I’m feeling really inspired today. Nothing specific has happened… I am just starting to feel like I’m on the right path toward being a truer, happier me. Is that cheesy? Probably – but you know how I love cheese. I will elaborate more on being me in a minute. First, I took this photo yesterday while walking along Houston. It was just your typical construction site, but something made me stop when I passed by the shovel on the ground in front of the pile of rocks. I don’t know… I just saw something. I did not crop this photo at all… and the only thing I did in Lightroom was add a little bit of contrast, de-saturate the color a little, and add a little subtle vignetting. For me, there’s something about this image. I’m really proud of it.
When I showed it to Adam last night he felt the same way. He told me that to him, the image was saying, “the shovel is there for you… there is work to be done… do your work”. I cannot say I consciously thought of that while taking the photo, but once he said it, I felt it was the perfect sentiment. Thus, I named it in his honor. As many of you know, Adam has been a huge inspiration and support for me in this process of being true to myself and searching for work that deeply satisfies me. He is a big believer in following your heart when it comes to finding a career you are passionate about. His advice to me ever since I left my ad sales job has been to keep doing things that fuel me and make me excited – be productive, and do my work and things will eventually fall into place.
I’ve been doing exactly that over the past year – this 365 day photo project is a huge example of me doing my work. I’m spending hours each day taking pictures, choosing my favorites, editing them, posting them to my blog and keeping this daily diary going. I’m also reading a whole lot more as there’s so much I want to learn – about cheese, photography, blogging and life in general. I have no idea where this all will lead, but I’m feeling more fueled, more excited and more productive than ever! I’m also more confident that I will be able to create success for myself that doesn’t involve working for someone else in a nine-to-five type situation. Plus, when this project is over, I’m going to have a huge portfolio of work that I am proud of – both writing and photography and I’m sure I’ll be able to put that work to good use somehow!
As for being me – back when I was working in ad sales, I struggled with a few things. I definitely liked certain aspects of the job. I was confident in my ability to sell and I was happy with the money I was making. But a major issue for me, as silly as it sounds, was dressing up for work. Most people in ad sales dress pretty corporate – suits, heels, nice designer bags, very put-together, etc. This is not my style. Sure, I enjoy looking good and I definitely like shopping (especially when I have money to spend) – but I love soft fabrics and flats. I love being comfortable and casual and a little funky. I’d much rather spend money on a trip or a dinner than on a designer bag. It’s just not who I am. And I always felt like a bit of an outcast in the office/industry because of this. I found myself shopping the sale racks at Macy’s or Banana for “work clothes” – usually black or gray basics that I could wear with anything… very uninspired.
Since I no longer have to wear “work clothes” every day, I feel a huge sense of freedom. And I’m wearing so much more color!! No more of me dressing for someone else – I can just be myself when I walk out the door. And that feeling of satisfaction is not fleeting. I enjoy it every single day. Just like I resented having to dress all corporate for work every single day. That life was not me. I’m building a new life that fits me better – even if it means I can hardly shop right now because I’m making no money. It’s worth it. Granted, this process continues to be a roller coaster, and I’ll probably feel a bit lost again next month and I’ll have to re-read this post to re-inspire myself. But as this is a daily diary of sorts… why not share all the ups and downs? Next on the agenda: Photoshop lesson on Lynda.com. ‘Til tomorrow!
So inspiring, Nell!!
Thanks Court! that’s why i haven’t written you back yet… I’ve been typing typing away like a mad woman. Meanwhile, you are SO doing this too!! Miss x-rated bluegrass fabulous thing!! You are an inspiration to me!
your post came at just the right time for me. tomorrow is my last day of a professional job that i’m good at, but in which i’m not happy and don’t really feel like “myself.” i am taking some time off to do what you’re doing — try to find some authentic, satisfying work and be more true to myself in the process. thanks for showing that it can be done (and for the photo to inspire me)!
AMAZING!! I just emailed you separately but woo hoo!! can’t wait to hear what you’re thinking!