This last year and a half has been a roller coaster in more ways than one. I was working as a film and photography teacher, and happy with that – knowing what a privilege my job really was – but still. There was something, something inside that didn’t allow me to settle down for real. I brought myself to a place where I had to make an important decision, and it wasn’t an easy one.
My love of photography has always been there, ever since I learned how to use my dads old analog Nikon EM (which I still use actually!), but it has evolved, and become more substantial, a bigger part of my life, something I’ve taken more and more seriously. And although my teaching job was great, and having a steady income every month was lovely, there was this voice within, I think it came from my heart, and it started speaking really loud. It was so loud that in the end, I couldn’t hear the other thoughts I tried to think: for example that I should work a few more years as a teacher, that I should wait, that I should have more security, that maybe I shouldn’t change anything at all. All I could hear was: Go for it.
So I did. I jumped, I did what scared me the most.
I did not go back to work last autumn. I am now self-employed. I am still shocked, happy, relieved, and crazily excited about it. It felt like a completely bonkers thing to do, I remember that feeling after having called my boss and said those words, I’m not coming back to work, I freaked out and just felt so crazy and irresponsible. What on earth had I done? With three kids and a farm and a husband who also works freelance, quitting a well paid and nice job seemed utterly irrational. But then, this happened: That voice wasn’t so loud anymore, it just sort of grunted happily every now and then, gave little sighs of relief, said that I did good.
I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think it would work, if I didn’t have faith in it. I thought, If other people can I can make a living out of being a photographer, so can I, and so far it has been great. Lots of work, lots of photos, lots of happy customers.
After having gone through this process, thinking so much my head was about to crack, weighing things back and forth, worrying, pondering, feeling confused – out of all of that, after the decision was made, came this one feeling, this one word. Freedom.
I am free.
If you want to have a look at what I do: www.zoopayne.com (blog) – www.birth.no (birth photography) – www.bygdefotografen.no (general photography).