I’ve always been a person who was a bit of a wanderer through life. As an 18-year-old free spirit, I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life when high school ended. So I stumbled into university to study Drama and Theatre Arts because it was the least daunting option in my young and terrified eyes. I truly loved the Theatre, but I always knew that I would have to find a back-up option because there is hardly any work for an actor in South Africa.
Thus I decided to enter the realm of education and to become a high school teacher. I felt this enormous pressure to settle down, start a pension and to grow up. I wandered my way through a routine for four years of fighting with kids by day, being too tired to enjoy free time with loved ones and marking papers until 3am on a regular basis. I felt like a hollow shell of a person and people kept telling me I look unhappy and I need a change. I was blind to this truth, though, because I kept staring into the fact that I’m an adult now and I need to be responsible and to suck it up.
Then. Everything. Changed.
My dad, the person whom I loved more than anything in this world, passed away. It was quick. It was unexpected. It caused my life to fall apart.
My dad was such a huge source of happiness that I never realised how unhappy I was with the other aspects of my life. I needed a new reason to live.
I decided to start studying photography as an attempt to distract myself. I realised that the content of my studies made me more excited than my previous studies have made me. I looked forward to every class and did research and joined meets outside of class. I became obsessed and fell in love with photography. It has consumed my life. After a few months in I knew that I wanted to make the change and pursue photography as a career.
A huge chunk of me was terrified. I told one of my friends about my fears and he set my mind at ease. He said we are much younger than we think we are. The older we get, the harder it gets to leave things behind to chase after your dreams. Now is the perfect time for me to start something new.
Here I am a year later, with a photography business, paying bills and living life. I never in a million years thought I would be able to have control over my own time and to create for a living.
I wish every day that my dad could be part of this journey. I wish he could see my photos and see the places I’ve been to because of my newfound passion. I wish I could have a coffee with him and joke about white balance. I wish I could photograph him. I wish I could thank him for being the best dad ever.
I don’t know why bad things happen. I don’t know why we have to lose the ones we love. I don’t know why there is so much brokenness in this life. What I do know, however, is that we still have some time left on this earth. I still have breath left in my lungs and I’m not wasting a second longer doing something I don’t love.
I have dreams that I need to realise. I have goals that I need to accomplish. I have new things to discover and places to explore. I have a life to live and I’m bringing my camera along for the journey.