Some students pursue their senior year in high school with tenacity because they know College applications are right around the corner. Some students get a bad case of “senioritis” and have mentally checked out before they checked in. I was neither of the two. Unlike most, I actually enjoyed High School. By my junior year I had a lead in the school play (“If a Man Answers”. It’s such a sweet movie from the 60’s with Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin!) and really loved my shift lead job at Johns Incredible Pizza working in party central! Would you believe me if I told you during my training at Johns I had to learn how to make animal balloons? Would you believe me if I said I loved it? Or if I said I still know how to make balloon animals? Can we still be friends……?
It was a pretty good life for a 17 year old. Oh, well, except the part where I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I loved people, being creative, and creating fun memories. I also became very aware that ALL of my friends were planning their 4 year university lives away and I was lost. I never saw myself at a 4-year. Even when I was growing up watching epic 90’s high school movies about Freddy Prince Jr applying at colleges. I never wanted that life.
Teachers, parents, school counselors, and friends were all telling me that you NEED a 4-year degree to be successful. I bought into that.
I opted for community college for 2 and 1/2 years and took a black and white film class my very first semester. (There’s a HUGE foreshadow for this story. Oh wait, you already know I’m a photographer. Whoops. Just play along, k?) I took a handful of dance classes that resulted in a performance at the end of the semester, a french class that I loved, and any class that I could re-use my term paper for “Global Warming”. I also worked a ton of hours at Sears, traveled to Italy and New York City twice, but that’s beside the point.
After receiving my AA, I applied at Cal State LA and was accepted. It didn’t feel right. I mean, it REALLY didn’t feel right. So, like any logical 21 year old girl I decided to flee the country. Although I had no experience with children I decided that I was going to be an Au Pair in France or England. I had 2 interested families and the day I said “YES!” to a beautiful family that lived on the beach in Marseille, Cal State LA said “Yes” to me. On the same day.
My parents eventually talked me into the Cal State and I paid my deposit just as sorrowful as I said “No” to France. Both options just didn’t feel right and I was so very lost.
About a month later I shot my first wedding.
I was in love with photography more than ever.
I found a way to live a fulfilling and successful life that allowed me to love people, be creative, and create fun memories.
I denied my acceptance to Cal State and I began dreaming out what my life might be like as a photographer.
3 years later and I’m living a life that I NEVER DREAMED would be mine. Married to my dream guy and living my dream job.
I am reminded that not everyones journey looks the same and I am just so thankful that God shut and opened doors for me.
This quote is something I remind myself of daily. I can get envious of girls that are gifted in ways that I am not (*cough cough* SINGING *cough cough*), but then I remember that God has given us all amazing talents.
Finding your strengths in life are so empowering. Find what you are good at go full force in that direction!
I hope this quote inspires you!