I had an epiphany today, it was quite an eye opener. Im not even really sure how to express what I am feeling but I will try. Ive been spending a lot of time brainstorming this cross country photo-shoot extravaganza. Its overwhelming- tons of things to co-ordinate and plan, and while the response so far has been fantastic, I was feeling intimidated with how this is all going to play out. The lessons will be fantastic, Im not worried about that, I was more worried about logistics, things like which city to have it in, how will I find locations to teach/shoot, timing, how much to charge, how long it will take, etc.

In the back of my mind and….I hate to confess this (to the point of feeling personally embarrassed)…I was wanting some help in getting it all put together and starting to doubt if this was going to happen, unless someone stepped up. As I was fretting over the details, I heard the voice from the movie Field of Dreams “If you build it…they will come.” Cheesy…yes- yet so applicable. If I take a chance, put some risk into it, the workshops will fill up and Ill eventually I will find the resources I need to make it all happen. It is a CRAZYYYYY idea (not just the workshops, but the 50+ free shoots, and everything else involved with it).

I remembered the whole situation when I quit the lab and decided to make the photography school. It was an internal desire I had, I was going to do it whether it worked or not, with or without help. I had an epiphany the too, and in that very moment, I sat down and wrote on a piece of paper “My name is Michael Andrew and I am a plant”. I know this sounds weird but to a biologist, what this means is I wanted to see myself as something that provided life to others by converting raw energy (ideas) into something useful (a photography school) that everyone could benefit from. Once I did this, I understood my role, consciously worked with this in mind and everything really fell into place.

I think everyone, YES, EVERYONE, is a genius or gifted at something, to the same degree that Michael Jordan was at basketball. A tragedy in life is that sometimes we don’t consciously understand what gifts we have or why the heck we are on this planet. We may still exercise flashes of these gifts, but without knowing what they are…its hard to really exploit them.

You live differently when you finally understand what your role in life is and then consciously accept it with all of your heart. It may not be what you hoped it would be, but when you find it, you will know it is right. It is sort of like walking down a dark path you can barely see, slowly moving forward a foot at a time, and then, after getting to a certain point that you never could have gotten to without groveling around for all this time, you can see the rest of the path and where it leads, and say…”Oh…..I get it now….” then start walking forward with confidence, knowing exactly where you are going.

This experience I had today, feels like it is building on the “plant” experience and….its something I’m still getting used to. Like the plant is growing a new branch or something. I feel a little uncomfortable with consciously accepting this idea, but I think its something that I was meant to do, so its time to step up and fill the shoes.

You may be shocked and think “He didnt know that?” and I answer “No…I didnt” at least not on a conscious level. I hope you dont lose too much respect for me, I just never really saw it this way. I feel so silly for not understanding this sooner. Id also like to add that I have no intention in abusing this, and intend to fulfill this role is through service. I hope this clarifies exactly what I mean when I say:

“My name is Michael Andrew and I am a Leader.”