I’m sitting in the lobby of the Marriott in Downtown San Francisco, and I can’t help but think about everything that is outside this building. Not just the surroundings, but the potential — my potential — outside this bubble of a safe and “secure” corporate job. (What corporate job is ever secure?) I’m here for work, helping with the presentations for our National Sales Meeting. I can definitely say that I’m comfortable being here in my current job capacity; however, I do crave and yearn for something more.
I remember how hard I worked through high school. I finished second in my class, 0.18 points from being the Valedictorian. I was driven and determined to succeed. That was the path that my parents put me on, without all the pressure. I desired success and I drove it to the finish line.
When I got to college, it was a whole different ball game. Classes were huge, and I became a guppy in the shark tank. Scared. Intimidated. I desired “safety”. I floated through college with a major that I was interested in, but I lacked that drive and determination I was so familiar with in high school. Nevertheless, I did well in my classes, but I stayed in my comfort zone.
From the beginning there was one thing I was bound and determined to do since high school: study abroad. My junior year of college, I packed up two huge suitcases, kissed and hugged my family goodbye for now, and embarked on the greatest journey of my college career. I moved to Lyon, France for a full year. I met some of my best friends, learned so much independence, and eliminated any fear I held about travel. I also embraced my deep love for photography. At the time I only had a 2nd or 3rd generation Sony point-and-shoot digital camera, but I loved it. I captured so much of my trip and came back with a couple gigs of images. Friends, landscape, travel, good times. That year changed my life.
I’ve found that taking the uncertain path can have some of the biggest payoff. I knew none of the people who traveled abroad that year; I was the only one representing my university. And yet, these folks are my closest friends that I have today. Our bond from a shared experience and shared moments is unlike any other I can imagine.
And now, I yearn to take another uncertain path and pursue my love of capturing happy, once in a lifetime moments. After last night, I’m ready. I’m ready to take some action and not just think about doing it. This is something that I’m incredibly excited about — and for anyone who knows me — I’m not the most easily excited. That’s how I know that this is different. I feel so alive. I’m not about to extinguish that feeling.
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