Just Another Branch on Life’s Journey

I was panicking. “Just write on the card where you’ll be going to college and what you plan to do with your life,” the principal had told all of us at our high school senior graduation ceremony rehearsal. It seemed a simple enough request but my palms started to sweat a bit, in spite of myself. “What I plan to do with my life? I’m 18 years old! I don’t even know what I plan to major in yet,” I thought.

You see, for so much of my life, I felt a bit . . . I don’t know . . . random. I’m an artist and a creative person, and for me, that meant I never really seemed to fit into a specific job. After college, I remained super open to jobs that would come my way regardless of what they were. I saw it as an exciting adventure, never really knowing where it would lead but confident it would teach me something. I went from customer service at a children’s hospital to being a trial paralegal, to learning basic graphic design principles, to being an office administrator on a vegetable farm. And photography’s been there with me along the way, constantly showing me how I’ve grown and learned through my own reflective camera lens. I wasn’t wrong. I’ve learned so many things from so many people and situations, that I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime already.

Now I know this isn’t the conventional route. I know most people are blessed to know what they want to do from the get go, and I remember envying that. Envying my dear friend who knew she wanted to become an ER doctor early on in life and was able to pursue that and live her dream was always someone I looked to as though it should be me. My niece who knew she always wanted to be a mom and now has such a handsome little kid. I admit that sometimes I felt as if maybe I was doing something wrong, maybe I just was the type of person who didn’t have a “career.” But, for the most part, I felt like God was giving me a great gift of an adventurous life – one that not many people get a chance to experience. And I wish – I wish I shout it from the rooftops that you don’t have to know who you want to be when you grow up at 18 – at 28 – at 68.

This life takes all types of people and each of us are put on our specific path by God to accomplish specific things. Yes, there are ways that are more stable than others but that doesn’t mean that it’s not part of our journey.  We are called to live life to God’s glory and within His parameters, but beyond that is so much, more than we could ever think or imagine!

So, yes, it could be easy to look at my life and think that I’m behind because my life doesn’t meet a certain standard for success. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been drawn to making photographs, because they’re little moments in time that can be held on to and visually seen. I don’t know. Does it seem like I’m getting a little deep for a photography blog? Maybe. But I feel like I have a moment. A moment here. A moment here with you. And I want to give something to you that I’ve really been celebrating lately.

My journey was really round about, but I wouldn’t trade it for all the world. I’ve learned so much about myself, my different passions, and differing ways to do things and see the world. I’ve tried and failed. I’ve tried and learned that certain things are not for me. The point is: I tried.

Sydney, I guess I’m writing this a bit to you, since you’re my most recent senior. Hold tight to those dreams and pursue them with all your heart! But make sure you leave room for God to work in them and to remain open to the path that He may call you down.