I had never collaborated with another photographer before so I was excited. Not to mention, their social media following was significantly larger than mine. They had an empire compared to my tiny village.
It was simultaneously the most unique and riveting experience to work with another artist. They had their own ideas and I had mine. They wanted to paint a picture and I wanted to tell a story. They valued darker hues and I preferred vibrant tones. In a mere few hours I was learning more from them than classes could ever teach me. It was a harmonious balance that was introducing my mind to new and unexplored ideas.
“You are different, you see things differently,” They said. “If you leave now, I can help show you the world.”
To have someone look you in the face and say, ‘I can give you the experience of a lifetime’ is a sentence I never envisioned myself saying no to. In fact, the memories of an unimaginably adventurous day still lingers in the back of my mind, but it would mean sacrificing one dream in pursuit of another. In other words, walking away from a career as a professional athlete.
We often refer to significant moments in our lives as chapters, doors, or paths; but lately it’s starting to feel more like a puzzle. A configuration of several small pieces that together, create a beautiful image. We all have an idea of what we want our picture to look like, but impatience sometimes drives us to force pieces where they don’t belong.
Rather than constantly picking up new pieces, focus on what’s before you. On the piece in your hand this very second. Embrace the challenge, view it as an opportunity to learn, and enjoy the journey of constructing your masterpiece.
For me, my puzzle is far from complete. In my hand rests a piece whose place is still undetermined. Perhaps it will further my football career, or change the picture entirely. Until then, I refuse to put it down until I’m absolutely certain I have found where it belongs. There is nothing worse than looking back consumed with would have, could have, and what if’s; disappointed with how your image turned out.