I really do want to do extraordinary things with my life, but I have always let things, people, myself hold me back. I'm left wondering why I waited so long to do this or why I put that off until it was too late. For years I wanted so badly to become a Registered Nurse. I know I have the compassion and care it takes to be good nurse. I know I have the brains to get through the rigorous classes in nursing school. I took one semester of nursing school back in early 2000, but I was already pregnant with my fifth (and last child) and morning sickness and caring for four other children ages 2 to 9 made it difficult to be in class 9 to 10 hours a day. I dropped out of school after my first semester, but I vowed I would be back some day.
A few years later, I signed up for classes again, but never went because it was around the time Julian was picked up and remanded to INS custody and nearly deported, so I never even made it to the enrollment process. Julian and I talked about it and once he had his papers and could get a legitimate job, he just wanted me to be with our children while they were still young.
I always loved photography. It's my mom's fault, really. She took a class when I was about nine and I still remember how excited she was the day the UPS truck delivered her 35mm film camera. I watched Mama open that box and take the camera and lenses out. The sparkle in her eye when she put the lens on and aimed the camera at me got my gears going. I wanted to hold a camera like that in my hands some day. Back then, it was film and it was exciting thinking about standing in a dark room watching a photo you took develop. I still believe Mama would have made an awesome photographer, but for her, it was a hobby.
A couple of years later, Mama bought me a disc camera for Christmas. No one seems to remember disc cameras, but I had one and I loved it. It looked really advanced compared to most cameras back then. It was thin and small and the film was a round disc that your dropped into the back of the camera - like those things you put into the view finder thingy and look at pictures of Mickey Mouse or whatever would have been on them. I got 4 discs of film with my new camera that Christmas. I remember walking all over our big country yard taking photos of whatever caught my eye. I took photos of my grandpa's pond when we went over for Christmas dinner. I photographed our cats, the dogs, my little brother, my sister, my guitar that Daddy got me for Christmas. I went nuts with that camera and a lot of my photos were actually really good. Mama was proud to show off the pictures of the sun setting over Grandpa's pond and it made me feel good to hear her gushing over how good they looked. I don't think I was ever without some sort of camera after that first disc camera. I have a large plastic container full of the photos I've taken over the years.
Around 2008, Julian bought me my first DSLR pro camera. I had it for about 6 months and I searched high and low for a local community college that offered classes, but was unable to find one. It's hard to believe just seven years ago, no one offered photography classes locally (to where we lived at the time). I wound up selling that DSLR camera and I regretted doing so every moment after that. Julian told me I could do it. He encouraged me not to give up, but I did anyway. I told him "I'm too old to start learning this now. Maybe someday, I'll try again."
I have many passions - many, many things I would love to do. I mastered sewing. That's the one thing I never gave up trying. Thanks to YouTube tutorials, I conquered many things I never thought I could do with my sewing machine. This very blog was created YEARS ago because I love to write. I'm not really a quitter. I'm not lazy. I just let my fears hold me back sometimes. I let people tell me "you said you were gonna do it, but look at you, you aren't doing it yet" or "you can't do that...it's not practical."
At the end of the day, it's my life and I should make it what I want it to be. It doesn't matter if the one person who truly believed in me isn't here to encourage me. I still have the ability to do whatever I set my mind to do. I can't live under the umbrella of what others might think of me or the fear that I might fail. The truth is, I just want to do what I want to do. If today I want to be a photographer, then today I will be a photographer. If tomorrow I want to be a writer, well then, I will be a writer. If when I turn 65, I decide to become a belly dancer, then I'll be the scariest damn belly dancer you've ever seen. Don't panic! I don't really want to be a belly dancer.
I'll let the doubters and the haters talk about my Bi-Polar style of decision making in my life, but while they're busy worrying about what I'm doing, I'll be busy doing what I want to do and right now that thing I want to do is photography, writing and sewing. I love sewing and you can best bet that when I have free time from my Photojournalism classes I'll be sewing.