Cory Richards made me cry this morning. I did not cry tears of happiness or tears of sadness, but tears of longing. Never in my life have I wanted to switch places with another person more than I did today. I would give nearly anything for him to have been in the crowd of advertisers, and I up on stage, sharing my work, my dreams, and my hopes to change the world.
Each day I am grateful. I have a beautiful family, close friends, and a successful job. In fact, if I didn’t sit in the crowd of advertisers, I can promise you that this blog would not exist. Not because it introduced me to social media, but because it pays for my adventures. I’ve always pushed for success. Go to school to make money. Make money to buy nice things (like plane tickets). I preach that life is “lived” with experiences, but do those experiences have to exist within pre-set vacation days? What if the career itself was an experience? Or is that asking for too much?
I’ve been lost lately. Some of you know this because you are close to me (or because I am a very talkative drinker). As I mentioned earlier, I am grateful for so many things, but I feel that I am lacking a purpose. I want to make a difference. I’ve always lived by the rule that I was given but one life, and it was up to me to make it count.
So, Cory Richards, you are my hero. I will probably never forgive myself for not shaking your hand today, but I feared that I would break out in tears – and let’s face it, definitely NOT a great impression. Cory Richards, in case you didn’t know, is one of the most amazing photographers that has ever existed. With each photograph he shares with the world, he is telling a story that most people would never be able to ‘read’ on their own. Capturing unbelievable moments is what keeps him getting up each morning – a belief very similar to my own.
Photographers like Nat Geo’s Cory Richards, Stephanie Sinclair, and Charlie Hamilton James are an inspiration. I get stuck in thinking that the only way to help/change the world is to be working for the government (as an officer or a national security analyst, for example), or to be part of a non-profit organization. These amazing photographers are showing us wildlife that has yet to be named, scaling mountains that have never been touched by another human, and introducing us to cultures around the world that blow our minds. However, these amazing people are also creating awareness around human rights issues and animal cruelty. Awareness, and in turn knowledge, is powerful vehicle for change.
So maybe I don’t have my dream job just yet (I know my closest co-workers read my blog, and I love y’all dearly – this is the best, non-dream job ever), but perhaps one day I will.