“You’re fired”…. No I was not watching our current president on his former reality show… I was putting dishes in the dishwasher that belonged to the home where I was a live-in nanny. It was April 3rd 2014. The time was around four oclock. I was tired like I was everyday for the past 367 days of taking care of three young children from 7am til 7pm. I heard the door open and the mom came in sat down and the rest is a blur. I was told to leave that day.. That’s right I had to pack up all of my stuff and thanks to very understanding parents move back home… I remember crying from the New York State line til the New Britain townline. Like I do whenever I have a bad day I buried my head into a pillow and blasted some music… I put on my favorite group JohnnySwim, who had just released a new song that had a line the pretty much helped me compose myself and get on with my life….
“You’ve taken down
So many others
Oh but you’ll know my name when you see
And in these ashes I’m stronger still
You’ll learn to fear my pain, yeah you will.”
I had to make the choice: I can get bitter or I can get better… I chose Better… The job may have left a scar but it also let a pretty good severance. I ended up purchasing a DSLR camera to make makeup videos… I was not good….
The Year of Try
Since I had a good severance and had saved a good amount of money I decided that I would try as much as I could… I have always loved photographs.. In fact whenever I visited a new home I would always look at the pictures. I love how the stages of life are displayed.. My favorite movies are coming of age stories like My Girl, Stand by Me, and The Sandlot.
Every year up til 2014 I would take my sister’s girls (G and E) to get their photos for christmas done.That year was different because I needed to save money, but I did had a semi pro camera and Christmas decorations. It was a half day of school and 70 degrees. It did not go as easy as it looked. The girls were being well.. kids. My sister had to go into the livingroom to watch tv because the stress brought on by their behavior was too much. I learned the art of cropping real quick. I remember using Pic Monkey to edit my photos, and if you know anything about photography that is like using a microwave to cook steak. Then I did what every person does with photos .. I put them on Facebook. Not to show off my skills, but because that is just what we do with photos now.
The Phone Call
I was sitting at my laptop watching a video about how to shoot in manual, and my cell phone rang… It was my sister and she said “Hey I wanted to tell you something”. Now up until then every phone call I had received in 2014 didn’t involve good news. With baited breathe I waited for her to continue. She continued with “Danielle (her sister in law) said that you are such an amazing photographer and you should pursue it”. If you know Danielle she does not throw out compliments easily. I thought and prayed about and decided to pursue it.
Are You Getting Your Certification?
Starting a business is not easy and most of the time you need to work a job that you hate until you can do what you love… I actually love being a substitute … I love picking my own schedule and I truly love the students. And it’s a job that allows me to make money during the slow season… I know it doesnt make a lot but that’s not why I do it. I do it because I believe a part of my purpose in life is to be an example to kids who grew up just like me. I want them to see that a black woman can own her own business., be educated, and a hard worker..
I get asked all of the time why I don’r go to school for my certification …. One because I am not trying to get into further debt (sally mae and I have a long term relationship already), but I want to be a stay at home mom some day…. Like I said in the beginning I was a live in nanny I was with those children 80% more than their parents so they could do the job they love.. I saw the sacrifice these people had to make.. I am also a home body the fact I spend most of my business in sweats listening to the music I want to listen to Is amazing to me. I like that I get to go with my nieces to the park at a moments notice. I like that I can do album design while watching the Giants beat the Cowboys in a hoodie.
Would I like the consistent income… of course… but I wouldn’t be happy and feel successful. What makes me happy is the thought of earning on my own terms. What makes me successful is seeing a former fifth grader get a big smile on his face when he sees me at his youth football game. I like not having staying late on a Wednesday for a staff meeting, or data team, or mandatory events, when I can spend it with my friends and family, grocery shopping (which I love doing), or going to the gym before the post work day rush. I get the best of both worlds, so why would I mess that up ;).
So what is my why….
1. I love doing it …
2. I am living with my future in mind by using what I learned from the past
3. I like having options
4. I love working in sweatpants
5. I dont want to go into further debt
6. I love that text that says “you showed who we really are through your pics”…
Pretty good reasons if you ask me…
Til next time