June 23, 2017

Tea Parties and Mud Pies | A Coquitlam Photographer’s Journey

Personal Stories

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Every one of us seems at a different stage in our journey. Some have learned to fund their dreams through a day job, and some have left the day job to jump in both feet. Some have been wading in the deep waters for longer than any of the rest.

I did something.

Something that scared the hell out of me. Something that took all my might. I left my day job and have decided to jump in both feet.

It feels like I’m neck deep right now, while I’m only getting my feet wet. This feeling excites and scares me, but I knew it had to be done.

That neck deep feeling has come about for so many reasons. I recently lost my long-time companion, Ichi. She was an English Bulldog pup that came to me weeks after my mom’s fierce battle for life suddenly ended. Ichi’s death, brought back feelings that I’d neatly tucked away.

My mom was young, when she lost her life and it made me realize that life is precious. But, as days pass you fall back into a normal routine. You get carried away with your job, you fall ill to the robotic life that you had vowed to keep at bay — because life is precious.

Well, after turning 40, great contemplation and a lot of negotiating with my husband, I left a sturdy job for the land of the freelancer. So far, the business side of it has been wonderful. Most have been supportive, and to those who haven’t I still wish them the best at living their own journey as they imagine it.

Investment in self is my new measuring stick. On that stick, there are the basic needs, which I’ll cover by hustling my butt. But, immediately after that comes family, friends, creativity, and risk taking – definitely more risk taking.

I’m not a sit at home kinda gal, and I’m known for having a very vibrant and full plate. I love exploring nature with my husband and son. I love creating space for friends and family, and new relationships. So, it was difficult when I recently retracted from life, but I had to sort through the losses of my mom and my Ichi (which remain as works in progress).

I’d like to thank those that have offered support and their confidence in me. And, I’d like to send a heartfelt sorry to friends and family that I haven’t connected with in a while. Let’s talk!

One of my goals has been to connect with community through photography, so I am excited to announce that I’m teaching at Suwa’lkh through Place Maillardville.

Don’t you think it’s a bit serendipitous that Suwa’lkh means new beginning?

Anyway, we’re hoping to start a project that focuses on storytelling through imagery and written word. We have been throwing a few ideas around – like a storied cookbook. That idea thrills me!

I will also be offering creative photography classes to adult beginners at Place Maillardville, and an after-school program at Maillard Middle School. I thought teaching was risky. I mean, what if I couldn’t make this complex topic relatable for people who simply want to know how to use their iPhone better?! But my first class turned out wonderful. Everyone was thoroughly engaged. One kid even told me, “I want to be a photographer when I grow up!” I could totally relate!

When I thought of writing this post, I reminisced about a recent week spent on Vancouver Island. In the place where I grew up, we visited my brother, my niece and friends that are like family to us.

Walking through lush forests and down long beaches allowed me to unwind. I fell deep into my thoughts, where the universe and mother nature kept hitting me in the face. A week on the island coalesced the feeling that the time IS now. I wanted to make the leap of faith and trust myself, to trust in my belief that jumping in both feet is the best direction for myself and my family.

I want to take flight and throw things to the wind. I want to get my hands dirty – like my son so often shows me. I want to have a creative whimsical approach to life – with unlimited outdoor tea parties and mud pies! But, most of all, I want to feel strong and healthy – mind body and spirit.

So! Here’s to taking risks. Being brave. Having the confidence to go in the direction of my dreams. Living the life I’ve imagined. I hope you will join me along the way!

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