Once upon a time there was a girl who yearned. A girl who yearned to make something. Something heart-stoppingly beautiful, something that mattered to people, something that could change the world.
She searched for this thing for many years, reaching forward, trying to fill the emptiness, trying to find the thing that would fit, that would make her feel full, that would make her heart sing.
For a time she thought she’d found what she was looking for in the theater. She loved the community, the fun, the drama. She loved the feeling of being part of a group all working together to create something bigger, something beautiful. She loved the feeling of the muse flowing through her, of being both “her” and “not her” at the same time.
But as the years passed, a shift occurred and she wanted to stop pretending. She wanted something permanent. She wanted to be herself.
For a time, she was a teacher. Not one of the “those who can’t do” types. One that strove to make true connections with her students, to lead them to new discoveries and new worlds—to help them find their own voices and their place in this world.
She loved making connections between concepts and ideas, linking them all together and uncovering the big idea behind it all. She worked hard to show each young one their own specialness and to help them feel good about themselves.
But the cynicism and the bureaucracy of the system, the constant push and pressure of time and paperwork began to sap out all the joy. When she became pregnant with her first child, she knew it was time to move on.
The birth of her daughter was also a rebirth for her. And for a long time she wandered, searching for her new identity, her new path. For as much as she loved her child with all her heart and soul, she longed for something that was hers alone. Something that would lift her up out of the fear and the overwhelm. She had gotten a taste of creation and she wanted more. So she search and waited, searched and waited. Looking for that spark, that feeling of knowing—yes, this is what I was put here for, this is what I was meant to do.
Then in one simple small moment, a shift happened. Even though she didn’t realize it at the time, when she picked up the camera, everything changed. She had found her way home. Looking at her daughter through that lens, slowing down and really seeing, fully drinking in the beauty before her—the soft skin, they fuzzy hair, how the child was so fully alive and completely, perfectly, wonderfully her. And everything else faded away. The overwhelm and anxiety, the pressure to be the perfect mother, the perfect wife, all gone. She could just be. Focused on the pure miraculous beauty in front of her. Witnessing the spark of the divine radiating out from within that tiny body.
This was it, this is what she had been searching for.
But she wasn’t quite ready to see it, and so she forgot. The moment passed and life took over again. Meals cooked, dishes washed, laundry folded. Over and over. And so she kept searching, yearning, looking for that thing.
Then, one night, all of a sudden it hit her. Sitting bolt upright, she realized, if she wanted to, she could be, shhhhh, a photographer.
And she knew, even though at first she could only whisper it silently to herself when no one else was paying attention, she knew that she had found the thing. The thing that would release her from the labels, and the shoulds, the smallness and the can’ts. The thing that would let her shine.
And so she practices and read and studied. Despite herself she applies for licenses, ID numbers, insurance. She couldn’t believe she was actually doing it, but she couldn’t stop. She knew deep down that that shocking beauty in a seemingly mundane, every day moment that she had experience with her daughter was important—that it was vital for others to feel the same thing, to have that same experience of seeing what’s right in front of them in a new way, to stop time and witness.
And so she became a photographer. And as time passed she was able to say it with confidence, with pride. And it was good. Oh so good to now that she had found her way at last.
But, Oh! Oh! It is actually, really, truly so very very much more. More and more she realized that what she did, the gift she gave was about more than the photograph itself—more than just colored in printed on paper. It’s about experiences. And love. And the divine spark. She found that photographing helped her create a sacred space. A place a part from the million little things of every day, but where only the little everyday things mattered. She created spaces in which people can be re-minded of how very special they are—how very special their loved one s are. And in this space, blossoms the divine.
And then the greatest surprise of all. Her photography is only one part of the puzzle. In fact, the ways in which she can spread love and lead people to the spark of the divine are truly endless.
And really, the journey has only just now begun.