‘I believe in dreaming big and making those dreams come true’
Today is my first day back at work after a wonderful break for holidays, during which I’m really had time to take stock and reflect.
I love the start of a New Year. It’s a time for looking back, acknowledging the successes and achievements of the past year, and for looking forward and planning and setting goals for the coming year. I’m a big fan of setting goals and planning out my life. It really works. I also like to make space for the spontaneous, and new unexpected opportunities, but you can’t beat dreaming up the Master Plan and working towards it all coming to fruition.
Ten years ago I was a single girl living in a rented flat in Clerkenwell, London. I had a job that didn’t fulfill me, I longed to do something visually creative. I didn’t have any commitments, any responsibilities, but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. One day I bunked off work and spent the day sitting on my bed in my teeny tiny city room, with it’s fuchsia walls and 60’s orange and gold curtains and red carpet….(sounds like overkill but it kind of worked. I loved that room!), I dared to dream. Dream of what my life could be….if I could dream up any life what would it be like? Where would I live, what would it look like? What would I have around me? Whom would be with me? What would I do for a living? In my spare time?
I drew a huge map, my mind alive as ideas poured out of me….I was limited only by my imagination and the ideas kept coming. And there it was: My Dream Life.
To first know what’s right for you, you have to take time to know yourself. That’s a pretty huge thing to do, but once you got that part on it’s way, you can start to identify the kind of life that could make you happy.
So I have spent the last 10 years, quietly, studiously working away at putting all the elements together, adjusting as needed, getting things back on course, sometimes taking a new turn as I progressed. But always bearing in mind the bigger picture. Those paper dreams.
I’ve read a lot of books. Books about life, books about business, books about self development, books about spirituality and religion. And I have done courses. Meditation weekends, Buddhist retreats, yoga retreats…I’ve found a great team of people to tend to my wellbeing, and help me nurture myself… I’ve made list after list of goals, affirmations, plans and dreams, more dreams.
And slowly it started to come together…..like a giant jigsaw I slotted the pieces in together one by one.
I bought a house. In an area where no-one else was wanting to buy at the time. But it was all part of the masterplan and with risks come rewards. I handed in my notice at work and I rented rooms to fellow art students to pay the mortgage whilst I went back to college. I worked a ton of part time jobs to make ends meet. From working in bars, in shops to shooting children’s portraits. One of my jobs was waitressing wealthy Jewish weddings…and I smile to myself when I now shoot at some of the venues I waitressed at not that long ago. And this time around I am eating the food, not serving it. A sweet and welcome change of fate.
I put myself through college for the third time, slowly introduced myself to the world of being a working photographer and year by year, attracted the life and opportunities that were right for me. There is far far too much to say here for a single blog post.
Was it easy? No.
Has it been a rewarding, exciting, fulfilling, surprising, engaging journey? Absolutely.
So this weekend I read my goals from 3 years ago. So some of them were a little optimistic (like the six figure salary…I’ll keep dreaming on that one!) but many, far more than I expected, had actually been fulfilled. That life I once dreamed of had like a butterfly from a chrysalis, slowly emerged. Shakily at first, but gradually finding it’s feet and trusting it’s all going to be ok.
So the sentence at the top of this blog post is actually from my business & personal philosophy which you can read on my website. A whole lot of thinking went into that, 2 days’ worth to be precise, and I can honestly say that I truly live by each line. It’s not just a throwaway set of sentences there to look good, or say what people want to hear, but something that I strive to deliver through my work and that represents who I am. I’ll be writing more about each line over the coming weeks.
And to finish……I have chosen this photograph as to me open skies and oceans always represent the infinite possibilities that are open to us.
If we dare to dream.