How I Got Here

Personal

My first blog post. I’m a little terrified…

I used to be doing everything I thought I was supposed to be doing. At 19, I started questioning it. I thought “do I really want to get this engineering degree?” I contemplated education instead, but I had already put so much time into math and science, so hey why not keep going? Good jobs and all, right? I graduated and got a job. Stability, perks, benefits, travel, responsibility, and enough money to survive on my own. I saw my future, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. To sum it up, here’s a pic a coworker took (and captioned) during a typical day. This is right before I got screamed at by several construction workers, store owners, and police officers for not being able to move the machine out of the road. And see, taking photos is basically all I’m good for anyway…

TRIBUTE TO RYAN MOORE[shrunk] (1)

So then I watched some Ted Talks like this. I traveled to a few different countries. I started taking a lot of photos. I started questioning things again. I got hung up on the word “passion.” I was making money but had little time to spend it. I enjoyed living in various states but hated missing friends and family as a consequence. So I thought about it a lot, and one day it clicked. I didn’t need a solution, I just had to leave. I had no idea what I would do, but I distinctly remember the moment that I knew I had to go figure it out. So I called in my two weeks notice, and I started writing. An excerpt from my first journal entry:

10/25/09:

“Fifty two days until I will be unemployed. My comfort level with this decision varies like my pulse. I have an ideal version of my life, a realistic version, and an unfamiliar worst case scenario.

Ideally, I move to the city (Chicago) – some low-rent but high-character apartment w/in walking distance to everything and everyone. I am creating, loving, learning, failing, succeeding, growing. I see home/college friends regularly but also begin to spend time w/ new friends from my new exciting creative world. I have no regrets.

Realistically, I find part time work, live with a friend, find creative outlets and eventually turn them into a job. I see some old friends, make new ones slowly. I don’t regret leaving Cat, but occasionally question my happiness in Chicago. I’m still happier than I was.

Worst case scenario: I live [with my parents], gain 20 lbs, realize I look horrible w/ long hair, my identity is stolen, I leave home to prove myself, I work part time at a bar cleaning bathroom vomit and mopping stale beer, I see friends out of pity (for me), and I get frostbite in the winter. Oh and I buy a dog and it dies. I blame myself.”

5Z5A1467Four years later, I’ve experienced portions of all 3 scenarios. Even during the tougher times, it’s been pretty great. I lived in Chile for 5 months, had a whirlwind adventure through Europe, took photos of some beautiful places and loving people, read a lot of books, spent a lot of time trying things that didn’t work, gained those 20 lbs, but ultimately found myself pretty dang close to that “ideal” scenario (minus the whole “high character” apartment…). The thing is, what was a lofty goal in 2009 has become a reality in 2013 that doesn’t seem good enough. I need so much more. I’ve got about 1,000 things in my head at any given time…from actually starting this blog to someday putting on workshops in foreign countries. I consider myself extremely fortunate that things have worked when they’ve worked. My friends and family have hired me, referred me, and supported me to an insane extent. I owe everything to them. Now, things are kind of rolling along at a steady pace, and it’s time to mix it up again. We’ll see what 2014 brings. Feel free to keep up with this blog for a lot of wedding and engagement photos in the near future! Probably some pictures of dogs and trees and stuff too.

2013-11-21_0007And thanks for reading all this nonsense…

Ryan

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