“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within.” – Steven Pressfield
When I got into middle school, I started spending hours at my computer writing. Whether it be short stories, potentially novel length stories, poems, songs, simple paragraphs or letters, I would spend hours typing away. I thought of the blank screen as a place in which I could pour out my heart. Being a kid who hadn’t had many people, if any, that I honestly talked to and trusted fully with my raw self, I resorted to expressing myself in other mediums.
That’s when I started to call myself a writer.
When I got into high school, I fell in love with photography and discovered a burning passion I never knew I had for this art. I always wanted to go shoot. I always wanted to take my camera everywhere I went. I became well known because of my camera and my photos. And all of that slowly shaped my vision of the world. A quote I once heard says, “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” I couldn’t agree more. I stand by this quote.
Freshman year was when I started calling myself a photographer.
Today, I write. Today, I take photos.
But there will always be a part of me that wonders “what if writing or photography was what I devoted all my life and attention towards?”
We all have a similar question. That’s what I believe is to be my “second” and “third” life. The life of a writer. The life of a photographer. Though I hold both passions close to heart and continue to advance in both mediums at my own speed, the flame within tells me that there could be more.
Sometimes I wonder how happy I would be if I spent hours and hours of the days editing photos and going on photoshoots, if photography was my career. I wonder how many people would see my work, how many hearts my work would touch. Sometimes I fantasize about being a writer whose words make a huge impact in the world and motivated people to change their lives and ways of thinking for the better. I wonder what would have happened if I had followed my heart back when.
But then I look at the life around me, and stop. I love the life I have right now. I have another passion I discovered within my first programming class. I have high hopes for the future and this potentially life-changing career. I have a wonderful boyfriend who loves me. I have irreplaceable friends who adore me. I have a better life than I had expected.
After all, this is the life I’m living. If I weren’t happy with it, I wouldn’t be living it.