I remember sitting in my room at Keele University on the 1st July 2010. It was the first day of a job that I knew I was going to love. A job that I'd almost broken myself to get. A job that almost left me broken a year later. It was a job that was tough. It was exhausting, enthralling, exhilarating, exciting... you get the point. It was emotional.
(And at this point I really don't need to explain what that job was, because I have no doubt that the only people reading this are my mum, a scattering of lovely friends and probably the odd frenemy... and of course you all know what that job was.)
Well, on the 1st July, before I stepped out the door I listed to some Frank Turner. Specifically, I listed to Photosynthesis and it completely summed up how I felt at that moment. My degree was over, I was now ready to grow up and be an adult. But I was far from ready to give up on my dreams and to live an unfulfilled life. A lot of people didn't understand why I was still at Keele - Hadn't I graduated already? Why didn't I want to join 'the real world'?
Those are still the people that today question why I'm doing an MA... why I'm even bothering with photography. I'm just another woman with a DSLR after all. What makes me so different?
Well, after I finally did leave Keele, I found myself wanting. I felt directionless, as many people feel post-uni. I wanted a challenge that matched up to my Keele experience; and whilst taking on a postgrad degree and a part time job posed some significant challenges... it didn't quite fill me with the same excitement that I felt on that day in July in 2010.
It's nearly been two years since I left that job that I loved - that I threw my every ounce of being into. And it's been quite a journey to arrive at this point. It's taken courage to, in my own mind, silence the doubters, the naysayers, the people who try to tear down whatever you create. To have the confidence to really do what I love, and to do it with whole-heart.
So here I am, another woman photographer shooting with a DSLR; and what makes me different? Well, simply this - I love what I do, and I'm not about to sit down and shut up because the world tells me to.