Confessional – A Big Change

Posted by: Marissa

I think some of you may know that I used to be an elementary school teacher. I love kids and teaching comes naturally to me…I think due to my incredible family full of teachers (everything from music to special education to dance) I learned an eagerness for teaching and learning at an early age. I was also the oldest in my family so my poor little brother got “taught” a few things along the way. I have also been blessed to meet the most amazing people in the teaching profession. Individuals who truly know how to put others first, inspire, have the most incredible patience, who are leaders and are as creative as any artist. Last year I was torn between two things that I loved, photography & teaching. I was trying to do 2 jobs and felt myself struggling with time (or lack thereof) and struggling to find special moments with Erik, not just work or talking about work, but an actual special moment! We had just gotten married and moved to a new state all within 60 days (which is a whole different post entirely). It first became clear to Erik that it was time for me to take a break from teaching and really take a risk and go into business together. He saw how stressed I had become from teaching and heard my numerous complaints about lack of support from the state, small rooms, large numbers, and the day to day difficulties that I couldn’t leave at the door. Instead I brought them home with me and let that stress effect my personal life where it became a road block to my life happiness and our marriage. My amazing husband actually encouraged me to follow a dream of ours and gave me the support (and continues to do so!) that I needed to take one of the biggest risks in my life.

When an opportunity came up to move to Seattle where there was family support and a house waiting we jumped on it! Thus began a completely new adventure for us. Erik started the job search because he absolutely loves helping people reach their goals and change lives as a personal trainer. I, on the other hand, delved head-first into marketing, web design, business management, and setting up a home office. Most of which I knew nothing about (yet another blog post coming soon)! It has been one of the most rewarding and also challenging experiences of my life. I knew little when it came to running a business, just what I had stumbled through in California working while opening our business. Yet here I was in a new city with boxes piled up in the spare room trying to rebrand our business! I will not lie and say that I didn’t look up a few school districts and discuss the possibility of working part time with Erik. I think this is because as humans we like predictability and routine. I was defined by my job. When people first met me one of the first things they always asked was, “what do you do?” and I would say, “I’m a teacher.” After teaching for 6 years I just couldn’t figure out how I was going to Not say that anymore, it was my identity. But, luckily fall came quickly and I stuck to my guns, with Erik’s constant help. I still think about teaching and my amazing friends in Chicago who recently stood up for what was right, but I know in my heart I made the right decision for me right now.

I think back to when I turned 18 and handed in my college applications with the category of “journalism” scribbled as my major. I wanted to be a broadcast news anchor. I know, far from where I am in my life now! Then a year later I wanted to be a nutritionist and then after that I wanted to be a teacher. I think looking back I realize how many things I loved and still love learning. I think it’s an injustice to be 18 years old and figuring out what you’re supposed to do with your profession for life. I’ve now heard statistics that say people change careers 5 or 6 times in a lifetime. There are so many things I love to do and I absolutely love to capture moments of people’s lives that will stay with them forever and ever. I will never forget all of my students, in fact I still see their faces in my mind and I think about how they must have grown already, but I do love what I do. I want to continue to bring happiness into peoples lives and maybe one day I’ll figure out a way to merge teaching with my love for photography…

Thank you to all of my family & friends who have supported me and given me their words of encouragement. It means more than you know.

This was one of the first fall-colored leaves I found and couldn’t resist a photo. Happy fall!



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