hanging up my coffee cup ...& other thoughts on the leap

AUGUST 26, 2011
It's a luxury to be able to follow your dreams, I truly believe that. 

I have never wanted to be that person, who sells the house or takes a second mortgage in order to pursue a passion for my business, and I'm glad that I haven't had to take any drastic measures up to this point.

Actually...that's not entirely true. There have been some drastic measures, but they have been moreso about taking a leap of faith instead of taking out a loan. Not only am I fortunate to have the ability to try to run my own show, but I'm even more fortunate to have found the most amazing person to share my life with, at the age of 17, who happens (to be totally cliché and dreadfully articulated,) to be the wind beneath my wings. Ew, I want to delete that sentence so badly.

Ryan and I have spent many a night watching CBC's Dragon's Den, while we split a blue freezie, watching families pitch their idea, and ultimately reveal that they have invested more of their own money than is reasonable.

But seriously now, as an accountant (& the smartest person I know), it wouldn't be too difficult to imagine Ryan saying something along the lines of:

"but WHY? You have a steady job,
a steady income, steady benefits,
WHY would you ever want to risk any of that just so
that you can take pictures?"

But that sentence never came out of his mouth. Instead, he said:

"alright babe, how are we gonna make this
happen for you?"

Although Thanksgiving has come and gone (what is this trend of writing the age old 'new-years-resolution' and 'what-I'm-thankful-for' posts at the most arbitrary times...?) but I'm completely overwhelmed with thoughts of how I'm the luckiest person. To be with someone who believes in whatever it is I want to do, to be able to go out there and purchase the best nikon I can get my hands on, and do so without any guilt or real-life consequences.

It's one thing to have a partner who supports your decision, it's an entirely different thing to have a partner who is out there thinking of the best way to build a set for your booth at the wedding show.

To say I can't wait for that would be an understatement.


SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
Ryan is a lovely chauffeur. I try to thank him by being entertaining during the morning commute. I think he thinks I'm funny, which works in my favour

The entertainment usually consists of various attempts at rapping, and Mariah Carey style operatics. That, and playing what we call the traffic game, which comprises of riding up the merge lanes as far as we can before merging. It sounds more fun than it is. 

The commute is one of my favourite parts of the day...and it's weird to think that someday it will end. In the mean time, I plan to enjoy every. single. morning that I get to spend with him.  


SEPTEMBER 17, 2011:
I want to answer "I'm a photographer" when someone asks me what I do.

I want to be able to accommodate the 12:30pm dentist and doctor appointments, without having to scheme my way into a half-day of work.

I want to be able to answer my phone during the day, and speak with proper volume about my pricing and packages.

I want my class cake platter to always be filled with freshly baked goodies. 

I want to be that mom who volunteers to organize Pizza Day. My mom always did that and I've never forgotten it.

I want to work from home.

It's somewhere in the 5 year plan...somewhere.


SEPTEMBER 20, 2011:
In a way, I feel close to the end. I feel like my days in the office are numbered. I feel like it won't be too long before I can declare that I took the leap.

On the other hand, my life at the office is definitely not all bad. Every 8 hour work day comes with a nice long lunch, spent with one of my very best friends. I certainly don't want to give that up for eating lunch alone in my empty house day in and day out.

I can picture this Christmas, and it looks the same as the two years before, working right up to the 24th, and happily not returning until the 3rd or 4th of January. It looks like a series of weeknights spent putting up the tree, and shopping at busy malls on the weekend.

It doesn't look like me putting up the Christmas decorations at noon on a Tuesday, or doing the groceries on a Thursday morning after spin class.

Which leads me to believe that I'll be here for another Christmas. But definitely only one...

So I guess there is an end in sight!

For some reason I can't picture booking off my wedding/honeymoon on a vacation form, which leads me to believe the end is pre-November 20th, 2012.


OCTOBER 15, 2011:

Last night Ryan and I picked apart the papers of our house. We turned the tables upside down, emptied the drawers, went through the pantry and the bookshelves and the nightstands, to find every single paper, flyer, piece of mail, and receipt.

We dumped it into a big pile, and just started picking through it. I made a list of every bill amount, every address that we forgot to have changed, every gift card we still need to redeem and when they expire...everything. We went to Staples and bought file folders. The folders were then labelled, alphabetized, and every important paper from the pile was given a home.

The rest...was tossed. It was a very cleansing experience; something I'm sure we'll have to do again in 3 years.

Anyway, in the process of doing that, we figured out how much we spend in a month, on bills and entertainment and food and gas and all that good stuff. I wrote the number with a sharpie, and showed it to Ryan. He looked at it and told me to deduct what he made per month. He looked at it again, and with a fairly long pause, a few hmmmmms, we realized that we're comfy.

Comfy enough to really start thinking about me leaving my job. As of today, October 15th, 2011...I sincerely believe we're looking at a 4-month countdown.

But as usual, I don't want to throw that out into the universe until it is confirmed. 110%.

For now I'll just continue to write down my thoughts on the leap, with the pleasure of knowing that the day I post it, will be an amazing, amazing day.

Some time in October I put a tentative date on my big leap of faith, and that date was February 27th, 2012. For awhile that date was a mythical figure that I really tried to believe in, and then one day, yesterday to be exact, that date was carved out in stone. Well...some kind of malleable stone...soap stone maybe.

I have started booking weekday sessions as of March 12th, so there's really no option to continue the 8-4 office job with the commute and the lunch break and the benefits. (Ohhh...the benefits, how I will miss thee...!)

I am writing this hoping to remember exactly what it feels like to see the light at the end of the tunnel; to look around the 3 half-walls of my cubicle and feel the expiration date.


NOVEMBER 10, 2011:
Okay, so I'm leaving in March. The most blah month of them all.

Saint Patrick's day aside, there's nothing really special about March. There are no stat holidays, no mentions about beautiful weather, and very few family birthdays. In Ottawa it's the time where the snow turns black from all the mud under the melted grass. Sweet, love that.

But lately, March has become a bit of a beacon! When I look at my schedule of appointments for November, December, and into the new year, I see a bunch of empty days from Monday-Friday...and a bunch of craziness on the weeekends. When I flip over to March, however...I start seeing weekday appointments for 12pm or 2pm, and it's a beautiful sight.

The thought of working from home permanently is really exciting, but it also comes with a mental to-do and to-buy list, and the list is getting so long that I am starting to forget it.

  • purchase an amazing computer, with enough gusto to handle my workflow
  • purchase a ginormous computer monitor, with brilliant resolution
  • get set up with a filing cabinet for my clients
  • buy file folders
  • and labels
  • and evelopes
  • and order some custom LKP stationary
Suddenly March isn't looking so far away...


NOVEMBER 16, 2011:
March seems like forever away.


NOVEMBER 24, 2011:
Today, I quit my job. I don't really even have the mental capacity to sit down and write about it at this point, so I'll save it for a day when I can sit down with a coffee and a clear head, and get it all down on paper. Well...paper of the internet variety. 


NOVEMBER 25, 2011:
I realize that last post came straight out of left field (is that the proper expression? I'm really bad with expressions...), so I apologize for that. I wish I could say I have the time to sit down and explain but...for the next 3 weeks I will likely be submerged in both worlds of work.


DECEMBER 16, 2011:
It was the very last commute. Completely ordinary, in every way.

There was breakfast to go, tunes playing out of Congratulashayla (the iPod), and some chit chatting about some kind of new invention that Apple should be working on.

I walked into the same building I walk in every morning, pressed the elevator button, turned the corner, at sat at my very empty desk.

It's my last day of work.


I'm able to say that because I have decided to leave my day job and pursue this crazy little thing called Laura Kelly Photography, full time. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm excited (that, and procclaiming that they are SUPER jealous that I get to be my own boss...), and unfortunately I have to say the most boring answer of all:

It hasn't sunk in yet.

But I think, as of this morning when I turned the corner and saw my empty desk and my bare walls, it started to sink in, just the teeeeeniest bit.

So for now, I'm happy to be hanging up my coffee cup, and retiring this chapter of my life. On to bigger and better things, right?

Peace out Gowlings, it's been good.

1 comment :

  1. I remember that very same feeling not to long ago myself Laura! Congratulations! You'll be amazing! And it is crazy how quickly your business can grow when you have that much more time to devote to it! :)


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