Key West… here we are.
We returned to the US on the 5th, to be greeted by the humid Miami air. Deplaning, while carrying 5 pieces of carry-on luggage, only to go find your 5 pieces of checked luggage, all while in a very different time zone, and carrying a 19lb(?) baby, can wear on one’s serenity. But we succeeded, found ourselves a rental car, and drove to Palm City to stay with the friends we would be shooting weddings with a few days later in Key West.
After a great two week trip of work, family, and traveling around England, Wales, and Scotland, I was sad to leave, though I know hubby was ready for the next chapter of our journey. If I had two lifetimes to live, I’d live my other one in England. But we make choices, follow priorities, and have responsibilities that don’t always allow us to do things just as we want. For example, if we moved to England, our Monkey would see her grandparents even less than she already does. So we have chosen to make family priority over geography (hell, we already live in California, while my parents live in NYC, so we’ve clearly already pushed our parents past priority #1).
My father is from England, and my sister and I have dual-citizenship. Though we were born and raised in the US, we have always felt like England was our second home. When our grandmother passed in ’96, it wasn’t just her that we lost, but a connection to our second homeland that could only be slightly retrieved by making more trips across the pond than usual, and working to strengthen our bond with the more distant relatives. Needless to say, this last trip over there was a great example of that. Monkey got to meet her 97yr old great, great aunt, three of her cousins, and visit her great grandmother and great grandfather’s graves. We have such a small extended family that I’m putting in the extra, extra effort to give her a true relationship with her England family.
Shooting the Parkinson’s conference in Glasgow for our video production company, Little Feet Productions, is going to be a good addition to our portfolio, as was shooting an Indian wedding yesterday for N Johnston Photography, our other company. Sometimes it hits me how sudden this new entrepreneurialship of ours is. It was only last year that I was teaching 8th grade, while hubby was a freelance video editor for reality TV. Now we are saddled with beautiful baby, and two companies that we started, and run, and are now traveling across the hemispheres for. I don’t get up at the alarm clock anymore and sit through 40-min of traffic out of the Valley and into Santa Monica. Monkey is my alarm clock, and I go to work on my computer to log content for the conference video I produced that hubby shot, or I try to find us new clients. Hubby goes to his computer and edits wedding photos, or wedding videos, or promotional videos, or whatever it was he most recently shot.
And then comes the ego. Starting a new career in your thirties is humbling at the least. Having your talents outweigh your lack of experience is the hope, while stumbling and having to ask “stupid” questions is sometimes the reality. Explaining to your friends of ten years that you’re flying to another country to engage in a career that they kind-of-remember-you-mentioning-once-before is odd-feeling. Working a job at an international conference that is a notch above the comfort zone of your abilities is intimidating at best.
So you do better than your best, and you smile confidently to hide the fear. You jump into it headfirst because you know you’re good enough, because you know your family needs it, and because (unless you believe in that kind of stuff) you only have this life to live, and you make choices, follow priorities, and have responsibilities that sometimes make you have to start over in your 30-somethings.