I was talking to a friend the other day, and she asked how I got into photography. It's a pretty long story, and one that I will be sharing on this blog sometime soon, but I told her a brief version of what had happened. As I was talking, I realized that so much of my story involves my sweet husband Nathan.
Nathan is the one who encouraged me to buy my first nice camera.
He is the one who bit the bullet (willingly) and bought my next camera, a DSLR that carried me through so much second shooting and a few weddings.
He encouraged me to go to photography school.
He saw my pictures and was honest with me - even when it hurt - about what I could do to be better.
He started second shooting with me, and has dug into the craft, learning not how to be the best photographer in the world, but how to be the best helper he possibly can to me.
He gave me the gift of time and independence to allow me to pursue my dream.
Ultimately, he is the one who brought up the question of going part time at my job so I could work harder at the thing I love.
I won't tell the whole story today, but I realize that everybody needs a Nathan. Everybody needs someone in their corner to fight for them and encourage them, even when nobody else will. It's not all sunshine and roses, and there will always be people along your path that doubt you, discourage you, or in general just don't support your dream. But find someone - that one person, or that group of friends, that will be a constant encouragement to you.
Find someone that won't think you're crazy when you want to make something into a career that you've never tried before.
Find someone who will understand when you pour hours into something with no return - yet.
Find a friend who will listen to all of the ups and downs of what you're going through, even if they have no idea what you're talking about.
Find someone who doesn't doubt you, even when your talents and abilities don't match your passion.
Find someone who is passionate about the things they love, and brings out the passion in you.
What I mean to say is that your passion needs no further improvement. That thing you love, even if nobody else loves it - that's where your heart is. You don't need to justify it, add to it, or take away from it. You don't need to make it more palatable for someone else. You don't need to be afraid of the people around you who might not understand.
Find someone who gets it. Find someone who loves you through it. Find someone who pushes you to be better, work harder, do more, and find your calling in life. If you don't already have one, find your Nathan.