Without warning, I’ve been thrust into a new chapter of my life.
Only four months have passed since my idyllic weekend on the Isle of Raasay. Yet, it feels like a lifetime ago. At the time of my last post, I was happily cruising along, unaware of any major obstacles on the horizon. They say that bad luck comes in threes. I was clobbered with a triple whammy when, in the five weeks leading up to my wedding in May, I was unexpectedly made redundant from my day job of nearly nine years; I suddenly lost my granny, the last of my beloved grandparents; and I was devastated when my dad was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”Charles R. Swindoll
With the passing of time, I’ve had space to reflect on what’s happened and set a new course for myself. In times like these, you can either sink or swim. In my mind, once you’ve plumbed the depths and come face-to-face with some of your deepest fears, the only way is upwards, towards the sunlight.
These events are outwith my control. Neither the future that I had mapped out in my mind nor the alternative future that I have come to fear have been written yet. Each day, as my dad’s body fights back and the tumour shrinks a little further in response to treatment, I too can feel myself growing stronger. The most important thing I can do is focus on the here and now in the most constructive way I can, and let life unfold day by day.
My day job provided me with a routine, security, some great colleagues and a disposable income for many years. My lifestyle was very comfortable and I guess that’s why I wasn’t in a hurry to change it. Being laid off has given me the push I needed to steer my photography out of the sidelines and drive forwards with the business on a full-time basis. I’m genuinely excited about the road ahead. Life is too short and fragile not to embrace my true passion and see where it takes me.
It’s gotten off to a flying start with some exciting opportunities on the near horizon and a raft of ideas to develop over the coming months. I’ve launched my new wedding photography website and am delighted to be taking bookings.
I’ll also be announcing details of upcoming landscape photography workshop tours before the end of the summer. These will be suited to beginners and more experienced photographers alike, whether you’re shooting with a mobile phone, compact camera or DSLR.
Long distance walking
Before the upheaval in spring, I’d promised myself another long distance walk this year. As much as I enjoyed walking the Fife Coastal Path in 2014, I’ve decided to follow my own route instead of another of Scotland’s Great Trails this time around. My plan is to walk the ~55 miles around the perimeter of the Black Isle; the Highland peninsula which I’ve called home since 2013.
Escapism, inspiration and fundraising
It will provide me with an opportunity to escape from my desk from time to time and engage in the outdoors. I’ll also scope out some new locations for my Black Isle photography portfolio. However, most importantly, it will give me the chance to undertake some fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support, a very deserving cause which is close to my heart. My parents have always loved coastal walking and they will be in my thoughts every step of the way.
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