Friday, September 6, 2013

So Long Summer

(Written 2 days ago...)

Someone flipped the switch. The air turned brisk, the sky brilliant blue and the people dispersed. I woke up this morning for my last day in Nantucket and said goodbye to summer and hello to fall.  Its kind of a strange feeling when this happens. We all wish longingly for summer to last just a few weeks longer.  For the water to stay warm and the sand to run between our toes just one day longer.  I wished for it when I was young and I still wish for it. Growing up in Virginia I never realized how blessed we were - Summer is almost 5 months long. Here in New England...its 2 1/2 months...on a good year!  So you learn to savor it just a bit more.

This morning I decided to take a 2 hour bike ride to my favorite spot - Sanford Farm. This 780 acre park has three trails, old pastures, meadows and views of ponds and the ocean near Madaket. It is so quiet there you can hear the wind whistle through the weeds, the hawks soar overhead, and the yellow lab come panting up behind you.  It is a special place, one which I feel embodies Nantucket's uniqueness, and today was no different. It's funny because last summer I went on this exact same bike ride on almost the exact same day with the exact same picture. 

September 5, 2012 Walk through Sanford Farms

September 4, 2013 Bike through Sanford Farms

I started to think about the summer and all that those 66 days offered me. I was a photographer at dawn and dusk, a sailor by day and a babysitter at night. I held three jobs, 7 days a week, 10-15 hours a day. I did 21 family portraits, 1 engagement shoot, 1 wedding (second shooter) and 1 4 day regatta.  I sailed 47 days despite the see-saw of terrible weather and comings and goings.  It was hard work, but it was short and sweet when you think about it.  I was there for just under 10 weeks when you don't count my week in Maine.  That brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "short summer".  And still I had some time to do a few things that I wanted to do - paddle boarding, traveling to Maine to sail with Spartan and photograph a regatta, beach time, a few nights out with friends and some shopping during the end of summer sales.

But mostly what I think of from this summer are the lessons I learned and the opportunities I was given.   I took a risk in not having a quote on quote "job".  I worked for myself and frankly, I think this suits me best. I like the flexibility, knowing that I am 99% responsible for my success, and oh wait...the flexibility.  I started my photography business essentially out of thin air this summer and proved to myself that not only do I have a talent, but people are willing to pay for it. That in itself was worth the entire summer's effort in going to Nantucket.  I needed that confidence builder!!

After a bit of reflection throughout the summer and on my last day in Nantucket, here are my top 5 lessons:
  1. You have to make a million mistakes in starting a business before you get it right.
  2. Weather and people will screw you over. This is life. Prepare for it. 
  3. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  4. I always over commit. Stop it. I can’t do it all. No one can.
  5. For everything that falls through, another opportunity will arise. 
The last statement could not be more true. Time and time again this summer something would fall through due to miscommunication, weather or summer people changing their plans on a whim.  At first I was beyond frustrated and angry.  I don't know how many times I have to learn this little gem, but somehow it all works out the way it is supposed to! Imagine that. Today was a perfect example - I had been so mad at booking my ferry ticket too late and wanting to leave the island earlier than I could get off the waitlist. I have been beyond antsy to leave the past few days. One thing led to another and at 5:45pm I was told that I could get on a 7pm ferry tonight.  Talk about packing in a hurry!! So sometimes, just like Andrew said last summer, things just work out.

And so as I threw my penny off the ferry as we rounded Brant Point, I said goodbye to Nantucket for the 3rd summer and thanked her for a successful summer and the hope of things to come.

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