Finding My Dream

It's been a while since I stopped and thought about what path I took to end up where I am. I constantly get asked how I got here, and I always just answer, "I don't know." Half lazy, half way too complicated to be easily told, I haven't really tried to understand myself and my story. So here's the beginning of my journey into social media and the photography world.

Growing up, I was the smart kid that could do anything he put his mind to. My slight ADHD didn't help me focus on just one thing, so I focused on them all. Sports, Music, Top Academics, Drawing, Computers, etc.  

So when time came for me to make my life decision of which one of those I had to make a career out of, I didn't, I let others choose for me. A valuable lesson I've learned reflecting on moments of passivity in my life is that when I don't make decisions in critical situations, a decision gets made for me. I couldn't find the exact thing I wanted to do, so I chose to do what everyone out of high school chooses to do. College. And like any good brat of a little brother that wants to show up his older brothers, I chose to do something just as challenging as my brothers were doing, Mechanical Engineering.

After failing miserably out of my lack of interest in trying Calculus II at 7am, which resulted in a loss of scholarships, I scrambled to my next comfort zone, Computer Information Systems. I think my dad helped me find this degree. Nobody told me that not going to college was an option, and that life should be about living and not a career. But alas, I had a beautiful girlfriend, who is now my lovely wife. And honestly, I really appreciated many of the skills and knowledge I picked up in college. I believe I just took a really long way to end up here.

Once I finished my five year plan, I got a job doing some code work and quickly felt stuck. So I went back to college and got my Masters Degree in hopes to get a better job, which I did. I've worked for a global non-profit for five and a half years, and I'm now their IT Application Architect (BIG WORDS).

But the stuck feeling hung around. Somewhere along the way I started to get this feeling that I missed something. I was stuck on a path that I knew when I reached the end, I wouldn't be satisfied.

My father talks a lot about the legacy that we'll one day leave behind, and when I started to think of legacy in my lineage, I would think of looking through old photo books and seeing photos of my ancestors. But I didn't know what they did or who they were. So I began a journey of figuring out how to live my life, visually, in hopes that one day future generations can see and feel who I was and the life I lived.

I would love to say I went on this long expedition to find the joy of my dreams. I'd like to say that I found the passion of photography in the hard work of the film lab in school and have loved taking photos for years... But I can't.

My photography career was started on Instagram, well Flickr I suppose. (cringe.)

I've since deleted most my old photos, which I kinda regret now, but I started out my Instagram career with photos of food, computer code, or a television. It wasn't quite the talk of the town, and even my wife would give me a hard time for how bad I was at social media. 

But everything began taking shape when I started connecting with the local community of people who love to take photos and be creative. I started taking photos of everything and would started changing.

Over the last three years, I found passions in sharing photos. I've found so much joy in letting people see the world the way I see it, and getting better at doing it along the way.

One day I hope my son looks back through my photos and sees the world that I saw. I hope it would show that I lived life to it's fullest. That's a path that I can finish and be satisfied in.

This is the journey of The Explorer Dad.

Joshua NessComment