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The life you lead and the life you thought you'd lead

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by staceylynn, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. I don't usually get too personal on here, but I saw this idea on a blog and I read and some of the responses just tugged at my heart-strings. Feel free to join if you'd like - I'd love to hear from you.

    So 10-20 years ago when you looked into your future, did you see the life you're leading now? Has it taken you above and beyond or been a huge surprise?

    I'll say 10 years ago, since I'm only 23, I'm mildly where I thought I'd be. I always wanted to stay on a farm, and I'm living on the farm I grew up on. My home isn't as large as I pictured, and I didn't see myself doing photography, either. I saw myself working with children, probably being a pediatrician. I loved children and couldn't wait to get married and have a couple (when I got older, of course). I wanted to be in or out of college, full of knowledge and making good money.

    I am 23. My sister got pregnant at 17 and my parents (at the ages of 46 and 66) adopted the baby so I quickly learned (being around one all day) that I no longer was a fan of children. I never went to college, as the older I got, the more I realized farm life didn't include much college. I don't have some fancy job, as I do photography and work in construction. I met my lovely boyfriend online (never saw that) and fell madly in love. We both live together and everyday is like a slumber party - living with my best friend. My father died last year and though I've known for a long time it would happen, it has changed so much on the farm and inside myself. This is the first year with no garden, though I plan on changing that next year and growing our own fruits and vegetables again, as well as learning how to can.

    I know I have a lot of time ahead of me, but while I'm not where I thought I'd be, I'm content being here and cannot wait to see where life takes me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2008
  2. Seneca

    Seneca

    Dec 4, 2006
    Texas!
    Stacy...
    Thanks for sharing so much of you here. So sorry about the loss of your father. I lost my father when I was only 9...I am now 43, and there isn't a day that doesn't go by that I don't think of him. It seems even more so now as my son is getting older I am reminded how strong genes can be because my son looks like my dad. I don't look like my father at all...but my son is looking like him.

    I'll go back the 20 years because it's when my life changed - yes I was YOUR age 20 years ago...so you could be my daughter.

    I began my love of photography when I was 10 got my first camera VIVITAR -Whoohooo. I kepted it until I was 16 and then I got a Kodak. When I was 23 I got my first real camera...a Minolta something and then later a Minolta 7000. When I was 24 I went to work for an oil and gas company and met my husband who was 18 years older than me. Today we are still married and he is now 61 and we have a 16 year old son together.

    My husband always knew I had this passion for photography so he has always encouraged me and he is probably my biggest fan always marketing me and telling people "Let Sen take your picture, she does a great job".

    Stacey...thanks for posting this thread...I can't wait to hear what others have to say.
     
  3. I find it odd how right after a death, everyone says 'it will get better in time' and then a while after, they tell you it never gets easier or better. I'm sorry about your loss as well, and thank you for sharing!

    My boyfriend is also my biggest fan, and my father was as well. He was always my model. :)  My interest in photography came around 15-16 for me.
     
  4. In no way, could I have imagined being where I am at today.

    Things did not quite work out the way I wanted. Things are not bad- they are just not what I expected or really wanted.

    I have been blessed, or cursed, depending on how you look at it, to be able to make a living the past 30 years, as a photographer. I am now heading in a new direction with my photography and I guess I will see where it leads.

    At my age, it is hell to be so unsure about your life.

    But what the heck, it is simply time to start a new chapter..... :wink:

    The most important thing, Stacey? Hang on to your dreams. Through the ups and downs, never, ever stop dreaming. It is what keeps us alive- hope.
     
  5. The wierd thing for me is that I did it. I set out to accomplish some things and all the sudden it was done. I was left wondering "now what?" I had the career I had chosen the wife and children I imagined, the house I built right where I knew I would as a child. Actually it was kind of depressing, I had spent so long chasing the dreams that I had never thought beyond them. I felt like the dog that finally catches the cat and then doesn't know what to do with it.

    Now it's amazing how things change, I am chasing a new career in photography and if it continues to grow, like it has been, it will equal or surpass my teaching career. I have new dreams and aspirations and will chase those.

    By no means did it all happen according to plan. But I have dealt with what life gave me and managed to still end up where I wanted. There were just some rather large detours along the way. I am only 30 (31 on Wed.) So in 10 years who knows?

    The biggest surprise was not where I ended up, but rather that I got there at all.
     
  6. jjdesanto1

    jjdesanto1

    May 1, 2005
    Warwick, N.Y.
    John DeSanto
    Let's see... I went to college 38 years ago to become a gym teacher... dropped out in my sophomore year and spent my last $300 on a SLR camera... narrowly escaped death when my parents found out... then hooked up with a former LIFE magazine photographer who offered me an internship.

    Thirty-six years, eight states and nine newspapers later I'm still in the photojournalism business, but as Director of Photography not an everyday shooter. (Strange thing about photojournalism, they pay you twice as much salary to tell someone to go take the picture instead of just taking it yourself.)
     
  7. jcovert

    jcovert Guest

    ^^ reminds me of the quote "There are two great tragedies in life. Not getting your heart's desire. The other is getting it."
     
  8. My life has panned out like some Bukowski novel/big city LA cynical comedy. My life is so fast paced right now, that I'm worried I might just get bored with life the moment I slow down, yet I worry that I'm living too fast that I'm missing all the little things. I'm constantly seeing the fragile tapestry of LA, surrounded by the glam, wealth and extravagance and yet I also see the poverty, the injustice and the struggles of people less fortunate in this city of angels.

    "Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live."

    - Charles Bukowski
     
  9. I'll be 50 in a few months, and I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.
     
  10. LindaZ

    LindaZ

    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    10 years ago? Not a chance I would have imagined any of what I have today.

    I was then 23 years old. I think I at that time had moved from a small town to a large city in hopes of making something of myself. It didn't turn out very well, and I returned to the small, depressing and slightly violent town and stayed on a "friend's" couch for about 2 months. Uhhh.... it wasn't fun times at all. I had no friends, and not much of a family either. In fact, I was a bit of a mess. Heck, the whole town was a mess with other messed up people. So I knew I had to get out of there again but didn't know how.

    I had a job as a telephone interviewer for a survey company. fun fun... Then I got a job in the telecommunication customer service area.... it was awful. My early to mid 20s was the most difficult, poor, painful and depressing times of my life. My own family turned their backs on me because I was down and didn't have a "fancy" boyfriend or job.

    That's when I started to involve myself in the Internet more, and that's how I also met my husband. And now, one Country, 2 States (soon 3rd) a marriage and 2 kids later, and who knows how many jobs - I'm having a great job and a family and good friends.
    I'm still hoping to earn some big bucks though. LOL
     
  11. When I was a kid, the age ambitious people are deciding what they want to do with their lives, when asked what I wanted to
    be when I 'grew up' my reply was always "an eccentric bum".
    Now back then I really didn't have a good grasp on the real definition of eccentric - to me it was someone who did what they
    wanted, when they wanted and didn't have much in the way of cares or responsibilities.

    March of '07, after 40+ years of working at my parent's business and living a life that was pretty much unrewarding
    and the opposite of my childhood goal I suddenly found myself unemployed and looking at the chance to actually live my dream.

    I have to say that it is fantastic.

    Don
     
  12. Twenty years ago I was happily married to a wonderful man.....

    I would not have imagined back then that in 2008, I'd be sitting alone on the balcony of a condominium apartment, our delightful townhouse now just a memory.....

    My husband died of cancer on February 1, 1989, just a few months shy of what would have been our twentieth wedding anniversary.

    I would not have imagined that I'd explore a few intriguing new opportunities within my career field (librarianship) and that I'd be officially retired (ie, collecting Social Security retirement benefits) a bit earlier than had I simply remained in the public library system where I spent the bulk of my professional career.

    I would not have imagined that I'd have cameras that didn't use film and that I could shoot a few images and then quickly upload to a computer and be sharing those same images fairly quickly with people all over the world....

    I would not have imagined that I could take a friend to a medical appointment and while she was in with the doc I could be happily catching up with things in my online world via a device that not only brings me the Wide World Web and the internet but also -- gasp! -- is a telephone as well!

    After my husband died I gave up the whole idea of long-range life plans because I realized they just don't work. One can plan up the wazoo but then....life happens! And it's not always what one expects or plans or wants, but there you are.
     
  13. ok....
    i'm going to type something in a bit.....
    as soon as i clear the tears from my eyes
    really.
    not kidding
    this is a powerful thread

    not sure i can take reading it all.... though, not sure i'll say why
     
  14. Hmmm...
    do you mean I'm probably the only one whose life hasn't changed in 10 years?
    Well, let's say 10 years ago I was already (luckily) working for my actual company, a three letters worldwide american company, but the question, bitter and sour, is if in the next 10 I'll be working here too.. Until, as in many companies, we'll continue to have managers looking at numbers instead of real persons, and sending useless emails that none reads as their only way to express something, without really listening their base, this kind of job won't never be my favourite one, although it's indeed the one feeding me.
    Let's say I was where you were just a bit farther in the past, I spent my first 20-23 years of my life really in a great place with great friends, having NO idea at all about what I could have done in life. After six-months CAD designer course, everything started working and then work made me move from home to other cities to survive, first as a cad designer and then now maintaining computers.
    About the original question, I'm not sure what I'd like to do in my life.
    For sure, I'd like to help others as I can and especially my very dear friends who have been thouroughsly beaten by life several times, and each one of them much more than me. So I'm lucky and looking for a return game against life who's still too much on the dirty side. Bankers, lawyers, oilmen, etc. you know what I mean.
    I want to share what I am, my knowledge, my feelings, my way to be with others to help them in living better, but only God knows how to realize that day by day. I love children, I hope Stacey will look at them in a different way later, as a real and priceless richness and not only - maybe - as a potential problem for the reasons I DON'T know.
    With the right person, a wedding life can really be a blessing but they both have to follow a common path or track in life.
    With my background, time ago and before meeting my wife, I have also thought to become a priest or a missionary.
    Six years ago, I met photography. First just as a hobby, then from 2004 as a raising passion. Actually I think I'm on the descending curve and this is why you see less posts from me recently. I know I'm actually changing, but I still have to understand toward what or where. Well, it's 2.05 am and I'm supposed to go to bed.
    See you all tomorrow.
     
  15. DanWhite

    DanWhite

    Jul 10, 2005
    Lansdale PA
    Thanks Stacy for a very cool thread.
    When I was younger I wanted to work in the medical field.

    When I graduated High school I was not sure what I wanted to do, I worked in retail while I went to college and decided that college at that time was not for me. So I joined the military. Spent 6 years in the Marine corp and got to see a lot of the world (southern Europe, Africa, middle East). Wen I got out of the Marines, I went back to school to pursue a degree as a teacher. I was working at a local high school as the director of there aquatic program. During this time I bought a really bad Swim Meet management package and one of my swim parents was a programmer said we can re-write this. I decided I have a passion for computers. I went back to school and became a database programmer (oracle). I have been working in the software development field for the last 15 years. I met my wife almost 10 years ago now, We have 4 children, one was still born (Alexa) After this we decided to adopt. We Adopted 2 amazing kids Ashton and Sidney and then Aiden rolled along.

    Sometime I feel like life has passed by and I have been a spectator, but right now I wouldn't trade my situation for the world. A loving wife three amazing kids and a job that I think daily that I can;t believe they pay me this much.

    Dan
     
  16. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I began dating Karen, who is now my wife, during my sophomore year of high school. We will celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary on September 21, 2008. We have two wonderful daughters, one has her own home and one still lives with us.

    During my junior year of high school, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career as an automobile mechanic. Much to my father's delight, I work at a Sears and Roebuck auto center as a car mechanic and eventually managed the brake shop. I worked with another mechanic who was a paid-on-call firefighter, he would bring his fire radio to the shop and I would enjoy listening to all of the emergency calls. I decided to head to my local firehouse to fill out an application as a paid-on-call firefighter, this began my passion for the fire service. I knew quickly that the fire service was my vocation, so I began testing for a full-time position and was hired as career firefighter on September 20, 1978. Through my thirty-plus years in the fire service, I learned alot...see alot...done alot and all with some of the finest co-workers anyone could be associated with. I've traveled to various locations in the U.S. to teach firefighters how to effectively teach fire safety to children. I recently retired from the fire department, I'm still not accustom to the change, but I welcome my new challenges. I currently own two businesses, I am a partner in a heating and cooling business and I also own a small residential painting business.

    Life is good in the western suburbs of Chicago, my family and I live in a nice home, we have much to be thankful for. At the age of 54, I've experienced some interesting things and hope my remaining years are just as fulfilling. I've done much better in my life than I ever thought I would, not bad for a kid who didn't go to college.

    In my leisure, I'm still trying to figure out my photography.
     
  17. The older I get the more I appreciate everyday. Some great quotes from a Dale
    Carnegie book:
    “Live in day type compartments.”

    “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly in the distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”

    “Take therefore no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself sufficient under the day is the evil there of.”

    “One step enough for me.”

    “Lead kindly light, keep thou my feet. I do not ask to see the distance scene one step enough for me.”

    “Ever day is a new life to a wise man.”

    “Happy the man and happy he alone, he who can call today his own. He who secure within can say tomorrow, ‘do thy worst for I have lived today’.”

    “Life is in the living in the tissue of every hour.”

    “Today is our only sure possession.”

    “Look to this day for it is life, the very life of life. In it’s brief course lie all the varieties and realities of your existence, the bliss of growth the glory of action, the splendor of beauty for yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision, but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this day such is the salutation to the dawn.”
     
  18. Wonderful question, but how about 44 years ago? This time in 1964 I was on a honeymoon and headed for flight training in Pensacola Florida as a brand new ensign, USN. I fulfilled my goal and became a jet pilot flying off aircraft carriers, then life got in the way. I married Carolyn 10 days after graduating and had the first of my three boys less than a year after being married.

    It was dangerous and exciting work but it got to be more and more dangerous and much too exciting. My vision deteriorated six years short of retirement. I transferred voluntarily to Washington DC to get into computing; career-wise I was washed up. It was there when I went to Navy headquarters I found out I'd face five years on a treadmill and never get promoted and soon be transferred "somewhere", even overseas just to draw a check for the rest of my life. I left the Navy and got into government contracting but stayed in the reserves. I was promoted in the reserves and five years later through a chance two week reserve tour in the Pentagon they asked me to come back on active duty and spend my last five there helping with microcomputing and office automation. Earlier I had taken out a loan and bought an Apple and then IBM PC on a hunch. (In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. :wink:) .

    I was able to retire from active duty and then went into government working for the IRS and eventually U.S. Customs. During those 14 years I traveled to Belgium, Beijing and Shanghai many times and saw things and met people whom I will cherish forever. I'm fully retired now but during my 30 years here my sons have grown to manhood, married and blessed us with seven grand kids all of whom live within 10 miles of our house.

    As I was anticipating my departure from Customs I wondered how would fill the void and replace all the great friends and colleagues I gathered while there. Then in February 2005 a friend (backdoctor) pm'd me about this cool photography web site which was being started. No flamers no trolls, all neat folks. I think I was member # 68. Since then the Cafe has been my new home..sort of like "Cheers" for those of you who remember the series.

    No one could have planned a more zig-zag life than that which happened to me. During this time I faced many circumstances which seemed at the time to me as failure. Every time a door closed another one, or opportunity, opened. For those of you in your twenties keep that in mind; nothing is impossible; never give up and keep your family and friends close to you. They love you for who you are, not what you can do for them. I have no regrets.....well, except for buying that Coolpix 5000! :wink:

    Thanks for starting this thread!
     
  19. 20 years ago I certainly did not think that I would be continuing my wife's psychotherapy practice after she passed away in 2004 and 28.5 yrs of marriage. Naturally, we thought we would grow old together, but it was not to be.

    That long ago I thought that I would be actively engaged in an executive position in aerospace and certainly not be in Utica, NY managing and owning a private practice with a number of therapists. Unfortunately, intellectually it is not very challenging for me as it only involves the non-clinical part, but it pays for health insurance and keeps me out of trouble. Yet, I look back on more than 30 years in aerospace sales, marketing & program management, most of which were exciting and challenging, visiting many of the aircraft manufacturers worldwide. [I needed the passport with the extra pages...]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2008
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