I have really tried to be more positive with my work and find different ways to feel fulfilled with my current employment.
One of the ways I have done that is asking/seizing small opportunities to bring some of my outside hobbies into the work place.
I have talked about how I love bulletin boards which has allowed me to bring some creativity, even if in small doses to my job. I love love love cutting out and decorating boards. This is the elementary school major coming out in me. (That was about the only thing I liked about being an elementary school major, which is the reason why I promptly changed after the first semester to secondary education.)
Another hobby/passion of mine is photography. I have always been fascinated by capturing moments in time. Memories, glimpses of life, emotions, so much can be expressed in one shot.
I can still remember my parents getting me a camera when I was 5 that had the disposable flashbulbs. I took pictures of everything. I mean literally everything-flowers, vases, tables, bed spreads, dog hair, you name it I had a picture of it. I also cut off everyone’s head when I took their picture at this age.
(I promise I have improved from the head cutting off stage.)
I really started learning the art of photography in high school where I worked on the school publications. There I learned the technical things about composition, lighting, editing (although much has changed since then), and my favorite place -the dark room. We shot on manual film, and to me one of the greatest moments is to watch film develop right before your eyes. And you feel pretty cool taking the film of the reel in complete darkness.
I stayed away from photography as a major in college outwardly because I did not think that I could afford all the “stuff.” But inwardly, I didn’t think I could measure up in the digital age we were coming into. So I shied away and stuck to “point and shoots” that could fit in my back pocket.
Luckily, the art has recently come back full-force when Tom and I decided to take the plunge and invest in a wickedly nice set up (camera, lights, tripod, lenses, etc…). It has always been a dream of mine to open my own studio, and my hands down dream job would be to be a sports photographer. Slowly we are creating a base for this to occur, but that is another topic for another day.
So a passing comment at work about someone needing to be in charge of capturing a shot at the opening office BBQ turned into a wonderful opportunity for me to combine my passions.
Education Photographer. (Yeah? I think it works.)
I have become the office picture lady. We have many more than a “shot” on hand now of our office activities. They may have gotten more than they bargained for by letting me run with this.
It has been really fun to find a way to be more involved outside of my spreadsheets and emails. And I am developing my photography all the same. (There has been somewhat of a learning curve going to a completely digital system.)
We just had our annual Wheelchair Basketball game, and I was giddy to be on the sidelines clicking away. This may be my favorite photographer moment I have had ever to date. It was cathartic for several reasons.
- I had that sports photography going.
- Basketball is my favorite sport.
- Working with this population is always a humbling experience for me. I felt honored to hear their stories and capture their strength and determination.
- It was the moment that I realized that I was going to do just fine here. I felt energy again; it was like electricity running through my veins. I was pumped to be doing what I am doing. I finally thought, “This isn’t so bad. I’m not so awful at this transition.” Part-time failure freak out over with.
Boom. It feels good to feel needed.
These are just a few of the several hundred shots I sifted through.
So I would tell everyone who may be struggling to find small ways to find joy again. You will quickly see how that joy will flood over into other things.