I started a freelance photography and design business called “Harrison Photo & Design” when I was 21 years old. Over the first couple years I photographed a wedding, events at my university, and individual portraits. I designed new brands for student groups, did commissioned artwork, and created an all new media campaign for an NGO. I’m not saying this to brag (nothing I did was too invovled), but I am saying it to remind myself that I was doing well in my freelance photo and design work when I was putting my mind to it.
Over the past year and a half I haven’t been focusing my energy in those areas near as much. I’ve been committed to some gorgeous, challenging, and important work, but not much in the areas of photo or design. And I will admit: I miss it sometimes. Yet, I know the work I am doing now will only make me a better photographer, designer, and overall artist later in life.
I say that all the time about my current decision to be living in L’Arche. Had I left school, and immediately pursued careers in communication, media, or design, I would not be walking with some of the vital characteristics of my livelyhood that I walk with today.
Sharing life with L’Arche has taught and coninutes to teach me so much about the human experience. I am deepening my understanding of emotional matters like honesty, acceptance, joy, vulnerability, mutuality, simplicity, connection, and respect. I am learning more and more about logistical matters like finances, healthcare, time management, social work, business, and even politics. And I am expanding my knowlege of ethical matters like justice, advocacy, solidarity, and human rights.
L’Arche is really “rounding me out” so to speak. I know the emotional growth, relationship skills, work ethic, and matured intellect I am gaining now are going to send me with the utmost fervor into whatever my future holds. I am 24 years old, and I feel I am learning things now that many people don’t learn till much later in life. This gives me a sense of appreciation and confidence. (If you’re in the creative field, watch out.)
Now I’d like to add that I’m not downplaying anyone reading this who did pursue a more traditional career immediately out of school. That is great! I never could have done that! I knew I needed a deeper grasp on what this whole living and being human thing is about in order to create the most sincere, creative, and responsible work I could later in life. That is why I am so grateful to be where I am—in the middle of this big, messy, beautiful, and vital step in the right direction, no matter where I am headed.
Keep peace and keep creating,