All the pieces of my life do build into the complex puzzle of who I am today.
For me, my life has been a cycle of many different journeys. Basically, I can snap my life pictures into three bundles.
When I was young until around the time I turned 18, I lived my life in fear and resentment. Abused on several different levels, most of that time was spent as a shy person who didn’t seek to make new friends and just went by day to day. Wondering which day would hopefully be my last.
In 1995, a bad car accident landed me in the hospital with 18 hours worth of reconstructive surgery on my face. I had smashed my face against the steering wheel and dash. I had fallen asleep at the wheel, gone into the ditch and flipped over a driveway.
After feeling alone most of my young life, I began to realize the impact I had on those around me. As my room started filling with flowers, plants, balloons and cards, I began to see that maybe my family wasn’t the rude assholes standing in corners whispering how I was ruined and disfigured now.
Those 10 days in the hospital changed my life dramatically. The following days and weeks did too. As my family left me alone in a wheelchair, unable to get down the hall to use the bathroom or reach the top of my stove to cook myself a meal, I changed. I became determined to ask for help when I needed it. A new and foreign concept to me at the time.
Later in life, at 32 years old, my life took another turn. Now faced with the loss of a major chunk of my family (their choosing) and wondering where I went wrong, I started counseling for the first time. This is where I learned so much and I’m so grateful for the guidance I was given.
Thinking I was somehow flawed, I learned about narcissistic tendencies. I learned about mental, verbal and emotional abuse. I learned that I didn’t even know my own likes and dislikes.
My life has been filled with trying new things. I had focused most of my life trying to find the place I fit in, always with someone else rule book. I always liked my jobs but I never really had that excitement to get out of bed every morning.
I’ve worked all over the place in many different career paths. I’ve been a retail associate, a housekeeper at a hotel, a front desk clerk, a fly fishing instructor, newsprint advertising, a marketing rep, a car salesman, a used car buyer, a painter and I was still lost!
My counselor convinced me to go buy a little $30 point and shoot camera. I armed myself with a 3.1mp Kodak EasyShare camera. My mission was simple. I was to photograph anything and everything that interested me.
After the first couple of days, I found myself seeking out things that sparked my interest. I discovered my love of the countryside panaromas, barns, fields of flowers, sunrises and sunsets, and livestock. As time went on, I started feeling the pull of all this “stuff”.
As this progressed, I learned I loved calves and cows. The photos were plentiful. I would go visit people with dairy cows and horses. I would visit beef farms. Until one fateful day, I had the chance to try something very new.
I was given a calf. A calf all my own to raise. I had an area I could house and raise it. I got out of bed with excitement. I bottle fed, brushed and halter trained that little guy. I feel in LOVE!
My life is a culmination of trying new things. A new counselor led me to a camera and now I have a side career as an agricultural photographer. My love of motor sports has translated into photographing truck and tractor pulls, and sometimes you’ll find me at a race track photographing race cars.
My love of cattle and farms has lead me to building a farm from the ground up. From those fateful days of one lone steer to 42 head of cattle, a small poultry flock and now pigs.
That fateful counselor led me into a journey of self discovery. The discovery that I am and always will be a FARM GIRL.
All of those experiences from my past still play into what I do today. I market my farm and my photography work. I know how to retail my work. I know how to pleasantly answer phones and book farm visitors. I know what paints and stains are good for farm projects. I know how to shop for used goods from feeders to pickups.
Every new experience has given me new friends. I’ve gained so much knowledge and experience. It’s created a career in passionate about.
Don’t ever be afraid to step into the unknown, you never know what key it may hold to unlock another experience!