Imagine yourself the captain of a boat with a group of friends and family. You are caught out in a torrential storm of epic proportions. You’ve never seen anything like it in all of your years sailing amongst the waves. Amid the midst, rain, hail, and confusion, you see a titanic wave that you know will surely swallow your small boat and crew whole and push you to the deepest depths of the seaa where the souls of sailors of yore reside.
Everyone on the boat screams that you should turn the boat around at full throttle and try to outrun the wave. Your own weary mind starts playing the odds of whether you’d survive or not. Everyone on board begs you to turn around before it is too late.
But, your heart, soul, and every fibre of your being tells you to go full throttle straight into the waive and crest its top before it collapses on your small ship. Your family and friends begin to pull you away from the captains next, but you manage to fight them off. You look straight into the depths of the unforgiving wall that approaches like a lioness, quiet but deadly.
It is here that start the steadfast approach begins. The banging on the captains nest doors and screams do not distract your unending stare. It’s you against the wave. You know it is too late to turn around. You know in your heart that the only way to overcome this wave is to go over it.
There will be times in your life when only you will know what is best for you. Friends and family, though meaning well, will not always know what is right for you. Use their wisdom to help guide your way, but make your own decisions and carve your own path on this crazy planet.
I’ve been out for my second run of the day. Hang on, let me catch my breath…
The crystalline ice and snow was still glistening this morning, as I set out on a sunrise run. I love to run and walk. I can’t run as far as I used to be able to, but I still enjoy the challenge of gasping for air. I do my greatest thinking and problem solving, when I’m walking.
I realised something that a friend told me the other day was dead on accurate. You can’t make everyone happy. I went to college the first time for several reasons, but mainly because I was sick of being labelled the dumb hill billy. I finished that and was then the high tech lanky redneck. I still wasn’t good enough, so I went back to college and studied Criminal Justice.
I graduated the top of my class. I worked out a LOT. I worked in the field for several years and excelled at every challenge I was given. Then, I was labelled a dumb flat foot even though I knew more about the law and history than some of my professors and had an above average tested IQ. I still wasn’t good enough.
I spent time with the rich and powerful, and I was back to being a hill-billy. I begrudgingly played that role, but there comes a point when you have to be comfortable within yourself. I’ve been running for years, running from myself. I’m not rich, but I am better than the rich in many ways. My grandfather always said to be righteous in my indignation.
I am still learning. Life is full of lessons. People will try to put you in a box. Don’t let them. Be yourself. You can’t make everyone happy. I still try to impress every freaking day, but that is just part of who I am. 🙂
Be yourself. People that can’t appreciate that don’t deserve to be around you.
A camera has been my constant companion for over a decade. I started my own photography business in 2015. As expected, it was slow at first but it gradually picked up. By the winter of that year, it had slowed down to a trickle. I was desperately seeking work, and quite frankly, income. The only things free in life is the air we breath and light from the glorious sun.
At that time, I started working as an IT Consultant for my families business. I enjoyed working for them. I love my family and was grateful to get out of the corporate environment I had been in for years. I sorted every IT problem that I could and wasn’t really needed on a daily basis, so I wished them well and am now a free agent.
When a person works for someone else, their income is usually consistent. When you work for yourself, it is rarely consistent. It was time to go. I’m a much stronger and better person, when I have to be quick on my feet. I don’t have the option to sit back and pick and choose projects or clients. I am willing to work with anyone. I don’t have the benefit of a large surplus of cash to sit on, and I don’t believe in taking welfare from the government when I’m able to work. In other words, I better get to work!
What do I do?
I am a landscape, architectural, and portrait photographer. I cover several areas of photography. You have to today in order to survive. I sell landscape photographs on several stock photo sites, but I also do local portrait sessions, weddings, and events.
I also do photo retouching that usually consist of removing blemishes and color correction. I have been a constant user of Photoshop since the days of MS-DOS.
With the help of friends, I produce a weekly podcast about life, liberty, and the unending pursuit of happiness. That consist of setting up mics, setting up and managing the software and settings, audio editing in Adobe Audition, and publishing on the site as well as producing a video version for youtube in Premiere Pro CC. The podcast taught me about time management and logistics. At one time, we had co-hosts from the East Coast of the US, Ireland, and Australia. As you can imagine, managing the time table and getting everyone to show up at the same time in three different time zones can be a nightmare.
In addition, I have also written and published five travel photo books. Four of these are about Ireland, a project that took years to complete. I am still working on the last piece of the puzzle, a book of my adventures across the Emerald Isle and the misadventures I managed to get myself into over a decade.
My academic background is varied. I started out majoring in IT Security. I love all forms of tech, so it was right up my alley. After a few years, however, I started to hate the idea of spending the rest of my life in a dark room staring at monitors. I love the outdoors too much to dedicate the majority of my remaining days in a cubicle or server room. That may sound vain to some, but it is a matter of choice. I passed every class and certs with an “A”, so it wasn’t a matter of failing. I was minoring in Art at the same time.
At that time, my family was having some problems, so I did somewhat of a 180 and changed my major to Criminal Justice. I minored in Forensics, so there was still technology involved. I graduated with honors in less than two years. It was a great decision. I had some of the best professors you could ask for. Though we had heated debates, most of them always welcomed debate on the Constitution.
Some people have asked me why I stopped running a blog and writing regularly. I managed a blog and wrote regularly from 2005 through to 2013, almost a decade. I also produced a podcast with friends from 2005 to 2012. At the time of the ending of the blog and podcast, I was finishing up my last year of University. To put it mildly, I was burn out. The toll of a full-time job, academic life (sleepless nights with books and Earl Grey), a social life, the blog, and the podcast was too much.
Since giving all of that up, I finished up my college days and worked for various organizations, universities, and media groups. I also run my own tiny photography business, but like so many other people in the field, it’s not profitable these days. Not to say that you can’t be successful at it, but it takes years upon years of mere starvation to build up a customer base big enough to sustain a business. I still love it, but at this point, it is just the occasional side income.
For a while now, I have wanted to start another blog. I have been talking to friends about it for a while, but even though I have a varied background in everything from photography to criminal justice, I didn’t know where to start or what subject to concentrate my efforts on.
To give a minute bit of background about one subject I will be covering frequently, I caught spinal meningitis as an infant while in the hospital. I’m not crying about it, but because of that, I have several health problems that will be with me until the end. I have hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, and Addison’s disease to name a few.
Due to a multitude of health problems, I am also dyslexic. This is just an annoyance. When I was in college and writing papers and doing the blog, I managed to rewire my brain into working correctly. Back then, I could type out a perfectly coherent and accurate ten page report in less than an hour. My writing ability has trailed off severely since those golden days of yore.
I was talking with a friend that’s a doctor yesterday about the trouble I’ve been having in the last year or so. She said that there was a study published recently that proved that writing regularly actually helps the brain fight the effects of aging and slow down the progression of common problems like dyslexia. She didn’t bother giving me the name of the study, but if I find it, I’ll link it here.
Her exact words were, “Write it, damn you, write it! What else are you good for?” I laughed at the Joyce reference.
Having health problems is not an excuse for me, nor should it be for you. Take those problems and use them to your advantage. Giving up is easy, overcoming barriers is hard. I’ve published five books. I graduated at the top of my class, even though my family was told not to bother because I would never live long enough for education to matter. I have been to more places and done more than most people with no health issues. I’ve been dead twice and have been told on multiple occasions that I’d never live this long, yet here I am. I was told twelve years ago that I’d be in a wheelchair in five years, yet I’m still walking and running. Bust through barriers and make the most out of life!
I’m going to do exactly what she suggested and what I’ve been wanting to do for a while, write. I’m going to write every week day. Some posts may be about politics and the impending repeal of the AFA (Obamacare). Other days, I may write a personal story. One way or another, I have to do it.
It may take me a while to get back in the swing of things, but it will get better. I’m not going to worry about stats, as I did so much in the past. I’m just going to write. What else am I good for other than photography?