Why I Do The Things I DO

Some people would look at the life I’ve lived and say, “She never grew up”. And they would probably mean that I‘ve led my life doing the things that I’ve wanted to do, but not necessarily what I was expected to do according to our culture’s norm. They would be right in that I have pursued my passions and pretty much have done what I’ve wanted to do. Not irresponsibly or selfishly at the detriment to others but actually to the benefit of others.

For example I didn’t go straight through four years of college after graduating high school. I left after my sophomore year and took off on my travels. I eventually went back to college and graduated – when I wanted to – when I was ready to get the most out of it. And when I graduated from Brooks Institute in the mid 70’s and headed to New York to pursue a career in photojournalism at a time when the publishing business was in bad economic shape – everyone told me I was crazy. I guess I was crazy if my goal was to make a lot of money,

Gail-Peace Hotel, Shanghai,China - 1983

but as much as I didn’t want to be poor, my main motivation wasn’t money. I had a desire to document the world through my camera.

These days I go to parties where people my age are talking about their kids who for the most part have just graduated from college. I over hear people talking about getting their kids connected with the “right people” to get the “right jobs” and it’s perfectly understandable – everyone wants their kids to live a comfortable and fulfilling life. But sometimes those two things compete with one another.

I never really understood the concept of the “right people” or the “right jobs” – I just followed the path that I was drawn to – always have. But I’ve also been open to the possibilities in life and was naïve enough to pursue my dreams to the fullest extent. Some things have worked out – some haven’t And ironically, the projects that I’ve pursued with a passion that certainly didn’t look like moneymakers on paper, have turned out to yield the most financial rewards and recognition.

I’ve never had a real job with a boss except for the one-year I assisted a studio photographer when I first got out of school. I doubt that at my age that will ever happen, but you never know. I’m open to the possibilities of life. In fact I’m ready to take off again for a 99 day journey around the world working on a documentary – a passion project. Please follow my journey at Opening Our Eyes.

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2 Replies to “Why I Do The Things I DO”

  1. So true! So inspiring! Just found your blog a few days ago… very nice stuff. Maybe we can collaborate on some projects in future. I wish you all the best with “Opening your eyes”!!! Greetz from Austria!

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