Photographer Joie Takaki is pursuing her dream of building her own business. In this guest blog series, she shares her journey from beginner to expert with us.
I love seeking secret messages from the universe. Call it what you want, but I do believe that life sends you messages in the most indirect, non-obvious ways. You just have to open your eyes, ears and heart in order to notice the messages.
Back in March, I was thinking about pursuing a business in photography. In fact, I had been thinking about pursuing my dreams for a good while. There was a burning desire haunting me to take the next step, and yet, the other half of me was filled with endless fears and self-doubt. Mostly, all I could visualise was that I was here (at the very bottom), and they (the pro photographers) were up there (twinkling with the stars). And it seemed impossible. Just a dream… Like a human dreaming of someday walking on the moon…
I was petrified of taking that next step, so I decided to do something a bit ‘gutsy' to shake myself out of my comfort zone.
I felt like I had to get away, and see the world from a different respective. So, I went to Bulgaria and spent a week snowboarding. Turns out, it was just what I needed!
The entire time I was in Bulgaria, the weather was mostly blizzard-like conditions, making the visibility non-existent, the terrain extremely challenging, and the experience adrenaline pumping, even for more experienced riders. Mr Frost was definitely setting up an eery atmosphere and an epic experience I won't ever forget…
One day, in the gondola on our the way up the mountain, a young couple in their mid-twenties climbed in to join us. They were beginner snowboarders and we enjoyed a brief chit chat about what brought us each to this side of the world to ride. As the gondola raised us high into the peaks of the mountains, the young couple watched the snowboarders whizzing smoothly down the slopes, their dreamy eyes filled with amazement and wonder.
‘I don't know how they do it! They look so amazing and make it look so effortless! I wish I could be like them one day!', the young chap stated.
In the world of winter sports, especially if you are just starting out, it can feel like there are only two sides: the beginners versus the experts.
Then it hit me, that statement sounded so familiar! And suddenly I found myself reminiscing… I'd been there myself. I once said those very words! I remembered the fear of the insane drops, being terrified of the catwalks, and scared witless to continue after each fall that felt like I just broke every bone in my body.
And now, here I am, going down black diamonds and off piste!
(For those of you not familiar with skiing trail signs, black diamond is the most difficult trail to take, while off piste means going beyond any marked trails).
On the other hand, I also remember all the cool riders who tried to teach me a trick or two to help speed up my learning curve. Or those who were encouraging by challenging me to join them on rides in the outback, when I wasn't at all ready. Then, there were those bullies who would plough past me, leaving a thick sheet of snow that covered me from head-to-toe (I am sure they were laughing and enjoying it as they passed), and even worse, the ones that were reckless and rammed right into me, like a truck collision, while others came over to offer a gracious hand to help me up.
So, I shared my experiences with the couple.
And I added, ‘One day, someone else is going to be sitting right there, where you are, and saying that about YOU! How about that? It will be extremely painful the first few years. You'll learn at your own pace, but just remember to make it enjoyable and never give up.'
Then I had a pivotal moment! I could certainly use some of my own advice when it came to building my business as well! For every beginner out there pursing a dream, we need to remember that everything has a life cycle. Everyone has been a beginner, and everyone has been an expert, at something.
I repeated my OWN advice to MYSELF about MY own dreams:
‘One day, someone else is going to be sitting right there, where you are, and saying that about YOU! How about that? It will be extremely painful the first few years. You learn at your own pace, but just remember to make it enjoyable and never give up.'
Then my attention turned back to the young couple. This time it was a different; there was hope gleaming in their eyes. They were smiling as they continued to watch the riders on the slopes, their faces glowing with wishful thinking. But I knew, if they won't give up, they will become just as great!
So, which side are you on? The starters, or the experts, or the in between? The side that laughs and makes it difficult for anyone ‘below' you? Or the kind that encourages and inspires others to believe that they too, can be great?
In the spirit of Her Lovely Heart, I'd like to close my first post with a quote, which I find inspiring.
‘When we face what's holding us back, we open ourselves up to a brilliant new way of living.' – Unknown
All images by Joie Takaki.