Discovering the Obvious
Do you want to know what I’ve learned in my 26 years of life? That life is weird. It will take you on many paths where some make sense and others do not. Some paths lead you down roads where you are able to make connections, discoveries, and plans. Other paths are dead-ends that make no sense whatsoever. But both are essential in living a fulfilled life. Without the dead-ends, you wouldn’t recognize the right path.
Bryan and I didn’t recognize our right path for some time, even though we were on it. In 2008, Bryan and I moved back to his hometown. We both took very good jobs and moved from the city to a small town. Bryan’s job had us traveling almost every weekend for about two years, so our foundation was never really laid. In turn, when we were in town, we didn’t have much community. And the minute we started to create one, we were on the go again. We never understood why we were destined to be lonely in our town. We didn’t understand that until now.
Out of our boredom and need for creativity, Bryan picked up a camera and decided to learn digital photography, as he shot film only for years. Turns out, his talent transferred from film to digital beautifully. In the meantime, I started a style blog called Kendi Everyday. At the beginning, I took my own shots with a tripod or had Bryan snap a few of me after work. But one day I asked him to actually shoot me, like a photo shoot in a catalog. And he did. And it worked. And while we look back at some of our shots and ideas and laugh, it was start. That day everything started. Of course, I didn’t see that. I just saw a pretty picture that my husband took.
Bryan continued to create beautiful photographs for my blog and I continued to write. Then one day Bryan thought, “I should start a photography business.” And so he did, albeit blindly. (Sorry, love.) He did what many people do — he found a few people to shoot, got some loose advice and was well on his way to creating a second job side business (he’ll explain this later). We spent spring and summer shooting families, couples and weddings. And by we I mean Bryan shot families, couples, and weddings. I tagged along for the wedding crashing and equipment hauling.
And that was it. He had created a side business that he never really knew. His blind ambition lead him to start a business that he didn’t recognize. He didn’t know what he wanted to sell, he didn’t know his customer, he didn’t know his brand. He was stuck. I on the other hand had begun the downward spiral of “I hate my job. Now what?” Details spared, I quit my job to blog full-time and help my dad with his consulting business. I also pledged to help Bryan with his photography business, when he needed me. Turns out, he didn’t need me. (Yet.) And my dream of going full-time was running low.Â I knew that there was more to be achieved in my life. Yet another bend in our curvy road.
So let’s back up — here I am on my path. I’ve found a niche that I love — writing about style and life backed by my husband’s photography. We made a great team; yet another discovery along our long, winding path. My husband has a full-time job plus his photography on the side. There we were, both walking and discovering our paths separately. Until one day, they crossed. (Figuratively speaking of course, we’ve been married this entire time.)
Then it happened. Bryan asked for my help on his business. And while the heavens did not open up and light did not shine down, it was a step. He stepped right into my road, creating a block that I’m thankful for. We began to talk about everything we had been ignoring. What he wanted out of his business, what his dreams are. We talked about my dreams and aspirations. And for the very first time ever we were walking together on what seemed to be our path. Not his, not mine, but ours.
After many, many, many conversations later we had our epiphany. Are you ready for the most obvious epiphany ever? We want to go into business together. Not only do we want to go into business together, we want to create a wedding photography business like no other. We want to take exactly what we do on my blog every single day and create that for someone else. We want to collaborate and create a styled shoot for an engaged couple, a married couple, a bride on her day. And we want to do it together. That was the key. This business would not just be Bryan’s business or Kendi’s blog, it would be ours.
It took us almost three years of marriage, living in the smallest town I’ve ever lived in, heavy doses of loneliness and sheer boredom to figure out where this long path was taking us. But now we know. And while it might be obvious now, sometimes the most obvious dream is the hardest to find. We are told that dreams are supposed to be out of your reach, so it’s even more intimidating to find it sitting in your lap, waiting to be achieved. But if this is where our path is taking us, I think I’ll stay on for a few more miles.
And one more thing. If you find yourself in the middle of a hard, weird, lonely or depressing situation, you are there for a reason. Jess wrote a great post on this a while back about being in the dark but so desperately wanting to turn a light on. If you are in the dark, start feeling around and you’ll find your way out. If not out, at least you’ll find a flash light or a lamp. Achieving a dream is not easy or without sacrifice. But I’m willing to put all of my hard-earned chips in to bet that it will be worth it.