I had my doubts. Sometimes, when times were tough. That’s when it comes. When I’m feeling discouraged and unmet expectations take a hold of me. When people were telling me what to do and what not to do, I asked myself why I do this. What if quitting college to travel and follow my dreams was a big mistake? What if this turns out to be a big failure? What if I never reach my ambitions? What if? All the questions and doubts swirling in and around my head consuming me.
I thought of all of this, when I was at an airport in the Philippines. I thought about this when I was broke, in the middle of my backpacking trip. I had canceled my trip back to California, because I felt like I wasn’t done. I wasn’t ready to go just yet. I felt I needed to learn more. Yet I was caught in my worries.
Then I took a deep breath, put my earphones on and pressed play, closed my eyes, and thought of happy moments.
When a boy finally sees a girl that he loves at the airport. The way you feel when your favorite song plays in your car, as you stick your arms out the windows and make airwaves. When you find freedom riding in the back of a motorbike, and smile at the world flying past you. When a girl lights up when she gets a text from someone she likes. The light rays beaming through the clouds when the sun sets, leaving everyone with their words stuck in their throats. The look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride for the first time. And the way a father looks at his daughter, when it’s time to let her go. The first hug after a fight. The laughter of children who have nothing, yet smile like they have everything. The moment after meditation, or after clearing the clutter of thoughts in your head, when you look at everything as if you’re seeing the world for the first time. The way a person’s face lights up when you do something nice for them. When the raindrops shatter on your bare skin, and you look up at the liquid bullets shooting down on you, and you smile. An old couple dancing together, laughing as if they were teenagers again. When a surfer smiles, the moment before they catch a good wave. When you’re sitting on the side of a boat with your feet dangling over the wild sea. When you look up at the stars, and your troubles fade away.
I opened up my eyes. And just like that, I came back. And so I asked myself again, why do I do this?
Photography is my life. It’s in everything I do. Everything I see. Everything I touch. Hear. Feel. Everything. It’s in me. It was in me before I even learned how to work a camera, because this is how I see everything with my eyes open and closed. There’s so much beauty in this world. So much bliss and love to experience. There’s magic in between these moments waiting to be seen and captured. And it’s my purpose… to show people. To remind them of the infinite beauty that is life. To inspire them and make them feel alive.
This is my dream. And despite all the struggles, I will never stop chasing it. The struggles, failures, and mistakes will make me into who I need to become in order to live my dreams. I will never stop doing what I love, what makes me happy, what makes me feel the most alive. And to not follow my dreams because of fear of failure… that would be the greatest failure of all.