I sat in the short wooden chair made for a child at my assigned desk. The teacher shared about reading or writing or something interesting, but my eyes always darted to the window. With my mind full of day dreams, I struggled to let the instruction of my teacher hold my attention for any length of time. There was a tree just outside the front window on the left of the classroom and it turned from yellow to red in the fall and had the most beautiful blooms in the spring. I was nine years old and captivated with the changing world. I watched the wind-blown trees and I dreamt of the ocean I had only ever seen in photographs.
Through high school and college, I trained my mind to be diligently focused on the task at hand even when it tried to wander. Sometimes I gave in to Sudoku during Abstract Algebra or Calculus III because I always felt like it helped me to retain the material better. I love learning and I love to think through any kind of strategic puzzle, so the two together helped to keep my mind sharp! The analytical, logical & systematic part of my brain is more evident in my education, behind the scenes business tactics, and video work. The creative in me is more evident in my relationships and photographic work.
It’s been interesting for me to balance these two very different perspectives in my photography business. Upon receiving my degree in Math, Computer Science and Counseling, many people were surprised to hear that what I really wanted was to pursue a career in photography. It’s been really exciting for me to see my degree at work in my business over the last year: from writing a simple program to run my business finances to encouraging my clients and challenging myself creatively, I have seen myself grow as a business woman and as an artist. And guess what? I am different.
I see the everything differently. I see the light differently and I see the changing of the seasons differently. I see the world differently. You do too.
I think that it can be easy to try to fit some kind of mold instead of just being you. You were given a vision and this life for a reason and I want to challenge you to recognize that you don’t need to try to be someone else. You weren’t called to be someone else. And you weren’t given this life to wish it away. What if we lived as though we had the freedom to fully be ourselves? Can you imagine what would happen? Can you imagine what would happen if we celebrated each other?! I want this freedom. I want it in every single relationship that I have, but it has to start with me. Freedom is not going to happen to you. Freedom is not something that others must give to you. It is already yours and you get to choose to embrace it or forget about it.
How would your education or career change if you stepped out in freedom and just let yourself be you? How would your relationships change? How would the way that you see yourself change?
I want to challenge you to live out a life of freedom for yourself. Because there is no such thing as living a life of freedom with the purpose of making others happy. That’s no life of freedom. Don’t use your freedom to injure others or to gain the approval of others. Instead, let yourself live the life you were made to live. Because it really does make all the difference.