One of my least favorite questions as long as I can remember is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It makes a couple assumptions that I just want to challenge ~ first, that there is one thing I want to be, and second, that I want to grow up, or alternatively, that I am not grown up already. I so resisted choosing ‘what’ I was going to be when I grew up that I changed my major in the Academic Dean’s office on five separate and official occasions. I have a degree in English with three minors that I recall ~ phys ed, sociology, and internships.
And I still don’t now what I want to be when I grow up.
It should come as no surprise, then, that I have had a variety of careers in different geographic locations. I have been a college counselor, a trainer, a federal prosecutor, a family lawyer, a program leader, and a playmobile girl.At the moment, I am adding other careers to my arsenal ~ a writer, which I intentionally set about to be, and a photographer, something which happened completely by accident.
The surprise for me is that what I see through my camera lens is something that others want to see, share, and enjoy for themselves. It started with someone asking if they could display my icicle photos for the May Art Walk in Butte. That night, I was surprised again to have several people ask if they could buy pieces. Of course, I said yes. And I am humbled by their acknowledgement.
Two weeks later, while sharing a couple photos with friends in San Francisco, I was asked by someone I had just met that day if the photos were for sale and for how much. Again, I was taken stunned. We reached an agreement and I sent two canvas wrap photos to Indianapolis where the icicles have found a new home. The extra boost? The home where the photos now live was host to more than 900 people for an open house that weekend. Wow. When did I become a photographer?
Next came an invitation to be an art vendor of Moods of the Madison, a celebration of music, art, and food in Ennis, Montana July 18 and 19. And I said yes. And then I had to ask others what to do to prepare for something like that. Having never been an artist before (I barely got a C in art in the eighth grade!), I was unprepared for all this attention. So I asked questions. I made requests. I became a novice, a student, a rookie. And now, I am learning.
One bit of coaching was to take photos of the Ennis area for the show. Wax on, wax off, Dainelsan. On July Fourth, I went to Ennis and took photos. Those photos will be the centerpiece of my display next weekend. And one of them had fully caught my attention. I call it The Dark Road as it appears to be a road leading into a dark and possibly scary place. And that’s the road I am on. That’s the path I took.
Not knowing has given me a gleeful and joyous life these past couple months. Oh. sure. There are times when I think I am crazy and I really need to grow up and get serious about something that will be a career. I need something to ‘fall back on.’ (That was one of my dad’s favorite sermonettes.) The adventure is the thing that keeps me going. It’s the willingness to say yes to whatever life is throwing at me. I credit my family and friends who have supported me from career to career, from pain to passion, from hither to yon.
So I will keep seeking the dark roads, the little used path, the places where adventure is the theme. And I am honored and thrilled to have you with me on the journey.