So you know how everyone always says "when you feel like quitting, remember why you started." ?
Well I kind of get that. But I also don't completely feel like that's true to life. I think it should read something more like bringing it back to basics. So not only should you remember why you started, but remember what it was like when you started.
I don't know why I got into photography exactly. But if you know me, you know that I'm kind of like a dive-in-head-first kinda woman. I'm definitely the person who prepares minimally, like just enough so that I can get the acceptable aspects done of whatever it is I'm working on. Like if I can get x done, I will figure out how to do y and z once I'm there. One of my best aspects is my improvisation and my ability to be flexible and adapt quickly. I'd rather have one foot in the door than have the door close when I'm standing outside of it. Which is how I was when I picked up a camera. I took one really awesome picture with the background blurred out and I was like "K GOT IT LET'S GO WHO WANTS THEIR PHOTO TAKEN?!"
So here I am. I got better pretty quickly because I was taking photos ALL THE TIME LIKE SERIOUSLY ALL THE TIME. Plus I had God totally in my corner with this whole endeavor. Even still, it feels like it's where I need to be.
Today at my day job (school yesssss) one of my bosses addressed the whole staff and gave us a good talkin' to. Not like we were in trouble or anything, but a reminder about our important role as teachers. And of course, I absolutely equated it to my entire life.
He said that where there is entitlement, there is no grace. We cannot be gracious human beings if we feel entitled.
I about cried. Not one of us deserves anything more than the next person just because we exist here on earth. And as a teacher, a mother, a friend, a human being, there is nothing the world owes us. And within this whole conversation, it took me right back to basics with everything in my life in that short moment.
What is it all really about?
Do we want all of our students to actually get 100% grades? No. We want them to learn and grow and become kind, compassionate, helpful and responsible people.
Do we want our children to make every craft imaginable? Or see every theme park or be so inundated with activities that they can't even hear themselves think or learn to be contented on their own? No. We want our kids to be happy, loving, successful grown-ups who look out for others.
Did I start a photography business to make millions of dollars? No. I started a business because I wanted a way to create, use my talents, connect with people and build relationships.
Am I a teacher so that I have a great work schedule and great hours? No. I did it because I love kids. I love them so much. Helping them however I can makes my heart truly overflow.
Are we friends with people so we aren't alone? No. We are friends with people because we care about them, enjoy them and want the best for them.
Intentions matter. Maybe in the short-term it might not seem like the goodness of your intentions will prevail, or that your grace matters. And sometimes, it is so easy to feel like we deserve something.
As I sat there today, I realized that no matter where life takes you, you will still reap what you sew. Your intentions become your goals. Why you do something actually becomes what you strive to do.
Don't let that change.
Don't let your good intentions fall to the way side.
I take pictures because when I get that perfect one, it fills my heart up and then it comes out my ears. I take pictures so I can remember the times that really are like zooming by me. I take pictures because I can somehow take my talents and the way I see things and shove that all into my brain and out through my camera and give you something you get to keep forever.
So on this monday, look for your intentions. What are you doing here? Why are you here? What do you wish you were doing? What mark are you going to leave on the world and on the people you meet? What kind of example are you setting? Are you excited, grateful and gracious?
Because you should be. If you're not, you should get that way.
And as a reminder to myself as much as anything else, let's count the ways in which we are fortunate rather than the ways we are not.