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I received a request the other day about the blog post I made “Light from Within” back in 2006 to explain more of what I meant…about looking for what you need from within yourself, instead of looking from outside yourself. So for instance in order to find happiness, you have to be happy within yourself instead of looking for someone to make you happy. I am learning a lot everyday. I don’t know the answers, I would tell my friend Sean down in San Diego, “Do what makes you happy.” Problem (or Blessing) for him though, he has so many options of what he wants to do, it’s difficult to focus on just one or two paths in life. And then to the mulitple paths, try them all, see which doors open for you, because not all of them will. When the doors open, and you have multiple choices, think which one (or ones) make more sense than others…do what feels right to you.

I’ve probably said this before about myself, but after getting my spirit crushed in photojournalism by an editor at the News Tribune in Tacoma, Wa. (I was on the verge of graduating college and needed another internship, and working for McClatchy was my dream) I put down my camera and didn’t look at it for a year or two. I remember seeing some of the other student portfolios as the editor had shown me, and him telling me I shouldn’t be a photographer because I had no vision (and the other portfolios were AMAZING to my little piece of shit 20 slides)..thus I was devastated. I gave up hope in photography. I eventually was given the opportunity to work for a newspaper in Flagstaff (where I had gone to college) because my new editor said to me, “Heidi, I know you have the heart to do photojournalism, I will teach you how to take pictures.” After many years working as a staff photographer for three newspapers and freelancing for a few more, it became quite evident to me (glutton for punishment I am) that I wasn’t meant to be Scott Strazzante or Andrea Bruce. (And hell I got my dream anyway…my last newspaper job was with a McClatchy paper)

Last year (the day after my last assignment for the Fresno Bee) I photographed a wedding at Sugar Pine Point State Park on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. When I met the bride, Sas, and her fiancĂ©, Jamie, I was in love. I said, to Sas, “You’re adopting me, I’m moving in, this place is incredible! You can punish me anytime by bringing me here!”

A door opened, it felt exactly what I needed/wanted and I ran through it, and luckily, I am so incredibly thankful for my path that has been given to me.

Friday I went back again to Sugar Pine Point State Park to drop off some business cards to the ranger there, and as I was walking towards the Lake, I felt again the same feeling I felt last year at Sas’ and Jamie’s wedding. I felt a sense of coming home, and feeling so right there. The colors of the landscape were so incredibly vibrant, like I was seeing so clearly, and the slight breeze provided me with a sense of calmess and excitement at the same time. As my feet floated down the grass hill towards the lake, it was definitely a feeling of coming home to where I belong, where I should be…and now all I have to do is work my butt off for the ability to stay.

Funny how I just realized some coincidences that weren’t coincidences..but my path in life. Amazing.