Yesterday I came to a mutual and amicable decision with my employer that it’s time for us to part ways.
My job was what some would consider and what I considered when I began to be a dream job. I am/was the creative director, primary photographer, and social media manager for a very large, very busy shopping plaza which includes three restaurants in a busy tourist destination. I am primarily a food and restaurant photographer. Hence, the term “dream job.”
I gave my heart and soul to this job/client for about eight months and in return was taken care of financially and provided with a great little place to live on-site.
Let me start by saying how grateful I am for the opportunity. So so grateful and I’ve met wonderful people all along the way. This position furthered my career in ways I cannot explain but it is all in divine timing that it is coming to a close and I’m happy to be moving forward with new and more expansive horizons.
Things are changing. The world is changing.
I made good money and in the definitions of normality, I likely look foolish for not continuing to give it my heart and soul and stretching every last length of my being to make it last. It’s money after all and money makes the world go around so they say.
But I have faith. My faith is strong and you may be reading this now thinking I’m crazy to leave behind a regular weekly income in exchange for the unknown.
But the truth of the matter is, my job did not have a whole lot of meaning in the bigger picture.
I pushed. I pushed to try to make it something it was not. I pushed to make the experience meaningful – for me and for the tourists who visit. I tried to make an apple into an orange but in the end, I burned out trying. We made some strides and I’m really proud of the progress but the shift wasn’t quick enough for me and the brick wall of conventional attitudes that I continually ran up against wore the passion and fire I initially felt down to embers.
When I was in my 30s, success meant something very different than what it means now. Success meant making money and hobnobbing with important people. I did all that and in the end realized it means nothing.
So it’s no surprise that I’m about to change direction again. Each time that I’ve tried to fit myself into a box that my round nature did not fit into, I have been unsatisfied. I believe that we are here to live lives of purpose. We are all made of energy and where we put our focus and intention matters both individually and collectively.
The old me, the one my family taught me to be, would’ve reacted to this sort of situation with panic. What am I going to do without a regular weekly income?
My father’s voice rings in my head. Something about having a 9 to 5 and being miserable with what you do. Paying your dues. Working in a factory with no windows for 30 years to provide for your family.
But the new more expansive me doesn’t care. The new me knows the days of finding a stable job to last the years with a loyal employer and good benefits doesn’t exist anymore. Toiling away somewhere at anything that doesn’t speak to your soul to pay inflated rent somewhere that you don’t need to be just doesn’t make sense or cents anymore. Gone are the days of the one-dimensional career path. I do a number of things and have been blessed with the brains, skills, and passion to learn an infinite number more. Most of my friends are the same. The average 40 year old these days has had somewhere between 10 – 15 different careers (not jobs, careers) and average wages at traditional, blue-collar jobs have not kept up with the high cost of living by any stretch of the imagination. Gone are the days our dads had of finding lifelong work in a factory building cars and making enough to support the whole family with a guaranteed retirement and pension plan. Times have changed but in exchange there is a world of possibility out there for those willing to be flexible and accept change. The internet has opened up the entire world. We can do things we enjoy now and find the right people interested in what we do. We’re not privileged or spoiled for expecting to be able to do what we love and love what we do. The imbalance of wealth and debt compared to our parents generation proves that. Technology allows us to work from just about anywhere. We can and often need to move around. For a nomad like me who’s family consists of friends all over the world, the joy of being able to move about with no ties and obligations…to meet, photograph, and tell the stories of others doing the same is part of my calling and what makes this life worth living.
What are we here for?
Life is about more than just slaving away for years with no goal outside of material possessions. Life is for living. It is for finding joy and sharing it with the world. Happiness is a choice, not some goal far off in the future that you strive for but a decision you make each morning despite what the rest of the world may tell you.
Material possessions are nice. I have some very lovely things and am very grateful for them but they’re not the goal of life anymore. I’ve had things, I’ve lost things. I’ve had things again, I’ve given them away. Things come and go but moments last for eternity. Love is infinite. Time is finite.
I know that human beings can manifest anything that they want anytime they want. This may sound crazy to ordinary people but I know without a shadow of a doubt that we are co-creating our own reality minute by minute day by day. Time is but an illusion and the when it all comes to an end in this skin that we are in, the only things that matter are moments. Moments spent with others, moments spent in nature, moments in love. Expansive love. A love beyond what society teaches us love is supposed to mean.
And I know this because I have experienced loss. Great loss.
And I am grateful for that too. Sometimes it takes great loss to appreciate what we have; what really makes life worth living.
Khalil Gibran said “the further that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”
You can go through your entire life not ever having really lived it.
But I believe in something different.
That said, I have decided to finally take the final leap and live my life with the sole purpose of spreading love. The meaning of life is to live it. To truly experience the symphony – the highs, the lows, and everything in between…the art, the music. The act of creation. Is. The closest thing to God that we can ever be. The reason that we are here. It is time that we all start living our truth and stop fearing judgment from others. It is time to let go. Time to forgive ourselves. Forgiveness, self-love, and gratitude are the keys to the universe.
We are God experiencing itself through us. We are nothing more than little bits of the cosmos hurling thru space. All one infinite energy. One cell. It is up to us to decide and behave as if we want to be a healthy cell or something else.
The way that things have been going on this planet…well, I know that there is no more time left to be complacent.
And so I am stepping to the side of myself and allowing a more expansive energy to arise; rising above the trivial ego-based matters of this world and stepping ‘into my truth’ as they say, even if it means losing those who don’t yet understand.
It is time. The momentum has already begun it cannot be stopped. Ride the wave or get sucked down under the current. This is where we are. For me this is a final step in letting go of things that no longer serve my higher purpose to make room for things that inspire me to be the best human I can be.
The now age has begun. More thoughts and photos from the journey coming soon…
Song of the hour:
“Wolves Without Teeth” – Of Monsters & Men