Two years. I can’t believe it’s been two years. The texture of the state agency cubicle walls has almost faded from my memory. Dry eyelids stinging as I blink myself awake at some unpleasant hour in the morning: a rare occurrence now. Life now is consumed with the “new mundane”: charging batteries, checking emails, and always making sure that backups are backing up.
Last year, I wrote a small count of things accomplished since hanging up my agency lanyard. Since then, I’ve been actively changing focus in how I want my life to be. It’s interesting: when I worked and had no vacation hours, I thought traveling was a fantasy. It was something so far beyond what I could afford — in both time and money — that I discouraged myself from being interested in travel. But now! After making very good headway into getting over my (somewhat crippling) anxiety, travel is my friend. In the gap between last July and the end of the last month, I’ve visited Cabo, Japan, Marfa, San Francisco, Tulsa, and Los Angeles. And next month I’ll be on my way to Montana, a state I’ve never visited before, to photograph a wedding!
I am far from becoming an “international wedding photographer.” But… I am becoming a bit more of a traveler, and that’s always a good thing.
. . .
It’s weird; I feel like, for the most part, I’ve always worked the way others expect me to work. Homework, college essays, deadlines, 8-hour days. It’s been difficult to wrap my head around the idea that I don’t need to ask permission to act the way that I want to. I remember hearing another businesswoman say at a small conference that it was this light-bulb moment, that she didn’t have to ask to do something, be something. The beauty of being your own boss is that you can make a choice and then follow it. It’s freeing but also terrifying, as this direction can bring you goodness or it can be the start of an unraveling.
Though I have taken a long time to understand that I don’t have to ask permission from anyone, two years later, I’m finally starting to embrace the freedom. I’m learning how to dance for the first time, and I’m traveling more than before. And during the slow season this summer (as Texas wedding season slows down during the hot months) I’ve decided I’m going to write a book — kind of like NaNoWriMo, but in August instead of November. I am excited to discover — or in the case of the writing, re-discover — hobbies.
Onward and upward; here’s to year three!