The title of this post may have you believing that I plan to write about ways to keep cool in this summer heat. With all the records we have been breaking, it would be very fitting. However, this particular post will be dealing with stepping out of your comfort zone and making the decision to do something, that you hope, will benefit you and maybe even your loved ones. I can count on one hand, how many times I have made such a bold and daring move. It is definitely not in my personality to seek out excitement or take the road less traveled. Not to say I haven’t had numerous Type A moments in my life, but it’s safe to say I am more comfortable in the Type B position.
One of my biggest plunges was when I made the decision to attend the University of San Diego. I waited a year after graduating high school and worked my butt off. I had my parents take out the largest student loan possible and I had my sister fly out with me for my freshmen orientation. The first time she saw the campus, was the first time I saw it. Making the decision to go to college so far from home, may not have been the wisest financial decision, but it truly changed my life. I was only able to attend one year at the University, because my parents could not be approved for future gargantuan loans. However, the experiences I had and the friendships I made will last me a lifetime. It will be 20 years this fall since stepping on the campus of the University of San Diego for the first time. Though I would have loved to have stayed, I would not change a thing. I do believe if I would have finished all four years in California, I would have most likely stayed out there. I wouldn’t have met my husband, I wouldn’t have had my four beautiful children, and I would have missed out of so much with my parents and sisters. My Mom was a strong believer in “everything happens for a reason”.
Last month I took another plunge, not as big as San Diego, but enough to make a splash. I made the decision in March of 2011, that I wanted to be a Certified Professional Photographer. It wasn’t something I had to do to become a professional photographer (all you need to do that is convince someone to pay you for your services), it was something I wanted to do. It was going to make me a better photographer. The only thing standing in my way was a test comprised of 100 multiple choice questions and an image submission judged by a panel of Certified Professional Photographers.
I decided that if I was going to have any kind of chance to pass the test I should participate in a 3-day intensive study session offered by the PPA (Professional Photographers of America). It definitely was not an easy decision. Cost was a big factor and the fact that I had never stayed in a hotel by myself, made me a little nervous. After a discussion with my husband and some very encouraging words the decision was made. So, on July 8th I flew out to Atlanta and studied by butt off for three days. I met some amazing photographers, learned so much more about photography and realized that even after 20 years, I have the determination to follow my dreams.
I applaud those who have made decisions in their life that may have been very difficult to make. Decisions, that may or may not have had successful conclusions. Strong-willed individuals, that even with a questionable outcome, followed their heart.
To those who may be hesitant in aspiring to do more or be more, I say, “don’t be afraid”. At this point I feel the need to stress, that the dream or aspiration shouldn’t harm you or others. I would hate to be responsible for the outcome of someone’s dream of flying like a bird or swimming with the sharks. Please take the “plunge” but be sure to wear your life jacket!
Oh yeah…that test I took…I passed! Now for the image submission!!