What a wedding photographer did for me

In 2011, a friend of mine who knew I was interested in photography suggested I check out Katelyn James, a young wedding photographer. At that time I had no idea how important Katelyn would end up being in my life. 
For about 3 years after that, I was convinced that I was destined to be a wedding photographer. Not only that, I was going to be the next coming of Katelyn James. (Take it easy on me, I was in the middle of an early onset quarter life crisis.) It didn’t matter that I wasn’t physically capable of being a full time wedding photographer, or that my personality was entirely different from hers. All I was focused on was how much her blog posts (this is the one that started it all) and her photos inspired me, and that I wanted to do that for others. It wasn’t until I had been at my current office job for over a year, and gone through the depression associated with realizing that my disability would prevent me from achieving this dream, that it hit me. 
My purpose is not to be a photographer. It is not to model my personality off of someone I didn’t know beyond their internet persona. My purpose is much different, but equally as important. For years people have thanked me for the small bits of insight into the life of someone with a disability that I offered through my social media. The time has come for me to transform that into something more meaningful. 

 

My best friend Melissa and I with Katelyn and her husband Michael
 
After 5 years, I was able to meet Katelyn and hear her speak just over a week ago, and she said something that really resonated with me: pain has purpose. My struggles with my disability (and with life in general) offer many teachable moments for myself and for others. I truly hope that by sharing both the good and the bad parts of my story I am able to help even one person – with or without a disability. I’m fairly certain that that is my purpose. 

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2 thoughts on “What a wedding photographer did for me”

  1. I have only read a little bit of your story but I am already intrigued and inspired. When I realized that my mental and physical health issues were not a curse but something I could use to help others, I, like you, found my purpose. I hope you stop by my blog sometime. Our situations are quite different; however, there is an intertwining theme! ­čÖé

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