Today I want to talk about trust. Specifically trusting your gut and the fact that when one door closes a another will open.
First, I’m going to ask you to do me a favor and head over to Canon’s website. Their front page is fine. Go ahead, I’ll wait here until you come back.
Did you see that? Crazy right?
They asked me to write up a little piece for a feature but I didn’t realize it was this kind of feature, as in, on their front page.
Now let me back up a bit. You probably remember when I wrote this post about my journalism career ending. I was upset about the new leadership at my former news station cutting an important news segment featuring foster kids. Well I didn’t get around to updating you on what happened since then.
A day after that post went live I was on the phone with the assistant news director at CBS Austin. He’d read my post, thanks to my former assistant news director sharing it on his page, and they wanted to pick up Forever Families! It didn’t work out for me to do the segment myself but I was more than happy to make introductions between Partnerships for Children–The nonprofit coordinating the shoots for the children, and the news station.
I was so happy the kids would still have their weekly spotlight on TV but it was still really really hard to let that part of my life go. To officially take my foot out of that journalism door and let it close behind me. I never won an Emmy, or got my own morning show. A part of me was totally heartbroken, but what followed was truly a testament to me that when one door closes another will always open. Or in my case, a window.
I always thought my difficult decision about my career would would hinge on whether or not I wanted to be home with my kids, or working at a news station. ‘My children would be the big deciding factor’, I thought. Never did I dream that I could do both, or more. And I kept blinders on to the possibility that I could ever want to do anything else.
I started this blog nine years ago (I really should go back and delete some of those early posts but whatevs! It’s all about of the journey right?). It wasn’t until this year–A few months ago–About the same time I stopped working as a part-time reporter, that I started looking at my blog more like a career. And seriously guys…with the taxes and fees I pay to keep this thing running, it’s been a business for a while. I just didn’t want to see it that way because I thought work shouldn’t be as fun as this was. And thinking about my blog as work would make blogging less fun.
In May I went to a blogging conference called Mom 2.0. I spoke on a panel and was nominated for two Iris awards, which is kind of like an Emmy in blog terms. I was hopeful but not expecting to win either and I walked away with the Best Photography award. That was an exciting and eye-opening moment for me where I realized this little craft of mine was outside the realm of my dreams. And I needed to start dreaming bigger.
Opportunities you just don’t pass up came my way. I made a photography course, shot a series with Disney, and I started homeschooling because I had the flexibility to work from home, travel, and make our own schedule by running my own business. Despite all this in front of me, it was hard to admit that my blog was more than a hobby. It dawned on me that one dream was holding me back from another.
This door on my journalism career closing was the final straw. I had to realize wasn’t a failure for giving up on a lifelong dream (that’s really what being a news anchor and reporter was for me–A plan I’d had since childhood). I was brave enough to realize dreams can change. And it’s never too late to go for a new one.
I’m finally embracing my blog as a real thing and an aspect of my new dream. It’s not as definitive or easy to explain as my previous one, but it’s allowing me to do the things I love: Spend time with my kids, write, travel, practice photography and hopefully make a difference. All while supporting my family. I never could have imagined this would be possible or where I’d wind up. Why not?
A couple of years ago I read a book called the 7 Mindsets. In it there’s an analogy about the window of opportunity. It says when we’re born the window of opportunity and what we see as possible is wide open. As we grow up it gets smaller and smaller based on our experiences. When we realize we can’t fly, or we’re shot down on a date, that window closes a little bit. Each time someone shoots down our ideas or goals it slides down even more. By the time we graduate school what we see as the window of opportunity is only a fraction of the size from when it began.
One door closed for me, but I’m blowing that window open again. And I’m loving what I’m seeing on the other side.
I have so many ideas, plans and goals for my little corner of the internet. I want to feature the foster kids I once highlighted on TV here online. I’d love to bring more unheard stories shattering misconceptions about law enforcement families and black lives matter. I’d love to focus on shining a little beacon of light through these gloomy days.
We can’t let our doubts and lack of faith keep us from our potential.
What are you dreaming about? What is holding you back? Time? Fear? Doubt? A different plan you’ve been afraid to let go of? Don’t let those things keep you from being who you’re suppose to be, and doing what you’re meant to do. Take that leap you’ve been considering, and trust what’s on the other side.