This feels like a year of big change. Some changes, like losing dad, aren't all that welcome. But the funny thing about traumatic circumstances is that they ignite a fire within me. I have felt a ton of motivation in the past month, motivation to do. Things I once thought I didn't want or that I couldn't make myself do, I'm now fully immersed in. Things that a few months ago terrified me are now things I really enjoy and look forward to.
The first is photography. Before, I enjoyed it, but didn't really want a business. Nor did I want to invest the time and money in really getting serious about it. But, lately, it's all I can think about. I've actually started studying it, learning all the nuances and terms I thought I'd never understand before. And I'm thinking about making this fun hobby work for me. I don't really think I'm interested in shooting portraits all that much. I'm more interested in getting into stock photography. Of course, it can be a tough scene to break into, because like every other area of photography since the invention of the affordable digital camera, the market is saturated. Plus, the standards are pretty high as far as quality goes. I'm going to have to start shooting in RAW a lot more, which means I'm going to have to get better processing software, which means I'm going to need a better computer...it's a slippery slope. I'm not interested in having a full time job or making $50,000 a year. But if I could make enough to pay for my kids' eventual tuition to a Christian school, I'd be happy. So, for the time being, I'm studying and practicing and working on getting better. Perhaps over the course of the year, I'll be able to upgrade some of my equipment before I really jump in. Photography ain't cheap.
The second is music. The night before dad died, I had a strange burst of creativity, and before I knew it, I'd written a song. I've never completely written a song before. Lyrics I've done, but not music. It was so strange. About a week later, I played it for Seth, and he told me that I had to perform it in church. This was terrifying for me. Singing, no problem. But this involved playing the piano. In public, something which hasn't happened since I had to play Minuet in G during a fifth grade recital and totally bombed the whole thing. But since he was so supportive, I decided to go for it. And I'm so glad I did, because I've heard from a few people whom God has been reaching with the song. That makes all the nervousness and awkwardness worth it. So, now I'm thinking of getting it officially copyrighted, and maybe writing more. This could spur us on to getting started on our youtube videos that we once talked about.
And writing, the third ingredient in my creative trifecta. The changes here are less dramatic and more personal. The thing about my dad was that he wrote. He wrote a lot. He wrote insignificant things and later turned them into significant stories. He journaled, jotted notes, blogged, and updated his facebook status far more than necessary. But now, I feel like we have a vast treasure of everything he wrote, so as we find things, we can laugh and learn from him still. So, while I don't think I can reach the level of writing (and honestly, packratting) that my dad attained, I do want to be more intentional in writing as much as I can. I've started a daily journal. I suck at journaling, so we'll see how long it lasts. Having a nice book and pen does help though. ;)
So, for me, this is the year of being brave, trying new things, and making intentional plans (and doing something to progress those plans!) My deepest goals for these areas are that they be things God can use to reach others. Honestly, I really want that most of all. That motivation is what is giving me boldness, because if it was left up to my natural tendencies, I'd just stay in my introverted hamster ball and not let anybody see the things I hold closest to me. But after memorizing Romans 12 last year, I know that's not what God wants. Our passions are not for private use. They are gifts we are meant to share for God's glory.