primarily, I’d like to make this clear: I AM NOT LUCKY.
I followed a little bit of the Facebook feedback shared on my personal and business page updates while I was away, and there were a few folks who mentioned how lucky I am to have had this opportunity. Now, first of all- no offense taken! If you made one of these comments, please please don’t feel that this post is directed at you or that I was irritated in any way. This is purely a matter of semantics and philosophy, and something that weighs heavy on my heart as I contemplate my recent adventures and the direction I’ve decided to take in the future.
So what do I mean by saying “I am not lucky?” Two weeks in Europe, dream job, etc etc- sounds pretty “lucky” to most, I think. Let’s consider some common definitions of the word “lucky,” easily found by Googling the word: 1) occurring by chance; 2) happening fortunately; 3) having or bringing good fortune.
Hmmm. That is where I take issue with anyone witnessing my journey and calling me “lucky.” My excursion to Europe definitely did not occur by chance. I did not go to Vegas and pull the handle of a slot machine and land in Paris with an amazing mentor and a group of equally amazing colleagues. In fact, ironically, I skipped my trip to Vegas to attend WPPI this year just so that I could go to Paris. Nope, this adventure did not happen by luck. Was it simply good fortune by which I lived this little dream? My bank account (and my loving husband) will tell you NO to that one. On the heels of calculating my taxes for 2010, I can assure you that I did not make a fortune of any sort! Nope, my travels were funded by my own hard work and a little bit of savings. It certainly was NOT easy to press the button and purchase those plane tickets, let me tell you.
This trip was an investment. An investment in my professional portfolio, an investment in my inspiration as an artist, an investment in my professional community, and an investment in building my skills as a photographer. Was it fun? Heck yeah. Loads of fun. That is why I am IN this profession- to make my living through art that I’m passionate about. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t work, and I didn’t get to the point where I’m able to do this by any sort of Vegas-style luck. I sacrificed a great-paying job with great benefits, spent thousands on procuring the right equipment and tools to do the job, and gave up a ton of my free time during nights and weekends to serve my clients and run my business. And by golly, it’s worth it.
OK, so I’ve explained myself- but some may be wondering why I have my undies in a bunch about this to the point of blogging about it.
This is why: RESPONSIBILITY.
Are you envious of my adventures? Do you feel like you’re struggling with your endeavors, whether personal or business, whether photography-related or not? Do you wish you were me? Or any other member of the Scott Robert World Tour community? Do you simply believe you aren’t as lucky as we are? If you feel these things, then this post is for you. It’s a kick in the boo-tay:
YOUR DREAM LIFE WILL NOT JUST HAPPEN. YOU MUST CHASE AFTER IT.
If I’ve learned anything overall from my participation in Scott Robert Lim’s World Tour workshops and the one-of-a-kind community he is creating, it’s the realization that adventures and opportunities like this won’t simply come to me. I must chase after them. The same goes for you! No matter what your dream is, it will not prance up and shake your hand and say “come along, let’s go live your dreams today” and hand you a ticket to where you want to go. We all know that life doesn’t work that way, and yet we all have the natural tendency to sit quietly where we are and cross our fingers anyways.
And so, here is my challenge to you: CHASE YOUR DREAMS. If there is something that you’re longing to do, somewhere you’re longing to go, someone you’re longing to be… Stop longing. Start living. Buy the plane ticket. Do you realize that people are counting on you to live your dreams? If you do not live your dream, how will you inspire anyone else to live theirs? How will you show someone dear to you that the life they want is possible if you don’t make yours happen?
And of course, since blog posts need pretty pictures… Here is one super fun shot of Phoebe, who didn’t realize that living HER dream as a model for all of us would include pigeons.
Stay tuned for more from my European adventures, and details about an upcoming gallery show at the studio in Madison, Wisconsin!