Thursday, February 23, 2006

epiphanies and new beginnings.

Epiphany is defined as:
  1. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.
  2. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization
If this is true, wouldn't it make sense that a new beginning was to follow such an occurance? I believe that the true meaning of the word should indicate something of that nature. I don't believe it is possible to experience an epiphany without changing SOMEthing about the way we live or approach life. Even if it is merely a new perception of reality, doesn't it make sense that we would begin to see things differently?

I feel that turning forty was an epiphany moment for me. I looked and saw half my life gone and half of it yet to do something. So for my New Year's resolutions, I didn't decide to lose weight or make any habit changes, but rather decided that this is the year to DO something.

Seems like all my life I have had these big dreams. I had all these things I could do, but no formal training and no idea what to do with them. For instance: I have been interested in photography all my life. My husband got me my first "real" camera in '98. By real, I mean, not just a point and shoot, but an I-can-really-change-the-lenses-and- shoot-in-manual-settings camera. I could take great pictures with it. I got some beautiful pictures of my kids and started really thinking I had an eye for it...but with automatic settings. Those other dials and buttons were just whistles and bells to me that I didn't have a clue how to use. So I have an eye for it. So what? It does nothing for me if I can't set up the shot in manual mode and have a pretty good idea how to re-create the shot later on with the right settings.

The local community college quit offering a just a basic beginning photography course. The nearest college that offered it was 45 minutes away and I couldn't really afford it. It was really part of a degree program anyway. I tried reading books about it, but I am a "show me" kind of gal. It made no sense to me without seeing it done. Well, I turned forty last year. I had dabbled enough with my camera to get a little better, but still couldn't carry on a conversation about what I was doing with someone who really knows photography. "Hello, Joy! You are running out of time! Make it happen!"

First thing I did was buy a digital camera. I "invested" a couple of thousand dollars that I didn't really have into this thing with the idea that it was low enough on the equipment totem pole that I wasn't being completely foolish, but high enough that it could take me into professional as I learned and gained confidence. I felt kinda stupid about doing it at first, but now I see it was a GREAT move. I have learned SO much just being able to see the results as I go that I am thinking I should have done this years ago. Now, I have sunk a few more hundred into a correspondence course. NYIP to be exact. I worried that a correspondence course may not seem credible and the jury is still out on that one, but my reasoning is that I have books to read with the course, DVD's to SHOW ME, I can work at my own pace AND it costs a whole lot less than getting a degree in it. Granted a degree might have more "pull" in the business, but I will have a certificate at the end and I don't have to drive 45 minutes each way to get it. But the real decided factor was that, hey, I am forty. ANYTHING is better than nothing.

I am tired of having dreams and not doing something with them. I am forty and I have not lived. I want to live. I want to live my dreams, even if I am seeing those dreams come true in my kids. I don't want to force my dreams on them, but if it comes down to me wanting to do something and them wanting to do the same thing...they get dibs. I will let go of all of mine to see them get to do it. As far as I am concerned, that's as good as doing it myself and they are still young enough to enjoy it. However, so far, they haven't shared any of my interests. I am not going to wait around to see if they do. I am going to DO something. I want to stop letting fear steal my dreams. I am tired of being too timid to share myself with people because I am afraid that I only "think" I am good at something. How will I ever know if I don't DO something? If I never show anyone my pictures, how will I know if I am really good, or just THINK I am. If I never write, how will I ever know if anyone really likes my writing?

My epiphany: Life is not going to wait for me.
My goal: To stop letting fear keep me from doing what I love and sharing it with others.
My resolution: To stop wanting to be something, and become what I want to be.
My plan: Learn photography with a goal of becoming a photographer by Oct. 2006. Work toward getting my writing published with the goal of being a writer.

I submitted my first story last week.