Follow Your Heart

Last night’s big news was of course about the passing of Steve Jobs. He was only a few years older than my dad, and entirely too young to have left this earth. It made me so sad to think about his wife and his four kids that are now dealing with the loss. I hate cancer so much, but that’s not really the point of this post. Mr Jobs was truly an inspiration and the definition of a visionary. There were lots of quotes of his floating around the web last night, and this one caught my eye:

“Have the courage to follow your heart & intuition.

They already know what you truly want to become.

Everything else is secondary.”

As I read it through a few times, I asked myself if I have been able to follow my heart so far in life. Is there really anything more important that finding your passion? As someone who owns an iMac, iPad, Macbook & iPhone, I’m really thankful that Steve Jobs followed his heart and that it led him to create such awesome technology. My industry and so many others were forever changed as a result. But my heart’s passion probably doesn’t look as exciting to most people, and I’m quite certain it won’t make me famous enough to blow up Twitter and Facebook when I die one day. As I thought about that quote, I realized that I really have followed my heart in almost every step of life, and it’s led me to an incredible place.

Before I had Lincoln, photography was my passion. When everyone else was going to “real” colleges, I went to art school, and I loved it! Photography has given me so many opportunities and really served me well, but when I got pregnant, I felt my heart shift gears. Trying to become a famous wedding photographer no longer seemed like the best use of my time. In fact, it just seemed ridiculous. I struggled for a while with rearranging my priorities. I held onto my old mindset for a while even after Lincoln was born. It made me so unhappy! I was busy 24/7. I was putting so much pressure on myself to keep up with other photographers, many of whom did not have children, or at the very least, had their kids in full time daycare or school. It wasn’t right for me. It’s funny, because things are so different now, but not because I changed my business. My business is operating essentially the same way. The change was that I gave myself permission to follow my heart in a new direction; A direction that was more family oriented and less career oriented. I still have my business and still love it, but I don’t feel the same pressure. If nobody ever hires me again, I would be sad, but I wouldn’t be crushed, because my heart is in a new place. I know that my number one priority is being the best mom to Lincoln that I can be (Not to mention, taking care of my husband. He’s always been a top priority). Our time with our little ones is so short. I don’t want to waste it pretending to be something I’m not. So I cut back to only working 1-2 days a week, and I haven’t looked back.

The second part of that quote says, “They already know what you want to become”. It’s so true. God gave me a desire to be a mom, and a hybrid kind of mom at that (Not really fully stay-at-home, but not fully working mom either). My decision to listen to my gut has allowed me to be what I wanted to be all along. I get to be Lincoln’s mom, but I still get to have a little piece of myself reserved for my first passion.

It’s cliche, but it’s true. Life is short. I don’t want to waste it on things that don’t really matter to me. I hope that I can always stop to evaluate myself and make sure I’m still being courageous enough to follow my heart, whatever direction that might take me.

Written from my Macbook. Thank you, Mr Jobs!

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