You've probably all seen the end of term pictures on social media. The GCSE students have celebrated the end of school by wearing ball gowns, prom dresses & suits. Arriving in buses, limos, tractors and sleek cars. Seeing them all dressed to impress reminded me of all those feelings I had when I left school and I got a shock when I worked out that it was 19 years ago in my case.
When I left school I chose to stay on and complete my A Levels. I enjoyed it ...... and the social life too but academia never came naturally to me. I was that child who always had the comment on her school report that read "always tries hard and attempts all her work with a smile." I was good at sports and got picked for the teams but really if anyone had asked me what I wanted from life my answer would have been "to be happy."
So, at the grand old age of 35 I've found my thing. I love photography and the reality is that without knowing it or acknowledging it I have always been a creative sort of a person. Did I know what I wanted to do with my life at 16 or 18? No. Do most people? No, probably not.
So what is it like to be a creative person like me? I watch human interaction and my fingers ache to hold a camera and capture that image. I'll be driving along and have to stop the car to take a picture of what I see. It might be a rusty warehouse door, a gate with a field behind it, fluffy clouds or a dramatic sky. I take endless random pictures with no idea what I am going to do with them just because they appeal to me. Thank goodness I don't have to share a computer with hubby, he would go mad.
I'll often stay up until 2am editing a gallery of images because I don't want to walk away from what I have started.
I also go through periods where my brain hurts because I have so much stuff I want to do, attempt or visit. Whilst our girls are small this is a tough one for me, I have a restless energy about me, I need to get out and photograph but I have to balance this with family life.
I am incredibly fortunate that I followed my gut instinct. I knew deep down that I would love photography and that first camera I had reinforced that feeling. It's taken me a while to listen to that inner voice and trust that it won't lead me astray.
To all those of you leaving school, good luck, the world is your oyster. Wherever it takes you and whatever path it leads you along is just another experience that will shape you. There is no right and wrong.