By: Lisa Slagle
I have a very vivid memory of being 23 years old and rallying my little, red Subaru up I-15 in Salt Lake City. It was six in the morning, and the sun was just peeking out over the skyline, and I desperately wanted to continue driving North instead of turning onto 2100 South to head to my job as an image editor for a large, online store in the outdoor industry.
It wasn't that I didn't like my job-- my co-workers were hilarious and supportive, and I loved talking to them while we edited photographs of gear and clothing. I got to work in Photoshop all day, perfecting photos of bike gear, outerwear, and snowboards, which was pretty great, and I got very good at editing product photos.
All in all, it was a cool job for a young designer, and I was grateful to work at a fun company with like-minded people.
It was just that every single day I went to that job, something was missing.
Unfortunately, I spent a LOT of time worrying about it, trying to figure out what was supposed to fill that void in my soul, panicking that I wasn't where I was "supposed to be" in life, that I could do better or more or something different. I was really hard on myself about my place in the world, and unfortunately, these negative thoughts took up a lot of bandwidth between my ears.
I still snowboarded or mountain biked in world-class terrain almost every single day.
And lived in a house with some of my favorite people on the planet.
And took my dog on adventures around Utah because he was still young enough to keep up.
And paid all my bills on time.
But I still worried that I wasn't doing something right.
Looking back on it, life was amazing, and all that worrying was a total waste of time.
Because now I own a successful business where my soul is creatively fulfilled, my mind is challenged constantly, and I'm leading my dream team of talented creatives.
And you know how I spent my entire day today?
Sitting on my porch editing photos of gear.
I spent almost two hours editing one photo of my Operations Manager sitting on a bicycle. Have you ever tried to cut a bicycle out of a photo? You have to use the pen tool to cut out every single space between every single spoke. It takes forever, but when it's done right, it looks great.
I can't tell you how many hours of my life have gone toward cutting out bike spokes.
But today, I realized that I'm freakishly good at editing gear. I can remove wrinkles, even out shadows, desaturate metal, and fix blemish spots like a ninja. The photos I edited today look awesome.
And if I hadn't have worked that repetitive job as an image editor, they wouldn't have looked nearly as good.
And all that time I spent worrying about my place in the world was ridiculous.
Because somehow, things always have a way of coming full circle.
My challenge to you:
Just look at you, being all awesome and you didn't even realize it.
Got any photos you'd like us to edit? Want to level up your business? Want to meet our new guy, Dan? Just click the orange button below.
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