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new balance shoes for men A dream career made possible My husband and I tell him absolutely, because he possesses photography genes from my husband's side and he sees objects differently from the rest of us. What we don't say is, "Get a real job since being a photographer won't pay the bills." I heard that refrain too often from my father, and it scared me into thinking I should never consider a creative career; which is exactly what I do now. But it took a long time to realize I needed to pursue what I was good at and have faith that the money would follow. My father, a practical man, didn't want me tied to his fate, the one where the liberal arts degree doesn't translate into a proper job. He hated his job, and I deeply considered this as I applied to college, including all of the military academies and ROTC branches. I gravitated to the military for camaraderie, adventure and a job after graduation. I also knew my choice upset my mother. My dad, who reviewed applications all day, convinced me to apply for engineering so I'd have a better shot at landing a military scholarship. I was discouraged from majoring in anything with the word "liberal" attached to it, which unfortunately left out everything I excelled in. I remember looking out my window in the second grade at the corkscrew willow, twisting my hair to resemble its leaves, as my dad yelled at me for not understanding fractions. He knew I was terrible at math (although I later did pass calculus). Perhaps he figured I'd smarten up in college. I didn't. I left engineering after my first semester after failing three of the four requisites. I switched to business and was able to retain my Army ROTC scholarship, but then I sustained two herniated discs. I kissed my Army career goodbye after I was denied a waiver. Three years later I graduated with a degree in finance, but I didn't have strong grades or confidence I could make it in this field. What if I had done better in school? I had worked so hard, but it still wasn't enough. Eventually I became a retail manager in Myrtle Beach after years in entrylevel advertising and public relations jobs. I loved the energy of the sales floor. I found I had a knack for selling, and I appreciated all of my business classes finally they were paying off. Because my parents weren't comfortable with entrepreneurship, they never encouraged me in this direction. I knew I needed to rely on and amp up my own strengths rather than focus on my weaknesses. Daniel's birth more than seven years ago provided me a doover. I went to grad school for English, and now I run my own writing business, in which I entwine the creative and business sides of my brain. While I'm not my father, his practicality did rub off on me, and I'm glad it did. Daniel will be a photographer, but he'll need to take a few business courses along the way.