Accepting where I’m at…

Photo 243 out of 365 – “Hearth”

"Hearth" - Settings: ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/6 sec, 24-70mm lens (34mm)

I took this picture at Adam’s company holiday party last night.  It was such a beautiful and cozy fireplace – with all that wood stacked on each side.  If I were to take the photo again to improve upon it, I’d move the table and chairs out of the way (you can see the tops of the chairs in the bottom center of the frame), set up a tripod (it was really dark in there) and move further back in order to capture the entire bow and garland at the top.  I’d also adjust my height – here I was standing straight up and it looks a bit warped to me.


It has now been a year and eight months since I left my career in advertising sales.  I have not regretted it – even for a second, but I have wrestled with some mixed up feelings about searching for a new career.  I always thought it would be amazing to be a perpetual student.  I love learning new things – I’m hardly ever bored.  And that is sort of the position I find myself in now.  Over the last year and eight months, I’ve been learning about photography, photo-editing, cinematography, cooking, working with the elderly, cheese, writing and filmmaking.  I’m almost always helping Adam brainstorm something or another – the title of his movie, the name of his company, copy ideas for commercial spots, ideas for new scripts, etc.  I’m responsible for paying the bills and managing our finances, for planning and booking our trips (of which there have been many), for coordinating with many of the film festivals and for arranging our social calendar amongst other things.  I’ve been super busy and super stimulated.  But every so often that question… “what am I doing with my life” creeps into my head and makes me wonder if I should be working towards something more focused in terms of a career.

I had a good phone conversation with my mom last night.  A friend had suggested I put together a photo promotion and advertise it with Groupon to get more clients.  My first thought was that I don’t really have a desire to start getting super busy with photography jobs.  I was telling my mom – I don’t know if it’s because I’m scared, or if it’s just because I am enjoying the flexibility I have to fly off with Adam at the drop of a hat for festivals and shoots.  I’m also enjoying being such a strong team with Adam – contributing to his work and passions and nurturing and supporting him – he is so ambitious and works so unbelievably hard all the time.

So my mom, who was not initially a fan of my decision to quit my job, really helped me feel good about where I’m at.  The gist of what she said was that she’s never seen me so happy – and she’s so proud of the way Adam and I cherish each other and work together and support each other.  And that maybe this just isn’t the right time to focus my energy on a new career for myself.  It’s all working great as is… so maybe I should just keep being happy doing what I’m doing and appreciate this time while I have it.  Of course, there’s still a little part of me that’s always seeking my mother’s approval – no matter how old I get, so it felt good to have this chat with her.

So, that’s where I’m at today.  I like to share my ups and downs in this blog/diary – as I know several friends of mine are going through similar transitions and it’s always nice to know you’re not alone in your roller-coaster of emotions.  Mostly, I think these questions are the result of an internal pressure I put on myself – as well as a worry of what other people might be thinking of me.  But overall, I think I’m exactly where I should be and I’m feeling incredibly lucky and grateful to be in the position I’m in.  I just still need to come up with a solid answer for when people ask me, “what do you do?”.  That question still stresses me out to this day!




8 thoughts on “Accepting where I’m at…

  1. My two cents…leave any thought of pleasing others at the door. For real. Anyone who thinks there is a “traditional” way of doing things is probably A) bored out of their minds and B) jealous of your freedom and bravery to go for it. I was so excited to get to know you and hear about your big move and blind jump into exploring your passions. It is inspiring and wonderful. You did that awesome cheese internship! You get to travel all the time! You get to be a part of so many various creative endeavors! All great stuff. Savor this time. If you ever do end up in a more traditional work situation again, I promise you that you will be very wistful of these days.

    Also, supporting and helping feed your partner’s talent is nothing to be ashamed of. That is beauty of marriage and partnership, having that built in support and team to help you get to the top. I LOVE knowing that I play a role in Wyeth’s successes. It’s not like you are in some 50s housewife oppression role…you are choosing this and are actively contributing to your family’s future. Plus it will all be worth it when you are dazzling the world on the red carpet the night that Adam receives his Oscar!

  2. Nell,

    You don’t know me, but I am a friend of Adam’s from high school. When he and I became friends on facebook several months back, I checked out his blog to see what he was up to. He had several pictures that you had taken and I was interested and impressed by your eye so I followed the link to your blog to check it out. 🙂

    I love your posts and your amazing pictures! I am a wanna-be photographer and I have loved reading about your journey. This post really hit home for me because I sometimes struggle with this same idea. I have been married for almost 15 years and I have 4 children and it can be a balancing act to figure out how my passions (especially singing and performing) fit in with the most important thing, my family and my marriage. Thank you for reminding me that I can accept where I am too.

    I look forward to many more photography and cheese posts! 🙂

    Carli Siders

    • Hi Carli –

      Thank you so much for introducing yourself to me and for commenting today. It means a lot to me to hear that my post resonated with you. I know in my heart that my family will always be the most important thing to me too… I’m just a people person – and connecting with the people I love is what fills me up most. That and adventure. and cheese. 🙂 So – feel free to write me about photography if you want to chat about it at all! And thanks again for reading and for sharing. 🙂

  3. Hey Nell. It’s Sarah Hegarty. Every time I see Lucky Charms in the store, I think of you! 🙂

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy it! This post definitely struck a chord with me. Although I love my job, I am sometimes struck with that same “what am I doing with my life?” question. I envy your courage to go out and try new things that you have a passion for. And even if this doesn’t last forever, you will be able to look back and sigh with contentment at having done each and every thing!


    • Hey Sarah! So good to hear from you! I get such a kick out of it when I hear that people are reading the blog – I LOVE that! As for the career thing – it definitely seems to be a familiar story. I have so many friends who are in the same boat. I’m sure this won’t last forever for me… but I am trying to make the most out of the time. It’s definitely been an adventure so far! I still find it hard to just focus on one area – but hey… I think I’m just a renaissance soul… who says you have to focus on one area anyway? Maybe that idea doesn’t work for everyone. you know? Anyway – thanks so much for reading and for commenting. That totally makes my day. 🙂

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