Exactly five years ago today, I spent my first day of "retirement". I don't really have any memory of what I did that day, but I do remember my last day at work vividly. On 14 October 2005, I cleared out my desk and walked out of the office building with a box of my personal things. Yeah, pretty much like in the movies.
I get asked a lot how I became a photographer. I always give the short answer: I've always loved photography and decided to do it full-time when I got tired of my day job. Although that's true, it was actually way more complicated than that.
I guess it started over a year before I resigned. Something happened. Something in me changed. Some might refer to it as a quarter-life crisis--I don't know. All I know was that I didn't like where I was at that point in my life. I knew I was doing great in my job but I also knew I didn't want to be there anymore. And yes, I did what every one does at some point--I blamed anything and everything around me for my unhappiness. I blamed my boss, my colleagues, the boss of my boss, Pete's boss; I blamed the harsh flourescent lighting in the office, the sub-zero temperatures in the factory; I blamed my high school education; I blamed my college education; and of course, I blamed my parents.:P
I wanted to get out of my job, but the problem was that I didn't know where I wanted to go, either. Pete and I spent hours discussing possible career paths for me. I even took a month-long leave just to figure out what I really wanted to do. I spent weeks researching, reading books...I wrote down detailed descriptions of my dream jobs on a yellow ruled pad (which I still have somewhere in my parents' house.). I don't remember most of what those yellow sheets contain anymore but I do remember that one of my dream jobs was to take over Samantha Brown's job! Hahaha.
Anyway, I wish I could remember the exact day when I decided I wanted to be a professional photographer. I really can't. I went through my old blog and I never mentioned it. Although I never went anywhere without a camera at that time, I guess I never seriously considered doing it professionally until later on. Looking back though, I can't imagine what made Pete go along with my plan to quit my job (hence, lose my steady income) and to spend almost a hundred thousand pesos on photography gear in the span of a few months.
I must have been really convincing (or looked really desperate). Or he must have really had great faith in me.