You guys, I'm home (home sweet home) but my brain is elsewhere. Also, I have no idea what happened to the scheduling of these guest posts. I triple checked everything before I left and yet, they still did not work out and that's why you've gotten a concentrated hit of them in the past few days. Oh well. In the meantime, while I get myself sorted out, here's quite the inspiring guest post by Stephanie from Big Mario Life on chasing your dreams.
When Annelise invited me to do a guest post while she's off trotting the globe, she suggested a post on following your dreams. Following my dreams? I used to read about people "following their dreams" and every time I would think, "Wow. I wish I could do that." And now, here I sit at my kitchen table, homemade latte in hand, taking a break from editing photos to write a little note to you. No office to go to, no time clock to track, no boss to answer to... So is this my dream? Absolutely. But it took me a long time to realize it.
I worked pretty hard to not just get through law school but to do well at it. I landed that coveted law firm job right after graduation. I busted my butt working for the Man for much longer than I expected. And the whole time I was doing it, I kept thinking, "Ugh. I wish I could just take pictures for a living." No joke. Even while studying for the bar exam, my roommate and I would often whine about what we "really" wanted to do - she talked about opening a bakery, I talked about starting a photography business. But for some reason, I just couldn't turn those words into actions. Until a few months ago. I was not happy at work. In fact, I was so not happy, I would come home and cry some nights. And let me tell you, I am NOT normally a crier. I'm a tough chick and can hold back tears with the best of them. So for me to break down at the thought of getting up the next day and going into that office again ... well, that was a clear sign that something had to change. At first I thought I'd start the photography business as a part-time thing while working at the firm. But then I thought - I'm 30 freaking years old, I've worked my ass off to be successful and get this far in life, I should be doing something that I truly enjoy - that I love and that I'm passionate about - and I should be doing it full-time, not just on the weekends.
Realizing I deserve that happiness was one of the most important moments of my adult life. So I quit my enviable firm job and became self-employed. Overnight, my mood changed. I'm happy again. I'm motivated, I look forward to getting up and working everyday, and I'm excited about what my future holds. And while it's scary knowing that my next pay check won't come unless I book more photo gigs - that I am solely responsible for things like health insurance, saving for retirement, marketing my business, etc. - there's still something liberating about being my own boss. I know I'm doing what I'm meant to do. I'm in full control of my career and my future. If I want to work in pajamas then I'm gonna do it, dammit! So is this my dream? Yes. Without a doubt. I don't expect it all to be unicorns and rainbows from here on out, but I do expect that, in the long run, the leap of faith will pay off.
So there you have it. My thoughts on following your dreams. Maybe it's inspired you to do the same. Whatever your dreams may be, however big or small, following them is never the wrong decision.
Thanks, Stephanie! Everyone else, don't forget to check out Big Mario Life!