To say that I am overwhelmed by the love you all have shown me over the past few days would be a serious understatement.
I am literally in awe of all of your comments, emails, texts, and phone calls showing your support over my tiny, little 30 seconds of fame. You all posted about me on your facebook pages, linked to my website, said way too nice of things about me, and sent me incredibly moving words of encouragement. (…pull it together Christy… dang it… aaaaand I’m crying… again. Look what you all are doing to me!)
I’m just going to come out and say this. This road hasn’t been easy, and it still isn’t easy. In fact, it’s the furthest thing from it. And I know I’ve talked about it before… (and again, and again)… but what I’m doing here, well, it’s exhausting – physically… emotionally… and mentally – exhausting.
I’m going to be honest, and tell you that there are days (even just earlier this week) where I sometimes think that it would be so much easier to just have a regular day job. To work at the law firm, make enough money to pay the bills, have health insurance and vacation days – and have my job end when I walk out of the doors of that building in downtown Chicago. To come home and have nothing to do but spend time with James and Phoenix (who I miss immensely)… to have weekends to myself… to meet my friends out for dinner or drinks…. to work just 40 hours a week… to go to the gym regularly… to sleep.
It all sounds awfully tempting at times. And on those days – it becomes a vision in my head that I can’t shake. I start to remember the early days of my marriage (before I threw myself into photography head-on) when I used to keep the house spotless (crazy, I know), work out nearly every day (whoa.), make dinner every night (double whoa), and stay relatively *crazy* free because I was relaxed, I was rested, and I was taking care of myself.
But… even though I was happy and crazy-in-love, I wasn’t as happy and fulfilled as I could be, and I knew it. I wasn’t pushing myself to reach my full potential. I wasn’t pursuing what I loved. I was just coasting along. And that wasn’t for me. I had an aching inside for something more.
So even on the days when I have been up since 6am (gone to work, been stressed out, had angry clients complaining to me at the office, and been sitting at a computer for 8 hours), and it’s now 2am and I’m at my computer posting a blog of a wedding I shot the weekend prior, while James and Phoenix are sound asleep in the other room, (and I may or may not be dozing off at my computer)… I am still thankful that I. Am. On. My. Way. That some day soon, I know… (I no longer dream or wish…I know…) that I will be a full time photographer. And all these 80 hour work-weeks will be in the past. And I will see my husband again, and my family, and my friends… and I will get up every day excited about what I am doing.
And on the days when I feel like I can’t continue on. On the days I feel like I can’t possibly do this no-sleep thing for another day, or week, or month… I think of you all – and I am inspired.
I think of the little 4-year-old girl that I photographed last week who sent me an amazing picture she drew of me taking her photo, and I think of the email her mom sent me – telling me that her daughter has been carrying around her toy camera and taking photos of everything in site ever since our shoot. And I smile. And I know this is where I’m meant to be – that this is what I’m meant to do.
So thank you all for being my inspiration and for keeping me going on days when I’m not sure I can. I don’t know if any of you truly know how much each one of your notes, messages and comments means to me. You had me in tears most of the day (they were happy tears, don’t worry)… and I will remember that. I will carry this day along with me on days when I am depleted… and I will read your messages to fill myself back up… to keep myself going.
So, again…. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. I cannot say it enough. You all humble me, inspire me, and encourage me. And I love you for it.
(Now, let’s keep this thing moving so I can throw that big “going full-time” party sometime soon, huh?!)
Oh – and photos – I can’t leave you without photos! Here are some pics of James and I out on our celebratory dinner after the piece aired (on an unusually warm May night in Chicago). 🙂
And here’s the link to the video of the piece that aired on CBS Evening News for those of you that missed it. XO!