Belize will forever be a special place to me.
For years, since graduating college, I’ve internally struggled with feelings of fear, failure and inadequacy when it comes to my photography. In my head is a constant, questioning inner dialogue. Am I good enough? Is this work worth sharing? Is what I am photographing meaningful? Do I have what it takes? Is photography still my passion at all?
This constant line of internal questioning and fear of failure led me to stop trying. I put down my camera, and I ignored my passion. In turn, I robbed myself of the one thing I have always received fulfillment from: creating.
Yet, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about passion and dreams, it’s that they will never give up on you, even when you’ve given up on them.
Belize allowed me to open that door back up and rediscover what it feels like to be passionate about something. I think that’s one of the things I love most about travel; when you remove the pressure, expectations and distractions you can suddenly very clearly see what makes you happy and how you enjoy spending your time.
My camera was with me at almost all times, and I let myself see and interpret the world again. Sure, not every image came out technically perfect, but the most important thing for me was that I was taking pictures and enjoying it again.
I came home feeling energized, inspired and happy. That’s the thing about passion – you can try to quiet it and ignore it and be afraid of it all you want, but it has a way of always creeping back up on you, reminding you how good it feels.
I had started and stopped this blog, but missed writing terribly. I no longer made time for it and got caught up in what others were doing, which led to my blog feeling inauthentic and not at all like me. Again, I feared truly putting myself out there and just being me. But I couldn’t quite let it go, and it was always here waiting for me to come back. Passions are very patient.
Belize also gave me permission to dream. So often, I shoot down my dreams just as fast as I conjure them up, but when I came home I felt a real desire and pull towards a more fulfilling, meaningful life. Travel is one of the best ways to get clarity on what you truly enjoy and want your own life to look like, and I finally gave myself permission to welcome those dreams and desires into my life, while also realizing I could make them happen.
I dream of traveling more and experiencing the world while I have the ability. I also dream of writing, photographing, and creating every chance I get, even if it’s scary to put myself out there.
When I came home from Belize I connected with a friend, Lisandra, who I’d met in Zumba class. We talked about my vacation and the kind of creative energy it had given me, and she showed me that these things are all connected: passion, dreams, intention. None of them can exist or survive without the other. Passion is what keeps us going, and gives us those bursts of energy and inspiration, causing us to dream. Sometimes following dreams can lead us to discover a passion unexpectedly. But passion is not a constant, and without a plan for how to make our passions and dreams reality in our lives, they quickly squander.
Belize was simply the vehicle in which these ideas surfaced in my own life, but it also invited me to dream and be passionate again. And for that, I’ll always be thankful.