In September of 2014, I found a printed email I wrote my mom in 2001. It was a few months before graduating from the Art Institutes International Minnesota:
I like what I do. I like designing things on the computer. But I don't like the 'job'. I've come to find that out. I don't think I'm going to like the job itself. I like creating things from my own mind, but I dread assignments because I'm not doing it for 'me' - I'm doing it for someone else. And that's how it's going to be in the real world. But maybe I'm judging too quickly, because I'm not getting paid for the things I do now. We'll have to see...
I was 20 and finishing the Web Design program. I wish I had better news for my younger self, but damn. Nailed it, bro. For the last 14 years I've been grinding in corporate America out of necessity and yeah, probably a little false complacency if I'm honest with myself. My resume looks good on paper. I've worked inside Starbucks, Microsoft, and Netflix. Lowlights were the multiple failed start-ups, the short contract gigs, and the layoffs. Had it not been for the Qwikster debacle, I would still be working at Netflix in California. Despite the passion and hard work I put into my career, it seemed I wasn't in control of my own life or destiny. What kind of life is that?
I've decided to take my love for photography more seriously.
In 2003, I discovered DeviantArt and instantly became obsessed with photography. Capturing single moments in time as an art form fascinated me. I used a credit card to buy my first manual camera at Best Buy (which took me 8 years to pay off) and started teaching myself how to use it, how to use light, and just shoot for fun. But the thought of becoming a professional photographer seemed impossible to me. The dream was too big. I had bills to pay. I remember seeing Lost In Translation (now one of my favorite films) and thinking, "I want that so bad but it can never be me."
Well fuck that negative thinking. I'm inspired every day by others' work and stories. I know what I have to do now.
The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.
This is being dynamic.