I never knew how much I LOVED taking pictures until I was pregnant with my daughter. When I started looking back at my life, I began to SEE just how much of a part photography has played in my life. I took a ton of pictures in high school and I made a collage on my bedroom doorwith all of them and I can still remember the happy FEELING I always got when I stopped and looked at them every single day.
In college, I took a photojournalism class for my Journalism degree and the one day I missed, my picture was brought up in front of the class because it was actually GOOD. I couldn't believe it when my friend told me about it. That's NEVER happened to me in school...ever!! Doing something good...something that stood out. WHOA!!!!
A fellow bridesmaid for a college friend was taking pictures with a pretty cool canon digital camera (this was when the LCD playback screen cameras started becoming popular). I was SO intrigued that after that weekend, I went out and bought the same exact camera for myself and I was SO SO happy with my purchase.
Before leaving the island of Guam with my husband (we lived there together for a year and got married there, too!) I made my husband drive all over the island so I could snap pictures so we could remember the pacific beauty we lived in.
I took a lot of sunset pictures...I miss it!!
While driving in the Boulder, Colorado mountains, my husband thought I was NUTS because I kept taking pictures of the beauty that I saw from inside the car. He was SO concerned about having the "dirty" windshield in the picture. I thought he was NUTS because the windshield was the least of my worries. I wanted to snap what I saw as fast as I could so I could remember those exact moments I saw from the car....dirty windshield and all.
Every time I visit my in-laws, I always...ALWAYS...grab my husbands childhood photo albums and look through them over and over again. I LOVE seeing his life before I was in it and I can never get enough. And not to mention how cute he was a little kid, too! :)
When my grandparents passed away recently, looking at their photos moved me to tears. Just like with my husbands photo albums from when he was kid, seeing my grandparents entire life through photos was SO powerful and amazing because I learned things I never knew before and honestly, just seeing they way they looked throughout life amazed me. It's something I never thought to really look at while they were still alive.
Because of my current passion behind the meaning of photos, I volunteered to go through every single photo my grandparents had in their house. I organized them into piles for my dad, my aunt, my two uncles, my cousins, and other family members. It was quite a job but I LOVED every second of it.
Yes, I cry when I look at these pictures because I miss them SO much, but I'm also reminded of their beauty and light and how I wanna keep it alive in this world for the rest of my life (and hopefully, fill my kids with their beauty and light so they can keep it going strong forever and ever!).
I never wanna forget the love they had for each other and how my grandmother's love glowed through her eyes (no matter whom she was looking at). The way she looked at me, my cousins, my family and especially my grandfather, I never want that happy, comforting FEELING to go away and pictures make that possible.
All these years, I've been searching for my purpose in life. My passion. I know being a mother to my children is my #1 passion, but my direction in life besides mamahood, I'd been clueless, confused and driven by my mind than my heart for as long as I can remember.
After having my daughter, there were many times I wanted to focus more on my photography. I'd start, but then back away.
During this time,I connected with doodling and doodle painting. The main reason...because it's like yoga and mediation to me. It helps calm my mind and it rejuvenates me in a way that yoga and mediation can't.
But, after some time, I'm now realizing that it's not my passion and it's not my direction for serving the world. I don't get teary eyed when I look at my paintings. I don't get lit up inside with happy tingles.
And, I definitely don't have shelves full of painting and drawing books like my mother does. My mother is a painter...an amazing one! That's her passion. But, for me, when I see her books, I think, painting isn't me...my shelves are filled with photography books, but, I still wouldn't move the direction in a way that I needed to.
I've come to this conclusion more than ever this past week.
I'm currently taking Liv Lane's The Art of Choosing Beauty ecourse. Yes, you know I LOVE her! Well, she blogged for an entire year of how she used her camera to help her focus on all the beauty that surrounds her on a daily basis.
Last week, I doodle painted. I documented it so I could share the process here on my blog. I liked it.
Then, it was Day 3 of Liv's class. She asked us to just BE with a flower for 60 seconds. It was already 4 pm and I was racing around doing the dishes and trying to keep my kids content and fed.
I thought, "Nah...I probably won't get to my picture today."
Then I stopped and noticed the flowers right in front of me in my (grandmother's) vase. They weren't freshly bought, so at first, I didn't want to snap them. But then, a bolt of lighting hit me, and I stopped doing the dishes and grabbed my phone and the flower.
I become ONE with the flower. I snapped it, edited it and shared it on Instagram. Something I absolutely LOVE doing!!
In those 60 seconds, I was LIT UP again!! 60 seconds!! That's all it took!! And a bonus...my mama stress was G O N E!! GONE!!
Then a second later, I connected with HOW I feel when I doodle paint (especially that last painting I was documenting for the blog) and HOW I feel when I take photos. It was like night and day.
I'm de-stressed and more calm and happy when I paint, but when I take pictures, I'm ALIVE, energized, smiling, passionate, inspired, motivated, confident, driven and EXCITED!!! Like a little kid!!
I haven't been taking pictures as much as I used to, mainly because I'm SO busy with my two little kiddos and when I pull out my phone or my DSLR camera, lil' bro comes at me as fast as he can to get his hands on them, so I can't really BE with my camera as much as I'd like to be.
But that moment showed me that my inner passion sparks for photography are ready to be nourished.
I've been focusing more on doodle painting than my photography because I feel that there's an amazing message behind WHY it's SO important to paint in this way that needs to be heard.
But right now, I need to connect with what truly lights me up from within outside of mamahood.
I know that taking this step is going to not only bring me joy and fill up my cup again (because right now, I'm pretty depleted with taking care of everyone else but ME), but most importantly, it's going to help me BE more of a present mama to my kids.
Because for me, when I take pictures of my kids, I'm NOT missing out on their lives. I'm pulled back into the present moment and I don't miss a thing!!
When I'm taking time to blog articles more focused on doodling and painting, I find myself getting a little frustrated because it kinda feels like work. And right now I can't do something that feels like work because I get easily frustrated with myself, my computers and my family - something I don't want because my kids feel the affects.
And, from everything I've read on passion, it shouldn't feel like work.
When I'm taking pictures, when I'm editing, when I'm talking or writing about photography, it NEVER feels like work.
I've FINALLY made the connection!
After seeing it, I realized that, because of where my life is right now its time for me to start blogging like I'm 13 again.
And when I say this, I mean just only caring about sharing things that I love with the world without having the pressure of making an income for a family.
Like I'm back in middle school, except this time, I'm a grown woman and a mother, but all I have to think about is BEing present to my 2 littles and when I get a break, I focus ONLY on my deep passion that ignites my inner sparks with happiness, which is photography.
I wanted to share my thoughts here, because I've been SO freakin' wishy-washy this past year (years!) but if I wasn't doing this...wasn't writing things...wasn't sharing things...I would have NEVER grown in this way.
I've been focused way too much on filling my head with "how can I make a income as a stay at home mom" thoughts when I don't have to be at the moment.
And, now, I'm ready to say, I'm FINALLY ready to put those thoughts aside so I can soak in more of my passion (my husband has been telling me to do this for a few years now, but I never listened...yeah, I totally suck...but I did tell him that I'm finally listening and he's ALWAYS...ALWAYS right in the end and I need to listen more!!).
It's scary because I've put a lot of energy, time and investment in trying to succeed online, but all of that is helpful and will be in my future, but, honestly, how could I succeed when, really, I wasn't moving in a direction that wasn't my true passion and filling up my cup.
Well, I'm ready!! I'm letting go and I'm letting my passion BE with the help of my inner 13 year old who doesn't care about making an income at the moment and who only cares about all the things she loves in the world.
SO SO scary...but SO SO needed! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
Here's to letting go and letting life be guided by your passion!! Cheers!!
Until next time...
Life IS beautifully still...SAVOR it up!