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  • Alexis A. McCoy Gonzalez

Never Too Late

I always envisioned my life being super fabulous like the leading characters in The Devil Wears Prada or Sex in The City. Yes, there would be a little struggle but then I would land my dream job as fashion photographer and attend all the hottest parties in town and living out my dreams. But instead, I’m here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 40 years old married with two children working as an office assistant for a local law firm. A completely different life than I envisioned for myself 15 years ago. I constantly tell my children to follow their dreams and that they can accomplish anything in life they put their mind too.

As I stand here in the office kitchen making my supervisor his fourth cup of coffee. I began to think about when I stopped following my own dreams. The basic answer to that question is life happens, and you get caught up in being a mom, a wife, and a provider for your family. Yes, all of that took place in my life but honestly, I allowed for life twist and turns to stop me from following my dreams. I always told myself that once my children were in school, I would get back into doing photography again. But it never happened and now I’m standing here in this kitchen a week after my 40th Birthday regretting all my life decisions.

When I took this job six years ago I made an oath to myself that I would only be here for a year. But then I got comfortable. I was able to pay off my student loan, we bought a house, we were able to go on family vacations and build a savings. All of the things I wanted at the time were able to take place because I had this job. Even if I hated the job it was allowing for me to provide for my family.

After work I decided it was time to make a change. So I went to a local camera shop take a look at some camera’s and camera equipment. When I walked into the store it like a weight had lifted off my shoulders. Seeing all of the cameras and reading about the features brought forth so many ideas. While I was in the store my husband kept texting asking me was I going to pick-up dinner? I ignored the text. Not because I didn’t want to let him know where I was. I ignored it because I was in a safe space that bought me pure joy, and I didn’t want my reality an all that it comes with to steal joyful moment from me. I spent an hour in the store just looking at cameras.

That night when I arrived home my husband and the kids were in the living room watching TV and eating pizza. Soon as I walked in the door my son yelled mommy your home, daddy got us pizza I saved you some. I responded thanks buddy. I sat my keys and purse on the table in the entryway and joined my family in the living room. Visiting that camera store started a fire inside me that I didn’t want to let go. That day I made an oath to myself that I would start pursing my dreams.

That night after I put the kids to bed I went downstairs to help my husband finish cleaning the kitchen. He asked did you have to work late today? I responded no I stop at the camera store before I came home. He looked at me with excitement in his eyes and said so did you see anything you like? I smiled and said a few things. I finished drying the dishes while he finished packing the kids lunches for tomorrow. He said Kay it’s never too late to follow your dreams. That’s one things I love about my husband he always wanted me to be happy. From the beginning of our relationship he always encouraged me to follow my dreams. When I stopped pursing photography full-time when our daughter was born he came up with the idea for me to create the set and shoot our family photos for our holiday cards. He did whatever it took to keep my hands on a camera and when I didn’t feel like I was good enough he gave me space to figure it out. Life is all about stages and phases and in this moment in my life I am ready to give my all to my dreams.

The next day I went back to the camera store and purchased a camera and all the equipment I needed. I wasn’t going to let myself get comfortable for another six years. Aim I nervous? Yes. Do I have everything mapped out? No. But I do know that I am not meant to be and assistant at a law firm.

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