I’m a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason.” So when I lost my job at the end of February, instead of viewing it as a major set back, we viewed it as a major opportunity. An opportunity, to take back our lives.
I’ve been in Boston for just over 3 1/2 years now, and Jared for almost 3. I’ve worked multiple jobs; one that I loved, one that I loathed and one that didn’t quite work out. Coming down to the big city, one can’t help but want to fit in. Shop at the higher end stores, wear the designer shoes, boots, sunglasses, purses, you name it. Commuting into the city everyday we’re surrounded by people who are walking Coach/Burberry/Louis Vutton billboards. I’d stare enviously at women who looked so perfectly put together, and think, I can do that. But first, I’d need the right jacket, boots, hairstyle, makeup and purse. And when I switched jobs in August of 2008, I suddenly had a reason to start new.
So I tried. I busted out the credit cards and made my way down to the outlets to hit up stores that I had never stepped foot into before; Banana Republic, JCrew, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren to name a few. With a quick swipe of a card, I was on my way to creating the perfect work wardrobe. Then came the shoes. I left Nine West with six pairs of heels in one day. Five of those pairs still sit untouched in my closet. The bills mounted but I brushed it off and thought it was a small price to pay to fit the role of a Financial Advisor. I had even considered upgrading my beloved Honda Civic because it was old, and not classy enough. Who would invest their money with someone who drove a Honda? I at least needed an Acura.
Jared was trying to fit in too. He was trying to figure out his career path and took a real estate course to get licensed. His teacher loved him and said she’d be happy to have him in her office should he want to work there. He came home to share the news and we spent the night envisioning our future. Jared a successful real estate agent, driving around town in his new BMW, chatting up his clients on their way to his next listing. Me, a successful financial advisor, with client meetings all over town.
We even began to look at houses, since Jared was convinced we needed to buy one and settle in down here. The prices were astronomical. Homes that would go for $40,000 in upstate NY were selling for close to $400,000. I wish I was exaggerating. We toured an old Cape Cod style home, with beautiful hardwood floors, fireplace in the living room and tons of natural light pouring in. The dining area was equally gorgeous. And then we saw the outdated kitchen. And the enclosed back porch that was leaning into the backyard. And when I say backyard, I’m talking about something you could mow in three paces back and forth. There was a downstairs “bedroom”, probably 8×8, no closet. Then we asked where the stairs were. The agent pointed to a narrow cut-out in the dining room. Walking into it, we turned into a completely encased stairway that I could barely fit my shoulders through. Again, I wish I was exaggerating. The two upstairs “bedrooms” were also tiny and with no closets. How anyone could fit a mattress through that staircase was beyond us. And the price was $390,000. And I’m willing to bet someone bought it. After attending a few more open houses, we realized that if we stayed in MA, home ownership would be in the very distant future.
Soon enough, the new lifestyle began to take its toll. That, and I was working twelve hour days doing something completely different than what I was led to believe. So I quit. I walked into my supervisor’s office on Monday morning, with knots in my stomach like I did every single day I worked there. He asked me what I had planned for the day, since I was to plan out every hour of my day and review it with him each morning while training. I told him nothing. I had nothing planned for the day. And then I proceeded to break down. Told him it was too much. That I wasn’t a quitter but that I also was not going to live my life that way. Stuck inside a building for twelve hours. So I said my tearful goodbyes to the people I had hardly known and I went home. I allowed myself the day to mope and come Tuesday morning, I was online looking for jobs. And that very next day, I found one.
So here we are, two years later and I’ve been let go from that job I so quickly found. That’s another long story that’s a little too fresh to tell ;-). But I’m happy to report that Jared and I have come full circle and back to ourselves. We’re back at Old Navy, REI and EMS, picking out clothes. We’re ok with not looking like everyone else down here because we don’t need to fit in anymore. And that’s how we know we wanted to move. And not just anywhere, but to a community of people living the lifestyle we want. People who know that this life is meant to be lived to its fullest. That the most important things in life aren’t things at all. They’re people. Family. Friends. Relationships. That time is invaluable. And that savoring every moment we are given is what it’s all about. Those are the things that truly matter.
We want to get back to the simple joys that come with living in the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains. Where it is encouraged to be creative and get outdoors. And thankfully, we have the skills to make a living doing just that. With photography, we are creating the life we want to live every single day.
But we’re not just photographers. We’re not just going to take your picture, hand you a disc and walk out of your life. You welcome us into your lives and families and in turn, we welcome you into ours. We’ll become friends and welcome you into our Jared and Debbie family which is how you will be treated, like family. Because we wouldn’t want it any other way.
With this move, we understand that growing a business in the North Country is not going to be easy. We may not be the right photographers for everyone. And that’s ok. We completely understand that.
However we do know that we will be the right photographers for a lot of people.
Couples who want their future children to look at their wedding album and truly see the love and excitement their parents had for each other on that day.
Mothers who want to remember the anticipation and excitement of the little one growing inside of them.
Parents who want the precious first days of their newborn’s life to be captured beautifully forever.
Families who want to their real smiles, expressions and interactions displayed in a family portrait.
Seniors who want to remember the joys of high school and the excitement of the journey that lies ahead.
Those are the people we want to photograph. Clients who will become our friends and family. Because we wouldn’t want it any other way.
If you’ve read this far, we’d love to give you a great big hug! Even better, we’d love to take your picture!! Thanks for reading and we do hope that you will join us in our journey.
Jared and Debbie Photography will officially be located in the beautiful North Country of New York State in April of 2011.
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