It’s hard to know when to move on.
And by the way, before I really get started, I’m pretty sure I’ve written a piece like this already, but after scrolling very quickly, I couldn’t find it. So if you’ve read about pivoting on my blog already, I apologize. 230 something blog posts later, and I am starting to forget what I wrote back in December.
Back to the point. It’s hard to know when to pivot. Or, at least, it was hard for me. It was something that sat in the back of my mind and on the edge of my heart for a very long time, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. A pivot, if you don’t know, is a shift from one career to another, and I think it’s typically a reference to staying in your skillset while making the transition. For instance, I’m still a photographer, but now I’m a photographer and writer. Now, I’m focusing on portraits, dancers, and dabbling in fashion photographer, and I’m currently writing this blog, a 3-page daily journal, and a book that is pretty scary to say outloud. But there, I said it.
It’s been a long time coming as I said above. I’ve been feeling this push, this urge to change paths, to switch from wedding and family photographer into more of the editorial world, but I’ve been scared. And even now, I’m really pretty scared to say this out loud, to be writing this on a public blog. But it’s time. I loved photographing weddings and families, but there was always something missing for me. And when I photograph dancers, when I take a portrait of an individual and get to sit with them (or stand with them) one on one, that something missing isn’t missing anymore. I feel fully alive. When I write, I feel fully alive, I feel like I’m personally more creative, that I’m contributing the best of myself to the world.
I will definitely say yes to the odd wedding with couples I have a connection with and who I just can’t pull myself away from, but I won’t be marketing my wedding business anymore. And that’s scary. I truly feel like I’ve been starting from scratch on this new path. And starting from scratch at any age can feel completely daunting. Then add two little kids and a husband who works full time to the mix, and it’s a full-on funhouse (I never actually had the courage to go inside a funhouse, so this is just me assuming that’s what it feels like).
Pivoting is scary, but it’s right for me because I believe this is finally the right path for me, it’s the way I can make an impact, be fulfilled, and stick to my values. Pivoting gives me anxiety. What if I’m not good enough? What if I never break into the new industry? What if nobody wants to read what I have to write or see the photos I want to share?
But I take it one day at a time, one step at a time. I take one photo, I shoot with a new dancer, I write another paragraph, I create my new resume, I connect with one person a day on a platform that is foreign to me. I’ve been doing this all year, and slowly, but surely, the pivot isn’t as scary anymore.
Not as scary as admitting I’ve been doing it right under your nose.