Hard. Exciting. Scary. Fun. Nerve-wracking. Awkward. Exhilarating. Anxiety inducing.
Change is a lot of things. One thing it’s not is easy.
I have a lot of changes happening in my life right now, but they all seem to be hinging on other decisions and outcomes. So while I know something new is in store for me around the corner, I don’t know quite what that knew thing is or even when I’ll arrive at this proverbial corner.
With deep consideration, prayer, and consultation with my supervisors, friends, and family, I’ve made the decision to set and end date for my position in charge of program at Camp Kinasao. When I signed on for the 16-month internship to begin in May of 2015, I knew that it would have the potential of turning into a permanent position but I was never really sure how long I was planning to stay. You can read more about my perspective as I started this internship in blog posts here and here.
The past two summers (and the winter in between) have consisted of a lot of hard work, proud moments, mistakes, anxiety, fun, stress, community, successes, and most importantly growth. When the time came this fall to decide weather I would continue into the role of Program Director there were a lot of factors that came into play.
Some related directly to me being at camp. Am I the best person for the job? Can I do better next summer? Is this in the best interest of the camp? Is outdoor ministry where my passions lie? Does the stress of the job overpower the amazing moments I get to be a part of? Is God calling me to stay here? Is this what I was made for?
Others questions I thought of were more about my options if I decided to leave. Can I book enough weddings to dedicate my time solely to photography? If not, where else will I work? If I stay at camp, am I missing out on a prime time when people I know are getting married and looking for photographers? How amazing would it be to have a normal life (for me that means any job consisting of less than 70 hours a week) in the city for the summer? But what would leaving Kinasao say about my character and loyalty? And how will I deal with being away from this community?
When answers to all of these questions were considered and then reconsidered I concluded that it is time for me to move on from summer camp life and invest more fully into my goal of becoming a self-sustaining photographer. We decided on a March transition date, as it works well for the camp and gives me more consistent work throughout the winter. I end up in tears nearly every time I think about being away from Kinasao this summer. That place has been my most constant home for the past 6 years and it’s hard to know that I won’t be there to put into action everything I’ve been dreaming of for summer 2017.
It’s sad and it’s hard but at the same time my future with photography excites me so much. Wedding photography has been a dream of mine since the 5th grade and diving into it full time thrills me. I can’t wait to be able to finally say YES when clients ask if I'm available for their summer wedding.
Another change in my personal life includes finally committing to a church to attend and be involved in. I've visited this church (along with many others in Saskatoon) a few times throughout the past year and have decided that it was time to stop moving around and pick a place to start calling home.
In addition I have begun volunteering with a local youth group in Riversdale, one of Saskatoon's core neighbourhoods, each Friday evening. I'm excited to get to know these young people, building relationships with them while offering support as they navigate through life and faith.
Oh, and there’s one more thing.
I have applied for the full-time yearlong position of being the 2017 Saskatchewanderer.
This job consists of creating a schedule for the year before hitting the road to discover and share why Saskatchewan is the best place to live, work, and play. If successful, I will be traveling all over the province, taking photographs, creating videos, and writing articles about what makes Saskatchewan so unique. It’s a position I’ve dreamed of since its start in the summer of 2011 and I genuinely believe that everything I’ve learned in the past 6 years through my travels, education, and career combine to make me a great candidate. I’ve sent in my video application (seen above) and am waiting (im)patiently in hopes of my phone ringing for an interview.
If I am able to receive this opportunity of a lifetime I will be finishing at Kinasao as early as January 1st. All of the bittersweet feelings overcome me at this thought. The anxiety of the unknown is not at all something I enjoy, but I keep reminding myself that there can be peace it waiting. In knowing that I'm doing all that I can today and leaving tomorrow for tomorrow.
It may be a little early to be ringing in the New Year, but cheers to 2017 and whatever changes it may bring. Because most of all, change is necessary.