- Movie editor (No, really. I did. I used to hook two VCRs and my stereo together and edit home movies complete with transitions, titles and music tracks.)
- Cetologist. Points for you if you know what that is without looking it up.
Today I found myself thinking of how amazed I am at where I sit right now. In fact, I'll show you:
Here is what I'm watching on my screen:
If you can't tell, it's all the windows of Premier Pro, a movie-editing application. Contained therein are the guts of an instructional video I just made, being rendered into a single entity onto my hard drive so I can upload it to Vimeo, where, on Friday, it will debut as the first content for sale on the new website I am launching with my dear friend Gwen.
I've been working on it full tilt for about a month, and it's good to see it be a whole piece, rather than just the bits I've been peering at all these weeks. It took endless tweaking and much moving (in tiny, tiny increments) of those Adobe sliders I know so well. The next one will be easier, as will the next one after that, and so on.
When I consider my life so far, I can see that pretty much all the things I thought I might be good at, I've had the opportunity to at least try (though, in the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that the Cetology thing has not worked out as of yet). I've used my skills at nearly all times for my family, nearly as often as a community and church volunteer, and over the years, occasionally as a professional. Gradually, I've gotten more and more comfortable saying to people that I AM a writer, a teacher, and a photographer. Now I can add that I'm an editor of movies. I don't have any ambition to be famous, but I am endlessly curious, and I've said yes to a lot of things that I didn't know how to do (plus I was probably holding a baby on my hip) but I was willing to at least try. I think that was a good plan for me.
Now that I have the chance to do professional things more and even all the time if I want, I feel very strongly that my work at home being everything possible to 6 other people, plus all the project management and organization I've learned through PTA, boosters and church activities has actually prepared me really well for the next 45+ years that I might have left to live (My grandma is almost 92). It's neat to see from this perspective that everything has come along at the right time.
It's exciting and terrifying to be putting stuff out there for people to see, love, hate and ignore. I know all those things will happen, and that's the price of living life in the real world. Fortunately, I have some experience with that. I've been loved, hated and ignored during my life so far. And not just by my kids, haha. It's good that I'm practiced at trying to move forward with confidence that what I'm doing is right for me.
My little movie is not perfect, in fact every time I watch it a part of me wants to delete and start from scratch, but in the business world, especially when you're first starting out, there's this principle called "Ship It!" That means if you have even minimally viable product, get it out there, start selling your stuff, and then, as you get feedback, experience and capital, your output will move to higher levels. But you have to start.
So there you go. Yet another new start. I can never say that I didn't have chances.
Anyway, never give up on your dreams, but don't be afraid to take a detour, whatever it is--family, travel, education, etc., even if everyone else thinks you're wrong. Be right for yourself. You've got time. Spend your energy on the most important things while they're the most important, and the other things will come along in their turn.
I'm living proof.