While I was attending, the excitement started to fade a bit. School wasgreat, and informative, and I was able to devote more time to running my business since I was no longer working full-time. But there weredifficulties (mostly financial) as well. Towards the end of the first semester, I starting having my first doubts. During the second semester I realized that I couldn’t continue if I didn’t find another way to pay for school. I would have been in debt my whole life if I had continued. I applied for every single assistantship on campus, and didn’t even get an interview for a single one. Once I heard back from the last position I had applied to (another no), I went home and told Jon (my hubby) that it was time to leave the program
I was terrified. There were so many nights during that third and final semester that I almost couldn’t breathe because I had absolutely no clue what I was going to do next. I didn’t have a full-time job (a first in a long time), I didn’t have any job prospects besides my own, barely-off-the-ground photography business, and now I was facing $60,000 in student loans, for a Master’s degree I’d probably never be able to use since I dropped out of the doctoral program.
My world was off kilter. For so long I had this image of myself, and in that one decision, it changed entirely. All the plans I had worked long and hard for, meant nothing (or at least that’s what it felt like). During the first month after I left school, I did the minimum. I didn’t have the motivation to do more. Why be motivated and make plans when they don’t matter? I applied to over 300 jobs, and heard back from two – both of which said no.
During that time, I started focusing on my business, since that’s all I had to do during the day. Applying to more jobs became depressing and I’m pretty sure I watched every show on Netflix. However, when I started focusing on my work, magical things started to happen. I became very invested in the business, and the effort showed. I began throwing myself into photography and business education. Within a month of putting in that extra effort, I booked my first wedding, and then six more. I’ll always be grateful to that first wedding (Debbie & Tom), because they gave me the push I needed. They took a risk on me, and showed me that maybe it was time to take a risk myself.