In the year of “me,” I continue to learn so much about who I am and what I really love to do.
I spend every spare moment I can learning more about writing, photography, web design, book publishing, and so much more, and it’s just flipping magnificent!
** Let’s take a moment and notice I used the word “flipping” and not the “F” word as I normally would. I’ve encouraged my wonderful sister to use the internet more, and I’m trying to provide her with a few entries which are safe and fun to read at home. — HI SIS!! I hope all is well! **
Now, back to me. (Me! Me! Me! 🙂 )
I’ve always had a deep passion for photography. I even wrote NASA when I was eight years old and asked what it took to become a photography astronaut. I received a very lovely letter back and to be fair; they took my question very seriously. I was impressed that the response treated me as an adult, not a child. This was in the 1970s, so the letter included qualifications such as height, weight, higher level science or technology degrees (today known as STEM degrees), intelligence tests, psychology test, physical exams, military service, and much more. There was one last qualification, and it was written more like an apology, instead of part of the list. NASA explained to me that at this time an astronaut must be a male, but when I was older, they would be happy to speak to me about other positions available in the NASA organization for females.
I was very disappointed I was not able to become a photography astronaut, but I did look forward to talking to them one day about other positions. Unfortunately, as life goes on, some dreams do not come true. I did join the military, and I had an incredible career with the DOD (Department of Defense), but a job with NASA never occurred. In a strange way, I’m kind of happy I never worked for them. NASA was always my “dream job” but as the old saying goes, “Never meet your heroes.” The quote means when you put people on a pedestal, it’s hard to overlook their shortcomings when you meet them. I had this view of working with NASA, and I’m kind-of glad my perfect little dream hasn’t been ruined.
I never lost my passion for photography, and now that I’m retired, I can pursue my passions in my own way. After all these years, my love for creating something wonderful through a lens, on a canvas, or with words, hasn’t diminished at all, in fact, my love for these passions has only grown.
For me, writing and creating art is as necessary as breathing. I can’t eat, sleep, do chores, or watch TV without thinking about new ways to create stories, photos, or films. These things are my life. I crave them with ever fiber of my body. The characters in my mind, are as real as characters on a screen. They become restless, nagging me, waiting for me to give them life with each and every word I pour into their heart and souls.
While in the military, I learned how to use Harvard Graphics (yes, I’m that old), then I was allowed to attend military classes to continue adding to my knowledge. Without a computer at home, it was through these classes I was able to learn how to use clip art and basic photo editing programs. In my free time, I was allowed to act as a Public Relations Representative covering a few “feel good” stories, which later were published in military newspapers. For a while, this extracurricular activity kept my passions fulfilled, but I was always looking for new ways to add to my knowledge.
From 2009 – 2015, I did not have a lot of time to concentrate on my hobby, but I kept my skills up by taking free classes where I could, and publishing news stories in my own time. I even created a few websites for extra money. During 2015, I finally decided to make the time to follow my dreams. Even if I only pursued my dreams as a hobby, this hobby would give me something to do while I was retired.
Since December 2015 I’ve watched tons of YouTube videos, taken free online classes, I’ve learned how to use social media, and started this blog (Which was a huge learning curve. – Thank you for sticking with me as I learn how to use this thing).
Every day, I practice different skills. When I’m sick, or I don’t feel good, I watch videos. When I do feel good, I write more or add to my photo editing skills.
I loved being in the military, but my job was a necessary part of life to pay bills and care for my family, but my creativity is my soul. To catch up on all I missed is going to take many years of education and training, even longer due to my ailments, but I will do it. I’m driven to make up for lost time and apply myself to this new path just like I applied myself to my military career.
Even when my body is slowing down, learning keeps my mind alive. Yes, finding myself stuck on a problem is so frustrating, but learning a new skill to fix that problem is incredibly invigorating. Tonight I had one of those invigorating moments. I conquered one small photo editing skill I’ve been frustrated with for over a year. It has been such a pain trying to learn one little thing everyone else seems to pick up so quickly, but as soon as I figured it out, it was like leveling up in a video game, an entirely new set of tools opened up to me. This one key opened many doors to creativity I didn’t know about last year. These are the moments when all the hard work is worth it.
My goodness, it took me over a year to figure out how to make one little change to a photo, but as soon as I did, I knew for the rest of my life this skill would give me the freedom to build on these skills and eventually become the artist I’ve always dreamed of. If I had given up last year, I would not have the joy I have tonight (and trust me, as small as the skill was, conquering it was pure joy).
If you are working hard to accomplish a dream, just stick with it. Keep working hard, keep learning, keep your eye on the ball, and don’t give up. I promise the fun part is right around the corner.
Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.
*Legal Disclaimer; This blog does not support the measurement “around the corner” to mean one literal corner. I’m from the south so “around the corner” may mean a few corners or 20 corners, or even down the road, turning right at the old oak tree, but you get my meaning. Don’t quit, don’t get lost, and you’ll get there eventually. **
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