Friday, June 3, 2011

Atkinson, Nebraska Portrait Photographer: Making Time For Passion

June is a busy month for this family. 

Tuesday I am am leaving to accompany a group of students on the adventure of a lifetime by traveling to Europe for 10 days.  I have never traveled overseas, and though several opportunities have come my way in the last 10 years, I regret to say that I never grabbed them up because "the time just wasn't right".  In hindsight, I realize that I have used that statement as an excuse to NOT do things.  Realistically, is there ever a "right time" to do anything?  Something always seems to come up.  There are always busy schedules, the weather doesn't cooperate, an unexpected expense throws a wrench in your plans, someone gets sick...I was very good at finding all kinds of reasons NOT to take advantage of opportunities.  In reality, it wasn't about timing at all.  It was about my unwillingness to take a risk and have faith.

Two years ago this week I formally joined the Nebraska Writing Project by participating in their Summer Writing Institute.  For 4 weeks, I left my family and moved in with 3 amazing women in Lincoln.  It was not without great trepidation.  I felt extreme guilt about leaving my husband and family to take care of my children during those weeks.    I had so many doubts, and I tried to hide my excitement out of fear of being judged, but I am so blessed that my husband understands and supports my love for continuing education; he knows it is just part of who I am, and without continuing education...well, my spirit begins to wither.  Our family circled around us with love and support, and because of that, I was presented an opportunity to open myself to the experience... to learn...and to grow. 

During that time, I explored who I was, what I wanted out of life, and how I could be a stronger presence for my children and my students.  I met amazing writers from all over our great state during that institute.  They wrote of their adventures,  their accomplishments, their failures, their joys, and their sorrows...and I shared my own with them.  We helped each other become stronger writers though small groups that were built on trust and honesty, we explored how to become stronger educators for our students, and we established friendships that have been lasting.   It was a truly liberating and spiritual experience.

It was also at this time that I first acknowledged aloud my true desire to become a photographer.  I wanted this for quite some time, but "the timing was never right".  I was a wife, a mom, and a teacher already.  My plate was full enough (this is true)...but there was a piece of me that I hadn't explored yet.  My creative spirit was waiting to be unleashed, and I always dreamed of being a business owner.  I began to explore the possibility of realizing this dream, and with the support of my family and friends, I decided to go for it...and I haven’t looked back.  In reality, I feel that I am a better (albeit busier) wife, mother, and teacher because of it. 

Fast forward 2 years. 

I sit here blogging as I look at my schedule. 

It is full. 

June is booked for this family.

I am leaving for 10 days to do something I have never done before, and I am blessed that I get to share that experience with teens, an age group that I LOVE to work with.  I am nervous and excited at the same time.  I am home for 1 week, and then I leave again to participate in a Nebraska Writing Project Holocaust Literature Seminar at the end of the month.  It will be an amazing class full of amazing educators.  I will be a better teacher and better global citizen because of it. In between, I have photo shoots and special photography projects. 

My husband is busy working on the ranch, working cattle, getting ready for haying no doubt, and working with other men from our community to volunteer their time helping others in need.

My boys are preparing to enjoy a summer full of Bible School, swimming lessons, visiting “Gramas” and “Grampas”, aunts and uncles and cousins, celebrating birthdays...and just being kids.

I look at all the colored blocks on my google calendar and I feel a bit of we really have enough time for all of this? 

Well, we will be busy; that is for sure.  But, working with and for others is a passion that brings joy and purpose to our lives, and we are blessed to be busy

In the midst of all the turmoil that plagues this world and the pain that afflicts so many (near and far), I realize how important it is to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way.  Whether that opportunity is continuing your education, helping others in need, volunteering your time to an organization, experiencing something new, saying “I love you”, simply spending more quality time with family and friends, or if you are like many who email me, scheduling a photo session that you have been putting off until the “right time”...

choose something you care about and make time for it.

Have a beautiful day!

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Katrina Lee Photography is a professional custom photography business specializing in natural light and location portraiture as well as fine art portraiture.