Remember this summer when I was laying out all of my goals and desires to you through regular weekly posts? When I announced my goal of publishing my book? When I confessed my desire to be laser focused on that goal? And then I disappeared?
Well, I forgot to mention that there is a clause to the laser-focused goal.
And that clause reads:
The goal setter must remain laser focused on her goal unless an unforeseen opportunity suddenly presents itself whose timing is immediate and whose task is one that she loves, is passionate about, and would love to grow into something more that it currently is.
Things were humming along with my book. My talented graphic designer sister (and author), Courtney Cook Hopp, had laid out the first section of my book. My eyes filled with tears when I saw what she had created. So beautiful. (I will share sneak peaks in future posts.) My talented editor friend (and author), Meg DesCamp, was painstakingly copy editing her way through every essay and recipe while gently enlightening me to my curious tic of flip-flopping tenses in a single essay. (Am I doing it now, Meg?)
And then a dear friend — one who I treasure daily and without whom my life would not have the same depth — asked me, “Hey Care, would you consider taking Ben’s senior photos?”
I replied, “Yes, I would love to!”
And so I did. I photographed her son…the same boy (now, basically a man) that I’ve known since he was still in his mama’s tummy. The same boy who toddled around with my daughter while they both sucked on binkies. The same boy who survived the middle school years with my girl and then remained her steadfast friend as they watched out for each other through their high school years.
Here on the eve of launching him out into the world, how could I not photograph him? It was a privilege.
Through word of mouth and social media, that photo shoot led to more as people generously reached out to me asking for photographs. Suddenly, I found myself unofficially yet officially taking senior photos as well as head shots and even an upcoming family shoot.
“But what happened to the book?” you may wonder.
In the midst of trying to do it all, I realized there was more work than one person could handle even though it’s work I love to do.
At first, I was disappointed. I had my heart set on releasing the book in time for the holidays. However, after a few days passed, releasing the book next spring felt more and more like it should have always been the plan.
The first essay in the book happens in early spring five years ago. When my little one was in preschool. When I still called him “the baby” and held his hand when he crossed the street. The last essay is from this past spring. After my mom passed away. When I celebrated my first Mother’s Day and her 71st Birthday without her. And in the five years between those springs, a lot of life happened.
All of this serves as a reminder to me that no matter how detailed and laser focused we are on the goal, sometimes life has other plans for us.
Throughout this post, I’ve featured some of the portraits I took in late summer and early September. I’ll share more in future posts. While I know their parents and grandparents probably prefer the more smiley photos, I am drawn to the pensive, looking askance photos. They seem to sum up what it means to be on the brink of embarking out into your own future. Out into your own messy yet beautiful life.