Room to Grow
For years, I've heard so much advice on honing in, "niching down" -- and for years I felt like I was destined to fail because I could never devote my whole heart to one singular craft. My entire life, I feel like I've been interested in so so much. So about two weeks ago, while I navigated the process of securing a full-time job rather than continuing as a contractor, that was a huge concern. I didn't want to be pigeon-holed into a job title that felt small or narrow - I wanted to make sure I had room to grow. I wear a lot of hats, and that's exactly the way I like it. I design beautiful materials that tell stories. Some days, the way I do it looks differently than others.
Loving photography - loving the way someones face lights up when they see themselves exactly the way they want to be seen - doesn't mean that I love design any less. My B.F.A in graphic design - and the years I spent prior to receiving it, ogling good branding from the shelves of my local Target - was pivotal in getting me where I am now, and where I hope I continue to go.
If you're struggling to hone in on one particular thing, know this: what you do now doesn't have to be what you do forever. Take one step in a direction that feels right, and then do the next thing that feels right. Our world doesn't function the way it did fifty years ago. It's become acceptable for many people to live out many passions, many job titles within one life - even at the same time. If you get to a point where that thing you loved no longer feels right, investigate. Pump the brakes a little. Is it the work itself that's bothering you, or is it something else - the industry you're working in, the clients you're working with, or the way you're doing business? Commitment isn't a life sentence - you can be committed to your work and still find a way to pivot. Or maybe you try something else entirely. That's okay too.
Maybe like me, you're working a 9-5 with a passion hustle. Yes, that is a combination of passion project and side hustle - my photography business is both a passion project and a side hustle and so much more. It's an integral part of my identity and truly shapes how I see the world. But Monday through Friday, I funnel my energy into helping other people achieve their dreams. I still get to stretch my creative bones, and often I even get to incorporate photography - but it's all me, all the time. I don't want to be "work Morgan" and "Kept Record Morgan." I love the stability and perspective that working my conventional job provides. It also allows me to think with a mindset of abundance when it comes to Kept Record, because I don't have to react from a place of scarcity. I say yes to projects I want to work on, rather than projects I would hate to work on but need to make the extra income. It's not the right way for everybody, but it's definitely something that's working for me.
Understanding that our work identities are as fluid as our identities in any other way has given me such a renewed appreciation for the work that I do -- all of it. Taking the pressure off to be one person here and one person there allows me to bring all of my talents and insights to the table. Whichever one that may be.