I have these two friends, we'll call them Jenny and John. They live in Cambodia where they help girls and women who have been trafficked to learn a skill so they can thrive after their rescue. That's a real nutshell description, I know. But what struck me so much when they left to go do this was that they really answered whole-heartedly to a calling. There was a need for their skills, and they said "yes", sold everything and moved to a country on the other side of the world.
We keep in touch via social media and I've always envied the fact that they are enacting change. They are actively helping people with their talents. I've always wanted to do that. I remember during a messenger exchange with Jenny, I said "But I have this camera. I'm a photographer, and I have this camera, and I don't know what to do with it. I don't know how to help people with this camera." She sweetly wrote back something to the effect of "you'll find your way."
So... here I am, photographing and making films about birth and families. I am embarking on a new journey to help refugees rebuild their family photographs, and I'm teaching media literacy. And on top of ALL OF THIS, I work at a hospital to make ends meet while I "find my way." I know that all of these things may seem different, but I can see the common road. For so long, I've felt flaky or ashamed that if I didn't have one very successful focus, I'd look like a loser. But recently, I found my way in that all of these projects and jobs accomplish what I set out to do which was to help people.
I was watching a Marie Forleo video where she gives advice to "multi-passionate" people. By the way, if you don't know who Marie Forleo is... get on it. She's amazing. She mentions her fear when people ask, "so what do you do?" and looking flakey. Her answer is "man, what don't I do." I've taken that to heart. "Embrace your flake" as she says and be real and unashamed about what you do while #givingzeroducks what people think.
So... what do I do? I'm multipassionate about helping people. I use photography to accomplish that goal.
Whew... that felt good to write down.