This is a little story about trading one dream for another to make my pursuit of photography real to me.
I love scooters. I often day dream about driving my custom olive green Vespa scooter into the setting Tuscan sun. Lacy on the back, with her blonde hair blowing in the wind and sparkling in the final moments of sunlight like a vampire from Twilight. A basket full of gluten free bread, a bottle of Masseto Toscana 1997, and an assortment of fancy smelly, but somehow still delicious cheese. There is no destination in mind, because I have already arrived.
About a year before we got married I started seriously looking at purchasing a scooter. I was doing youth ministry at the time, but knew I was headed towards photography as a full time career if I played my cards right. I was booking enough weddings for it to almost make sense to make the career jump.
I had saved up $1,800 and knew that it was probably going to be the last time I had $1,800 to do whatever I wanted with as a 'single' man because once you're married all your hard earned cash goes to makeup, dresses, manicures, and purses, right?
For those of you who don't know me, or think you know me but actually don't, let me explain something about myself. I've never been a planner or one known for making practical decisions. My Myers Briggs is INFP. If that means nothing to you let me share a quick story to explain.
I once took some personality tests in college with the professional counselor on campus. After going over the results with students he would assign them an animal based on their results (and I'm sure something backed by some super official psychological education board).
My animal was a Unicorn.
This unicorn had picked out the perfect scooter and was about to make his unicorn dreams come true until he fell to earth and asked himself a question.
Do I want to be a photographer or a scooter enthusiast?
Part of me felt like I was trading in my magical horn for a bridle and saddle. Where was this coming from though? Why did I have to choose? Could I not have both? Can't I be a photographer without that amazing 85mm f1.4 lens? I mean, the camera doesn't make the photographer right?
This may all seem silly to you...I actually hope it has, but the reality for me was...
This purchase would be a declaration of the path I was choosing to take. I was at a tipping point, and had been for quite some time. You see, I am what some people call a 'dabbler'. I dabble in this and dabble at that becoming 'okay' at everything but never excelling at any one thing. I had been pursuing photography pretty seriously for about 2 years and had the skills, and basic gear to take pretty good photos. I could have gone on for quite some time taking 'okay' photos and riding my scooter around until I trade photography for something new to dabble in. However, if I really wanted to go to the next level I knew what I needed to do. I had to buy that lens...and not the scooter.
Investing $1,800 into my photography gear (and extremely small business) solidified my path. For the first time, I was all in. This was going to be my thing. I was done with the dabbling.
It has been about 8 years since I purchased that lens and woke up from my scooter dream. That single purchase may have kept me from my dream of riding a scooter, but the quality of photos it empowered me to take, and most importantly the fire it sparked inside of me , allowed me to gallop through the clouds as the unicorn I was created to be.
I am my own boss.
I can create my own schedule.
I can take my kids to school.
I can work from anywhere.
I could keep going on, but I think you get the point.
That one decision sent me down the road that allowed me to start a business and create a life that best suits my personality, dreams, and everything that driving into the Tuscan sunset on a scooter with my beautiful wife represents.
This is a photo taken from a trip I took 3 years ago with my wife and son in Tuscany. There is no scooter, but I was in Italy with the people I love most in the world, living the life I had always dreamed I would live one day. Actually, are rental car was so small it almost counts as a scooter in my book.
Have you had a moment like this in your life? Are you having a moment right now?
Do you have a dream job or lifestyle change that you are SO close to, but can't seem to tip over the edge to make it a reality?
What is your scooter?...and what is it that you truly desire?
I would love to hear your story.