January 23, 2019
In high school I took a class called “Entrepreneurship.” I like to think this is when I really started to dream creatively about my future, I wanted to be an Event Planner. At the beginning stages of this class we took a test to see what role would best suit us. This test just confirmed what I already knew, I was a leader. And no – I don’t say that in a world domination, self-conceited kind of way. I say that as a visionary, creative and part perfectionist with a borderline obsession for details. When a creative task is set in front of me, my wheels start turning and I come alive – I am in the zone!
Our first project was to create a product and then a business plan. I don’t know how we settled on it, but my group came up with the bright idea of, wait for it…. Capri Sun Purses. The amount of Capri Suns that were drank, then eventually sliced open and wasted were endless. The process was a lot; cutting the bottom off without damaging the front, cleaning, drying, sewing, lining, etc.I wish I could say the payoff was just as much. The money that was made went back into our class’ account and onto the next project we went.
Two more projects followed, one of which was The Frosty Open. You should be reading that in the same exact way you would “The Catalina Wine Mixer.” Yes, that’s right – The Frosty Open. Because that’s how it felt to us high schoolers running the show, driving around golf carts making sure everything was running smoothly. I was on top of the world and in my element. This event was most definitely what drove me to want to become an Event Planner. To see all our hard work and planning come to life, at that time it was indescribable. Plus, it benefited a great cause and the cherry on top – we were then featured! OK, maybe it was just in the Daily Courier, but my Mom saved the newspaper clipping so that’s something special.
Creating did not stop there. The next year, I was chosen for the role of Editor in Chief for my high school yearbook. This, THIS was my Godsend my Senior year, my literal saving grace. I didn’t have many friends my last year of high school, so to have the yearbook as a creative outlet AND the yearbook room to spend all my free time in – it was magical. To be honest, I would have been happy to have spent all my time in there that year, perfecting every single page. Mrs. Roadman can vouch for that. She may or may not have had a talk with me a few times about how I can not do it ALL, even though I so badly wanted to.
High school ended and college was soon approaching. Do you want to know what I ended up choosing to major in? Watch out, there’s a curve ball coming. Forensic Accounting. Wow, OK.
As much as I wanted to walk down my creative path, I was so unsure. What did I have a better chance landing a job as once college was said and done, Event Planner or uhm Accountant? I chose what I considered to be the safe route, Accounting. I struggled to pour my time into something my heart was not in. I was not the best student, I was constantly being snapped at by Professor Bocchini to keep me from nodding off in the middle of class. I am pretty sure the only reason he remembered my name was because he saw me on the news one time over Easter break, after almost being struck by a car selling flowers at a road side stand. “What do you think would have happened had that car not hit the pole?” the newscaster asked. “Well, it would have hit me.” Genius answer Rebecca, genius.
I made it through college after trying to revive my GPA during my Junior and Senior year, realizing that I would need at least a 3.0 to be considered for any job worth having. Graduation came and there was no plan in sight. I applied and applied and filled my time with working at that same roadside stand I was almost struck dead at years before. There is nothing more discouraging than continuously putting yourself out there and always seeing that you’re not qualified because you need more experience. Well, I’m a college grad, of course I don’t have three years’ experience for this entry level position. Most of us have been through it and have the student loan debt to back it up. Eventually I found myself interviewing for a temp agency. Temporary is better than no job at all, right?
I got a call, there was a job opening; it was a temporary position with potential to be hired on as full time. Truthfully, all I heard was university, budgets, central office and I was sold – sign me up! About two weeks after my temping position begun, they filled it. Great. But, by the grace of God they decided to make another position available and I was later hired on as full time. I liked my job, mostly because of the people and constant plethora of food brought in, there was no occasion needed in order to celebrate. But something was missing.
I have always known I was meant for more than sitting behind a desk, doing something I wasn’t in love with.
And then it happened, I got engaged. Of course, every little girl dreams of the day they’ll get married, have their Daddy walk them down the aisle in a white dress, and spend the rest of the night celebrating with all their closest friends and family. But this was my ultimate dream – to plan a wedding. Spending the rest of my life with my best friend and gaining a husband was a major plus, but the thought of all the intricate details, coordinating linens, cookie table and vintage accessories really made my heart flutter. For those of you reading thinking, “this girl wanted a wedding not a husband” – so not true. I love my husband and am so happy to have had that day with him and more importantly, the rest of our days together. But, come on guys – I wanted to be an Event Planner! This was my JAM.
There was no question when it came to planning, I had a vision and I was going to execute it to the best of my ability – or uhm to the best of our budget. I was constantly asked by family and bridesmaids what I needed them to do. “I have it all taken care of,” I always answered. Time flew and the day drew near. I had taken the week prior off work to tie up any loose ends and ensure the day of ran seamlessly.
On August 4th, I married my best friend and it went off without a hitch. We had gorgeous weather, delicious food and me, personally – probably a little too much to drink. All in all, it was a memorable day, but it was over.
If you don’t believe in Post Wedding Depression, I am here to assure you, it is a thing. After spending the last year of my life planning for one special day and having it be over just like that – you’re left with a bunch of packed up boxes of décor you’ll never use again, a tux to be returned, a dress to be sent off to be preserved and nothing but pictures, that you haven’t received yet, to remember it by. With out those pictures, quite honestly, the memories are a blur (and no, not because of the drinks but because it goes by so fast).
Because of this day and all the other events surrounding it, I decided to lay my dream to rest. Event Planning, while I may thrive and enjoy doing it – it is far too exhausting for me to ever want to call it a career. With that thought, I started looking into comfier chairs because I was going to be sitting behind a desk a little while longer while I figured out my craft.
It wasn’t until we received our full wedding gallery that it clicked for me. While I absolutely love our wedding photos, the documentation of the meticulous details that my heart fluttered over, and I spent time putting together were missing. There was no capture of the H above the entry way, my invitation suite laid out beautifully, a close-up of the drapery gathered together on the stairs, or of my Mom and I before the sweat stains appeared after dancing half the night away.
When planning a wedding, have you ever been told no one notices those the little details? Well, they’re right. But I did and I wanted them to be captured. Now, I know my attention to detail is a bit abnormal, but I was left wondering how many other brides are left feeling this way after their big day. This is something I couldn’t let pass me by – a calling I felt true in my heart.
So, I bought a camera.
I bought a camera that I didn’t know how to work, so I educated myself. The camera sat in the box for weeks until I was confident in my abilities to manually work it. This isn’t a thing that you just pick up and immediately know how to work a DSLR camera. It’s taken a lot of practice and pictures of my dogs to feel comfortable and even now, I strive to educate myself daily.
In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what would come of this camera, if anything I finally had something other than an iPhone to help document our life together. But like I said, I felt it on my heart. And if you’ve never felt something on your heart, you don’t know but I’m sure you have. It’s a feeling you cannot kick. So, what do you do? I’ll tell you what I did, I trust and just let it happen. By letting it happen I mean I put some serious work into doing the dang thing. This has been months in the making, and I couldn’t be happier with the result – Margaret James Photography.
If you’re still reading and you are someone other than my husband, Mom or a friend I sent this link to and forced to read then bless you, seriously.
The moral of my story is just this, you are exactly where you are meant to be. Dreams change, goals change, and you grow.
God has perfect timing and if you are wanting more for your life and are doing everything in your power to make it happen or waiting for the right opportunity, it will come but just be open to it.
The Scenic Route
Welcome to the MJP Blog! I'm Rebecca, a wedding and portrait photographer, based right outside of Pittsburgh, PA. I hope you grab some coffee and enjoy viewing my latest work while getting a little peek into my life!
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