I have been going back and forth in my head over what to write for this blog post.
A couple of weekends ago I sat in an audience of both one and a thousand at the same time. I remained glued to my office chair for two days straight, leaving only to refill my tea. I took more notes than I remember taking in college (and I was an honor grad!) and my hand was killing me by the end of each night. However one person held me captive in my office, as she does many nights while I sit reading through her blog posts.
Jasmine Star is a photographer I stumbled upon in May of 2010 and I have been following her ever since. Her photography, her journey, and her cute little dog Polo have continued to hold my interest as I make my way through this fascinating world of photography. And her appearance on CreativeLive could not have come at a better time.
In February of this year the Navy moved my family from Hawaii to Virginia. The last few weeks in Hawaii were meant to be spent having fun and relaxing, for I had just graduated months prior. I made it a point to schedule the move a couple of months after graduation so that I could spend my days on the beach, learning how to surf, and exploring the land I had neglected for the years that I lived there.
However, my last few weeks in Hawaii were filled with stress. My two dogs, Kato and Thor, were having a very difficult time with the move. I always say that if Kato were a human he would be locked up in a psychiatric ward or spend his life known as the creepy serial killer. Kato has a lot of issues and the move did not help much. I ended up spending every waking second with these two dogs, for their anxiety had driven them to fighting.
Once I arrived in Virginia I counted down the days until my husband came home. His ship had been underway and they were still gone when I arrived. I spent every day trying to occupy myself with things to do. But I only had a suitcase and two dogs that could not be in the same room together. He had been gone since September 2010 and I am pretty sure the boys were just as antsy as I was for him to get home. I spent every night reading up on photography blogs, trying out new techniques, and trying to improve my business skills.
We were going through what I refer to as the “PCS from Hell”. The Navy had messed up our paychecks to the point where we were only receiving $1400 a month. My car had been damaged during shipment to Virginia so it could not be driven. Our boys were fighting to the point of drawing blood every night. And I had no motivation at all whatsoever to even look at my camera, the thing that been my source of peace during the most stressful of times.
When I say that Jasmine could not have come at a better time, I mean it with all that I am.
The last six months had been the most stressful time of my life. I was faced with a decision: find a normal 9-5 job or renew my business license in Virginia. One of my many reasons for not jumping into grad school after university was my desire to explore myself and the world around me camera in tow. My decision to devote myself to my business full time was being challenged by a desire for a stable paycheck (because the Navy was not helping at all in that department).
And she came. And I listened.
As Jasmine spoke about her journey in photography I sat wondering what the hell I was thinking. I cannot give up my passion. If this woman can leave law school and decide to become a wedding photographer without any photography background then I have no excuse not to devote myself to being successful at what I love. Her path was not easy, but she was determined. And her determination and perseverance is what led her to become one of the most well known photographers in the world.
I have never been felt better about my decision than I do now.
When I look at how much I have grown within the past year I am extremely pleased. I can feel such a huge shift from just a few months back. If you told me that I would be where I am today just two months ago I would not believe you. My world felt as though it was filled with so much uncertainty, anxiety, and unhappiness. I felt like I had made such a big mistake and that I spent a year working on a business and pursuing an art that would continue to escape me.
But as I write this, I get to sit in an office that I never even dreamed of having. Where there is a balcony connected so that I can go out an listen to the birds sing or drink my tea. I have the cutest little office mate ever. And I have a husband who has pushed me to follow what I love ever since the day I came home after buying my first dslr without his knowledge 🙂
Thank you Jasmine Star. You were just the kick in the ass that I needed. I felt like giving up more than anything, but hearing you inspired me to stick with it. I never thought I would be at this point now and feel so at ease.