Leaps of faith

When I'm not shooting or going to school, I spend my days in the communications-marketing world, working on campaigns, strategies and researching target audiences.

One of the most over-discussed topics in my field, in my opinion, are millennials. The term millennials, or Generation Y, refers to the generation that was born between the early 1980s and 2000.  

Millennials are frequently caricatured as a generation that wants everything now, that's spoiled, entitled, and that grew up being told if you get a good education, you'll be guaranteed a great career. So we all got educated, more than any generation before us (and we took out major student loans, believing it would be a good investment into our future), and hit the work force, assuming that the world owed us something after we got all those degrees...Except it didn't quite work out that way for many of us.

I don't want to discuss millennials at length here - as a mentioned, it's already a highly discussed topic in the interwebs. I want to tell the story of three friends that took leaps of faith.

Rachelle, Gabrielle and Jonathan all found themselves not entirely fulfilled by their situations and the three of them each decided to do something about it.

Rachelle has two degrees but she was working in a job that required neither of them. Despite dozens of applications sent out, the phone wasn't ringing. She volunteered with different organizations to try and grow her network but that didn't help either. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean lived a man she loved but because she was finishing her masters and had her life on this side of the ocean, they had never spent more than a few months together at a time. But then she was out of school and her career wasn't picking up. So she accepted an offer from this man to come join him. She left her friends and family and moved to the unknown, trusting that life would figure itself out.

It did. She found work, good work, and is now working on major projects in beautiful office over looking the Thames.

Jonathan had a great job that he excelled at. He's one of the brightest most talented people I know. Work wasn't so much the issue for him. It was something else. Something was missing. He tells his own story here much better than I could, but basically for him, it was a question of now or never. You have dreams? Do something about it. Don't wait. So he packed his stuff and is now biking 15 000 km around the world. (You should follow his adventure here. It comes with lovely photos and great stories.)

Gabrielle is from the same small city in Southwestern Ontario where I grew up. She got her degree in dance from York then moved to Montreal for many of the same reasons I moved here. There's something magical about this city, something that makes you believe this is where great things happen. Except great things weren't happening. Dance is in Gab blood. She's always danced and needed to move but Montreal was lacking in opportunities.

Someone in Gaspe was looking for a choreographer. Gabrielle went. She moved 1000 km from Montreal, 1700 km from where we grew up, to a small town on the edge of the world where she knew no one. She's now dancing every day, sharing her passion with the people around her and having a huge impact in her community. You can follow her amazing work here.

I got to photograph Gabrielle in an enchanting studio. She put on some music and starting moving beautifully and I did my best to capture the love and passion she has for what she does. She was so kind to open herself as she did in front of my lens.

Each of these friends are a huge source of inspiration for me. They felt things weren't working out as they had hoped, so they did something about it. Things aren't perfect now either, but they chose uncertainty over dissatisfaction.

I don't think we're entitled. I think we know what we're worth. We want to contribute to our community. We want our work to have meaning, to share what we know and to learn what we don't from the best.  Basically, we just don't want to go to waste.