After WDS — Playing for Keeps

October 22, 2012

North Cascade Highway

After coming home from WDS, it felt at times that it hadn’t really happened. Which was something I didn’t want. I wanted to cherish each moment, to remember it. To learn from WDS and my time there. I thought about WDS a lot. It changed my views on so many things. I thought about WDS as I drove to work in the morning, as I sat in traffic all afternoon on my way home. I thought about little things – and big things – the meaning of my life, what I was afraid of, what I wanted to be when I grew up – and I realized a lot of things.I realized I was scared. Scared to be vulnerable. To take a chance.

I was scared. I’d been clinging to my day job. A job I enjoyed, but didn’t love. It was something I was doing to help pay the bills while getting into photography. I’d contemplated not coming back for the fall, but then I’d get an ever-so-helpful email from my student loan providers, reminding me to give them money. Ugh. So I went back in September. I shot weddings on Saturdays, working on editing photos every morning while tutoring and caring for my munchkins in the afternoons. Sitting in traffic. Living in an apartment that wasn’t getting cleaned because we were both working 10 hours a day. Dinners that were grabbed on the run.

I was exhausted, I was sluggish. I was uninspired. But I was scared too. Scared to fail. Because once I quit my day job, there was no safety net. No way to catch myself. But H stood by me the whole time. Let me figure it out. And when I was ready, he told me to go for it. And then I did it. I quit my day job.

In the time between when I gave my notice and when I locked those doors for the last time, my emotions ran the gamut. I was excited. I was scared. What if I failed? What if I decided I don’t actually like photography that much? What if I suck at running a business? What if I don’t have any work? I’d go from holy-shit-what-if-I-fail to I-can’t-wait-to-follow-my-heart. And now, on my 2nd Monday as a freelance photographer, as a full-time photographer, I’m a little more calm. I’m still scared. I’m still uncertain. But I feel more free. I no longer feel the suffocating stress from not having enough hours in the day. I have the time and flexibility to clean my apartment, cook dinner, and still edit photos. I even took on a design project recently and discovered I like that too.

I’m still scared. I look at my calendar and I think, this isn’t the best time to quit to be a wedding photographer. It’s kinda the slow season. But here I am. And for the first time in months, I have space to breathe. I look at the world around me and Iwant to pick up my camera. I want to shoot. Because I know I have the time to edit and blog those photos. I log onto my computer and don’t stare at the screen in panic, but with joy.

This is what I needed.

1 Comment

  1. Congrats on the big change! It’s easy to stay put when you’re scared to be vulnerable, but all you need is the starting momentum and you’re on your way to success! Looking forward to keeping up with your new adventure.



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photo of the author, she has dark wavy hair, brown glasses, and red lipstick on. She is wearing a grey shirt.


Servus! I’m Emily and you’ve found my little corner of the internet, where I write about travel, intentionally living with less stuff, and living as a German-American family in Munich, Germany.  Want to know more?