bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” – Anais Nin
Ever had that thought of "right place/right time”? That sense of what a fluke the situation was? Or how fortunate you were? How the whole thing was… oh, all right – "lucky”! There, I said it. It’s just that I don’t believe it. You see, I feel the serendipitous life is not luck. Instead, it’s the way things are set out, kinda like a map with streets and paths all over the place – with options we create! Then, in comes "restlessness”, which is simply spirit guiding us along the proper way. Often, my spirit’s hand puts itself behind me to turn me in a particular direction. I don’t question it, though I have learned to pay more attention, trying not to miss anything…
After almost 20 years as a First Aid Attendant in the logging industry, I was restless and ready for a career change. I had it all figured – I’d become a Naturopath, wherein I would automatically retain a holistic body and lifestyle, oh yeah! Optimistically, I set out on my research, soon to find myself frustrated at the answers – schools were distant, tuitions high, funding was nonexistent and enrollment scarce. Retrospectively, I see hand doesn’t always need to push. Instead, the path diverted and a brochure was put within my reach about a place I had never heard of – Opportunities Career Counseling. Within minutes of this info, hand literally pushed me through their door. Greeted by cheerful faces, plus many answers to my endless queries, hand next shoved me into a series of classes, courses and seminars which lasted weeks, something I had not intended. Shoved, I say! After all, I knew what I was doing… didn’t I?
Very soon, it became apparent I did not. Naturopathy never showed up once on all of the aptitude, attitude and personality tests. In fact, all indications were that I would be most unhappy in that role. Instead, there was a field called "technical arts” where I could use my most natural abilities, skills and personality. Trouble was I had no idea what it was. And, when someone described it as, "TV and radio technicians, camera operators, directors and sound people”, I froze. How could that be? That was a whole other world, inaccessible to me! My family and background were blue collar! My father had said I wouldn’t amount to much, so I didn’t believe I was allowed! Technical Arts?! Whoa! Never had I been more frightened (or confused) of two words.
Well, hand would not be denied and I was prodded again. Some exasperated facilitator asked, "Do you have a camera?” and I replied that I had been a photographer for most of my life with my 35 mm Canon. Aha! Hand clapped me on my back (not my head, thank goodness, though that’s how I made myself feel). So that’s what it is! Immediately I embarked on a new and thrilling path, which has opened into many fascinating avenues since. Yes, the risk to remain in the bud is more painful than that of blossoming forth, so get out your map and start up and down some of those thoroughfares. And be aware, so as to enjoy the ride.
Sandra Chow has enjoyed working as Props Assistant, Locations Manager, Camera Operator, Production Assistant, Location Scout and much more in feature films, commercials, video productions and TV series. Also a professional photographer, she currently lives in Campbell River.