Photograph by Meg Courtney
Today I met a women who inspired me, challenged me and left incredible foot prints on my heart. I may have only talked to her for 30 minutes, but I left our conversation feeling and striving to pursuit my passion and dreams. She spoke words that make me realize its moments like this that make going to work everyday worth it. For most of you that are reading this probably don’t know that I have not only one career, but two. Both fulfilling and rewarding, but completely different careers. As you all know, I am a wedding and lifestyle photographer but also work health care. I went to school 5 years ago to become a Registered Dental Assistant. Don’t ask me why, I woke up one day and decided that’s what I wanted to do. 1 week later, I was accepted into the program and would be starting in 2 months. A completely random decision and it was a career that never once crossed my mind but it was a decision I made that I have been thankful for ever since. I have learned more these past 5 years than I ever though was possible. I have been thrown many experiences, good and bad. Grown into a young adult, and made many life long friendships. I have the ability to help people, every single day. Although people may not love coming to see us eryday, we make a difference.
My life long dream was to attend a Art College after high school and do what I always loved doing. Painting. Drawing. Being a creative. I spent many years of my life in an art studio, it’s what I always wanted to do. I had my portfolio ready and my application forms filled out, but never submitted them. Something didn’t feel right. I was scared of a hobby becoming a career, and one day losing that passion towards art. I was intimidated by the thought of failing and not being good enough. I had fear of one day picking up a paint brush or a pencil because I had too, not because I wanted too.
It has now been 6 years since I’ve picked up a pencil or a paint brush. I have an art studio in my parents basement that lays as it was once left. Dust covered paintings, dull pencils, dried out paint and a cold dark room. I can’t say I regret my decision at the time, because I made it for a reason but I sure do miss it. I didn’t realize until today, why I let it go. I had a patient today, one of the most incredible ladies I have ever had the opportunity to meet. Of course the only reason we crossed paths was because she was at our office to consult about dental work but she instantly impacted me. She is 83 years old, and one of the most creative and wise women I’ve had the privilege to converse with. She’s one of those people that make my job so rewarding and worth while, one of those people who leave a imprint on your heart, and leave you smiling every time she comes to your thoughts. She paints, she takes photographs, she writes and she walks every single day. Because she pursues her passion and dreams. We exchanged stories. She proceeded to tell me that one day she gave up on all her dreams because she didn’t think she would be good enough. She changed her career goals to become a teacher, something she never dreamed of doing. While teaching was fulfilling, something was still missing from her life. She went 20 years without picking up a paint brush or taking a photograph because one day she closed her heart and her mind to it and never opened it up again. She spoke words to me that will stay with me forever.
“Our time on earth is short, and it should be enjoyed. Never leave your dreams behind. If something in your life doesn’t serve you, let it go but don’t close your heart to it. Keep your mind open to new possibilities but also make room for the old ones. If you haven’t found anything to take it’s place in your life in the years to come – nothing that fascinates you, or moves you, or inspires you to the same degree that it once did, you will have no choice but to preserve it. Don’t quit pursuing creative lives because you’re scared of the word interesting. Being creative is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege.”
Although I gave up painting/drawing many years ago, I found something more fulfilling and rewarding for me. Something that does all of the above, fascinates me, moves me and inspires me. I may not have known it at the time, but I trusted I would find something that would take up a bigger place in my heart. I still get to be creative, make magic and creative art. Just now, its not with a paint brush or a pencil, its with a camera.
Thank you to the people who inspires me, the ones who cheer for me and those who support me. Thank you to the amazing women who walked into my heart today and left a warm impact on it. You’re one of the many reasons, I do what I do. I’m thankful for two fulfilling and rewarding careers that are apart of my life every single day that balance each other out.
Photograph by Meg Courtney