The other day, I received my annual bill for my HECS debt (student loan from the government to pay for uni, I guess, if one is not from Australia). I’m a stay-at-home-mummy, and have been for the last three and a half years, but prior to that, I was at uni for ten years, completing two (and a half degrees). Boy, do they add up when you don’t have an income for the government to pilfer their money back from, yet the debt earns interest every year. Yikes. Think five figures starting with a four.
This sent me into a small tailspin of depression and anxiety on what my life is, and where I want it to go. I studied commerce at uni, and worked as an accountant for four years, from public practice, to forensic accounting, to commercial accounting. And then on to babies. Realistically, I can barely remember how one does accountant. I’ve always assumed I would return to accounting when I was ready, but for the past few months, the desire has dwindled.
I was actually a pretty good accountant. I had a great eye for details, understood the concepts easily, picked things up quickly, and I guess I enjoyed it. However, I think part of the the reason I feel I should go back to it is because of the aforementioned HECS debt, and the hard work I put into finishing uni.
Well, the work. Let’s not understate my academic laziness.
In light of this career crisis, I started to think of all the things I haven’t yet accomplished in my life, and things I’m yet to experience. Not nampy-pamby touchy-feely stuff, actual tangible things. Then I wrote them down. Here they are:
1. Become a photographer
2. Live overseas (short-term)
3. Go to Europe
4. Go to the U.S.
5. Do our house renovations
6. Own a grand piano
7. Become a jogger, and look and feel my best physical self (not necessarily related)
8. Grow a veggie garden
9. Learn how to cook well
10. Learn another language
I’m sure there are more I can and should add, and ten was an arbitrary number, but these were the first ones that came to mind the other day.
A few months ago, my sister emailed me and suggested that I should look into becoming a professional photographer. I dismissed the idea at first. But she planted a seed that grew, and I realised that I LOVE taking photos, particularly portraits of children, and I can’t imagine a better way to pass my days then spending them taking photos.
Of course, there’s the issue that I’m simply just not good enough to become a photographer yet. Even a few months ago, my technical knowledge was woeful. “What’s that button do…” In light of this desire, I have actually buckled down and learned the concepts, and all of the function on my camera, so I feel like I at least have more of an idea on what I’m doing now. My wonderful, darling husband bought me a Canon 60D for Valentines Day this year, to upgrade for our very reliable but somewhat outdated Canon 350D.
For the past few years, I’ve been using the 350D with our 50mm f1.8 lens attached. Unfortunately, due to a dropping incident (this is why I can’t have nice things), the prime lens split in half. I’ve since been learning how to use the kit lens and my husband’s beloved EF 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 USM lens. A little strange to learn how to use a wide-angle lens after using a DSLR for three years, but I’m getting used to it. I have been promised a replacement 50mm f1.8 lens at some point, which I can’t wait for. As far as portraits go, the 50mm lens just feels like home to me.
I am very aware how rare it is to be a successful professional photographer in this day and age, particularly with the number of mummy-photographers and fauxtographers out there. I can only hope for the best. If it doesn’t pan out to be a career, I know I’ll still be taking photos of my family and friends on the weekends, and hopefully they’ll be the best photos I can take.
For my number one goal, when I say “become a photographer”, I don’t necessarily mean a paid photographer, but I would love to feel confident enough in my skills that I could say to someone, “I’m a photographer”.
So this little blog is my journal about completing my life goals, primarily my photographic dreams. With a little bit of focus and determination, I think I can get through all of them.