I ran into a woman who took our family portraits the other day. I was at a concert and the woman was sitting in the front row. She caught my eye because she was wearing a scarf on her head-one of those Bohemian inspired ones where I would probably see it at the store, bring it home, sit it in my closet and then pass it on to my other friend who looks good in scarves! So my eyes are fixated on the scarf for the longest time. When the concert is over, I took one more look at the scarf and realize that the woman wearing the scarf is the photographer!
So I walk up to her and we talk for a few minutes and I congratulate her for completing a masters program in social work. We chit chat about the shell shock one experiences after accomplished such an amazing amount of work. Then I ask, “Have you gotten a job in your field?” And she says, “Actually yes, I am a full time photographer.” I respond, “You mean you make enough money to pay your bills with photography?” She smiles and says, “Actually, yes I do.” Can you believe it? Someone is working at a job that inspires them? She went for it and SHE MADE IT. In this economic slump, no less.
When I saw this photographer, I realized that I am playing the hide and seek game in my life. I am Moses. Send someone else Lord. I am trying to figure out why I am so pompous as to think I have the opportunity to go for it and not the next person who has just as many dreams to realize. Any indication to the contrary feels self serving. I would much rather shrink out of the spotlight, become an amazing “wing woman:” a sidekick. Allow others to surge forth in their dreams. The hard work of criticism and rejection-I am too old and too tired to handle it. And I do not care. And a part of you must care in order to dream big, right? To keep creating fearlessly, rather than to copy cat, piggy back off other’s ideas. Wait to be noticed.
What I find is that this is not working for me anymore. So now what? When the photographer asked what I was up to, I gave some vague response like, “I am still trying to figure it out”; well that is partially true. More than anything, the fear holds me down and chokes the life out of me. I can barely move without fear as my companion. I want to go back to the cookie cutter way of doing life. Or….leap! We really do have a choice.