In this series of blog posts we are introducing people who are speaking at Inspire 2014. Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Tremoulet of Vivid and Brave who will be leading a Monday workshop with Stephanie O on Rediscovering Yourself Through Journaling & Personal Projects - Vivid & Brave
This post has been an incredibly hard one to write, and I think it is because it is time to finally come clean. I ran away from home last summer. I shut down the world and I wandered aimlessly for two weeks.
Saying that it was for two weeks might raise some eyebrows, because in the end I was gone for 4 months, and I drove over 19,000 miles. There were two weeks in there though where I shut it all down and hid away from the world.
My trip was completely unplanned. When my husband & I first left home in early July, it was to drive to Portland so I could attend a conference and to drive to Seattle to see his brother. He would fly home, I'd make my way back to Denver, park my car to fly to Chicago to speak at BlogHer, return to Denver to mentor at a workshop, and then drive home at the end of July.
When we were in Portland, I got the idea to get some really basic camping gear. I thought at the time it was just for a few nights of camping. Instead, after Denver, I didn't drive home. I started August off by making my way to the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Montana.
The tent became my shelter, and nature became my home. Out in nature. Alone among strangers and the mountains.
I didn't check my email more than once every few days. I had no internet access to check Facebook or Twitter most of the time. Texts came through ok, but if I wanted to call home I had to stop at points with strong enough cell signal to make a call.
It was the best thing I could have ever done for my business.
I will admit that I completely neglected my business, and I focused all my energy on myself. Last year was a hard year for me physically - one full of medical tests and even gallbladder surgery days before we left on our trip. While my business was solid, my creativity in my photography felt stagnant. Everything started to feel the same at my boudoir sessions. I had stopped seeking new things, stopped looking at the world in new ways.
As photographers and business owners, we forget to shut down. We don't pay attention to the fact that our own batteries need to be recharged. I thought that a day off here and there was enough. It wasn't. I was never truly unplugged.
You need time to recharge. You need time away from work. You need to listen to yourself. You need to journal and let yourself pour out on the page.
I believe that spending time in nature centers you and helps you rediscover your core being.
I never put the camera down, but instead I photographed things I don't normally take time to photograph. Mountains, lakes, the wildflowers on the side of the road. The stars. Oh my, the stars. Out there with no light pollution, the dome of the stars blankets you, and looking up at the Milky Way is one of the most spectacular things I've ever witnessed.
Eventually, I had to come back to work. I met up with my family in North Dakota. I continued on my road-trip, checking emails daily and doing photo sessions with clients along the way. Recharged. Creativity rediscovered. The mountains & the Milky Way forever imprinted on my heart.