It's been a week! Actually, it's been one hell of a month! For those of you who don't know, actually I don't think any of you know, but last month I took the plunge and invested in a business coach. Talk about sacrifice! I had just lost my job at the non-profit, which essentially paid in peanuts and was living month to month, so why in the world would I do this?
After the organization shut down, I was devastated. It was my dream job and I refused to allow myself to go backwards. I couldn't allow myself to work the 9-5 grind, a job where I wasn't making an impact. "But, Steph, you have no money. Any job would help right now." Yes, that played in my head over and over again, but do you think I listened?
So, I made a huge investment and hired a business coach, and I don't know if any of you have noticed, but I've been steam rolling ever since I started working with her! Yes, she helps me with the business and administration side of things, but gosh has she taken me on a crazy inward journey. She teaches that we manifest our own destinies and if you put negative crap out into the universe, that's what you're going to receive in your life AND in your business.
Photography is my soul purpose. I truly believe I was created to be a storyteller through the power of photography, and when you feel a calling as strong as that, how can you ignore it? How can you have "just a job?" I couldn't.
I was reflecting yesterday and thinking, "What if I had never picked up a camera? Where would I be if photography hadn't saved me?" I've always been kind of obssessed with cameras and taking photographs, and about ten years ago is when it all first began. I can't remember an exact moment, but I realized the impact photos could have on a person. I had this hunger to capture, create, and draw out deep emotions people didn't know they still had, emotions I didn't even know I had.
Even while I was in college pursing my B.S. degree, and completing my minor in art, it took a long time for it to dawn on me that I could be a photographer. I assumed I was supposed to have the 9-5 because that's what we go to school for. Except, that wasn't working for me. I had the 9-5 and I felt empty and dull. My creativity wasn't given the opportunity to flow, and I felt like I was suffocating because I wasn't capturing. I wasn't creating and I wasn't feeling anything.
Photography saved me, because it gave me the guts I needed to leave a toxic relationship, and my unfulfilling life in Connecticut to move back to Montana. Had I never left, I'd probably still be working the 9-5 for a company I didn't believe in, devaluing myself to feel one ounce of anything but numb, and drinking a whole bottle of wine by myself so that when I crawled into bed at night, I wasn't aware of my loneliness. I wouldn't be where I am right now, living the dream doing what I love, in the Last Best Place, with my soulmate by my side.
My craft has improved dramatically in the last two years, and since moving to Montana I've been published nine times, and I hope to increase that number as I continue to grow spiritually and professionally.
If I could have a conversation with my younger self, I would tell me to trust my gut because it was always right. And I'm going to tell you the same thing. Get out of your comfort zone, too. Amazing adventures never came from being confined to four walls. This is how you grow, and I wouldn't trade that feeling for anything. Don't settle. Ever.
"The universe has music for those who listen." -Shakespeare