Today I am attending this intensive. I am writing this two days prior though and the thoughts I am having about what my experience will be are a bit scattered. I feel a bit silly writing this post, it's more personal than anything I've really ever shared. In the past, I have tried to be more 'me', more personal on this blog but it always sounded fake and not like my voice. So it would get deleted and I'd show you photos instead and keep it purposefully vague. I am a photographer and my writing skills aren't what they once were in school. This post may be more for me so please bear with me. I promise there will be photos on Monday.
When Lara announced MTH last year, I was so excited and wanted to attend as soon as possible. I wasn't able to make the Dallas date though and traveling to one of the other locations wasn't feasible. I was working full time and running the business part time and didn't have much vacation time to my name. So I waited and continued to follow Lara on her blog and Twitter and 'met' a few of the other MTH attendees via Twitter. I am very happy to call a few of them friends (in real life) today. They have been constant sources of encouragement.
The beginning of 2010 was huge for me. I became more and more unhappy with my day job and felt that our business was suffering because I wasn't able to devote my full energies to it. I met some amazing people at The Simple Plan and Eventology (Lara included!) and felt that change was coming and soon. In May of this year, I did it. I quit my job. I walked away from health benefits and a steady paycheck. That was a huge step of faith for me and I was scared. It wasn't a decision I made overnight. I thought about what quitting would mean and had to really answer that question before I could do it. It was more than just loosing monetary security it was a feeling of loosing control of the life I felt secure with, was comfortable in.
I wasn't sure when it was exactly, I think maybe right before I made the decision to quit that I re-read this post and actually filled in all the blanks. Really made myself answer them honestly. The two things I wrote down first: "To name your fears is to destroy them." And "Taking the blinders off, brings awareness." Boy did I have fears and blinders.
"Clarity creates conviction which creates action." I acted and made the decision to leave the comfort and security of the day job and take a risk on me and my talent. It was an incredibly freeing moment - I felt confident, light and empowered.
I still have some fears - some are the same that I wrote a few months back and some are new ones. When Lara announced the new MTH Tour, my fingers were crossed that she'd come back to Texas. I bought my ticket the very night they went on sale and I was freaked out and excited at the same time. What the heck did I just sign up for?
I've actually been asking myself that for the past month and not in an 'oh my gosh this is going to be great and terrible all at the same time' but an 'oh my gosh, do I still want to do this, do I have to do this?'. Will it be what I expect? Will it be worth the money? Will I be disappointed? I am going to be honest and say that I am not as excited as I was back when Lara announced the new tour. I feel like that excitement has waned and has been replaced with discouragement and resignation. I wanted to attend in the beginning because I had high hopes and expectations for my business and this new journey I was embarking on, I wanted to make things happen, for real! I wanted to be a part of the excitement and wave everyone else was riding on who had attended. I wanted to be a part of it so my business would take off.
Was I wanting to attend for the wrong reasons? Yeah, maybe my reasons weren't wrong they were just skewed a bit. I've had to make myself stop and re-focus. It's been a crazy week so that has been hard. I realized that MTH isn't a magic pill to make life and this business all unicorns and rainbows overnight. MTH is a springboard, an idea maker, a goal setter, a 'kick in the pants' as Lara puts it. So I made myself sit down and review this post and this one again. I needed to, to get myself back on track and to get excited about my business again and why I do it and to think about what I want to make happen. I am the only one that can do that. Because honestly, it's been hard lately. For a while there, it was all business and paperwork and I was burnt out. I wanted to shoot, I wanted to be creative again. Is it crazy to say that I am afraid of what that creativity looks like or could be? What will it ask of me? Will I be able to do it? I am afraid of what 2011 holds for my business because right now I feel like I am failing and that is a feeling I fear and hate. My goal is to be successful but I can't really answer the question of what that success looks like.
I am looking forward to the intensive and what it holds for me. There is nervousness and excitement, the unknown. Will I be able to share? Will I be open enough? Will I be real? What will I take away from it and how will it change me, change my business? Lara wrote this: " Every "big" thing I've ever accomplished in my life I was terrified of at one point. Fear is the biggest thing preventing you from really making things happen. Right now, you already know the answers. You know not-so-deep down what you have to do. You just have a million excuses and fears as to why you can't get there." I want to get past this point of making excuses as to why I can't be better at what I do, or going farther or taking risks. I think I've taken baby steps but there has to be more. On one hand I want to know, on the other there is fear.
Thank you, if you've stuck it out this far, I hope some of this made some sense or maybe even helped you a bit on whatever journey you are taking. I also feel that I am meant to be at this workshop, today and not the one a year ago. The timing couldn't be better. Oh and Lara, if you read this today or any day...please feel free to kick me in the pants. Sometimes it's the only way to get through to me, just ask James.