When I was in school, I was torn between wanting to be a ballerina and wanting to pursue music.
I finally chose music because the clarinet was fully paid for (unlike ballet classes), and I knew my height was against me with my dancing. That, and by 9th grade it was pretty obvious I wasn’t really good enough to make a career out of dancing.
So I went to school for music education. Did very well in it, enjoyed how much my clarinet playing progressed, and landed a job teaching music in Istanbul, Turkey.
But I was teaching general music, and my real strength was instrumental music. I did teach two kids how to play the clarinet, and I got all the third graders playing recorder.
After two years, I came back stateside and looked for a teaching job. Nothing really worked, so I got a couple part-time jobs. Tried again for the following school year and ALMOST got a job in South Carolina (part of my plan to get OUT OF THE SNOW), but that didn’t work either.
And during all this time, I knew it wasn’t my passion anymore. So I hung up my “music teacher” hat, letting my mom say her daughter was a “retired teacher.” Nice to hear when you’re 25.
I got married and had the three kids. I knew before Jasmine was born that I wanted to homeschool them, but that’s another story for another time.
There’s a long, rambly story on how I got into photography, but I’ll save you all the details. Short version: I did, and ended up realizing I enjoyed shooting dance. So I started taking pictures for our studio in Buffalo, then our studio in Kissimmee, then a second studio in Kissimmee, then our last studio (again in Kissimmee). (seeing a trend here?)
But last year, I realized it was the opposite of a passion. I could feel it sucking the joy out of me. I knew that studio work wasn’t what I wanted to do, and so I hung up that hat.
Occasionally, I pull my clarinet out and play until my lips can’t handle anymore (about 5 minutes), but it’s very rare.
I struggled with guilt about that. How could I abandon something I had worked SO hard at for SO long?
But last weekend, a friend talked about how there are different seasons in our lives.
Music was a season. Dance photography was a season.
Just like the fact that we look like studio hoppers (but aren’t really), or that we aren’t the type to stay in one church our whole lives. I needed something from each place, and when the time is done there, I move on.
For someone who is deeply loyal, this was a hard lesson to really wrap my mind around.
Ultimately, it isn’t about loyalty. It’s about recognizing when a season has come to its end and moving on with it.
Like moving out of Buffalo. I needed to live there, to meet people and to have experiences that could only happen there. But I no longer fit in that world (which I did NOT cry about!).
So I will hold my head high as we venture into the unknown in this year of the unknown, confident that I’m going to learn new and valuable lessons in the next season of my life.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you find it easy to move from one thing to the next, are you a stick-with-it-until-the-end, or are you like me, with a constant tension between the two?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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