For the first twenty-nine years of my life, I was merely a bystander of my life, dictated by narratives and beliefs which were either untrue or were given to me. The body of the college rugby team's captain disappeared leaving a 310 pound pre-diabetic mess in its place. Each vow to lose weight barely budged the scale. Trading stocks and mutual funds failed to deliver the happiness advertised. Pure effort compensated for fact that each job failed to nourish my soul. The mental/spiritual debts continued to mount with each successive year. Happiness and joy were spent to maintain the mad pursuit for riches.
The happy-go-lucky version of me had long disappeared leaving a brooding miserable shell of a man. Anger smoldered just under the surface waiting for the smallest reason to ignite. I barely recognized the person I had become.
I reached the breaking point and decided to fight back.
The weekends became the needed respite to search for a lifeline. I threw myself into any creative pursuit that caught my interest. I taught myself to draw (still fairly bad but getting better) and built two tables. Rather than spending the evening watching TV, I devoured any book on business, imagination, and creativity. I worked as hard on myself as I did for my employer. All the processed food in the house went into the trash. Being tired was no longer a valid excuse. All the work prepared the foundation for when I picked my camera back up.
Photography pulled me out of this death spiral. I rediscovered that which nourishes my soul. I first fell in love in my college darkroom pulling the first roll of film out of the developing tank. My roommate and I ran all over western PA creating images. Unfortunately, I bought into the “you can't make money in the arts” fallacy as I graduated and headed down the ill-fated banking route.
Six weeks after the birth of my son, Miles, I quit trading stocks and mutual funds for Bank of New York Mellon to chase my dream of being a photographer. I did not have a website. I had never sold a print to anyone other than my family and friends. My art had never appeared in a single gallery or magazine. I broke every piece of sound business advice available in the entrepreneurial section of your local bookstore. This was the down-payment for my release from another man's dream.
The decision to quit a well-paying job was difficult, yet I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that quitting was my only decision. I hurled myself off the cliff with no view of what lies below, but only the faith that I would reunite with my true self during the descent and together we could figure it out.
Join me as I create my own path.