“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
— George Eliot
Today marks the end of one long journey and the beginning of another which, hopefully, will also be a long one. The ending is the end of my career as a software engineer working in the corporate world. The beginning is a new endeavor which, at this time, is somewhat ill-defined. I do know that this new venture will include the practice of photography and post-processing with software like Photoshop and Lightroom. Beyond that, it’s hard to say. Video? Maybe. Epubs? Maybe. More website/software development? Probably, at least a little. But the precise pathway to be taken is something I’ll need to discover through a process of exploration.
This is a journey which started some 40 years when I got a gig, to be my first, to do the lighting at a small rock concert. The show was scheduled to take place a week later on a rural stage somewhere in San Bernardino County. The next week I packed up my Toyota Hilux pickup truck with my meager inventory of home-made lighting equipment and home-made electronics. I drove a couple of hours to the site and was surprised not to see anyone except a police officer in a cruiser patrolling the dirt road. He stopped me and asked my business. When I told him, he informed me that the concert had been canceled. Something about the lack of a permit. Despondently, I headed home. That was the beginning and end of my career as a concert lighting technician.
Since that time I’ve had a number of other business/creative ideas including a few which I’ve tried to get off the ground at various times. But for a variety of reasons—all my own failures in one way or another—none ever took flight.
Now, as I begin my seventh decade I am facing my last, best chance to craft a vocation built on passion. I know I’ve left this work until late. But I’d like to believe it’s not too late. In fact, from this vantage point I have some distinct advantages not the least of which is all my experience from years gone by. But as I look downstream at those years that have already flowed under the bridge I am acutely aware that the years that still lie upstream are circumscribed. On the one hand, that could be a limitation. On the other, it can be an advantage as it lends urgency to the task ahead.
I invite you to join me in creative exploration. I’ll share some waypoints of my journey from time to time. I hope to share in yours, also.
Bravo! I’m in a similar boat. And I have a similar story with a rock band for which I was the sound engineer, briefly, a very long time ago, until a beer bottle whizzed by my head and I concluded it was too dangerous a job.
Good for you! How’s it going? I just happened on this. I’m 72, worked doing audio for docs, commercials, corporate, television. No such thing as retirement for freelancers 🙂 Doing volunteer video/ photography for Indivisible. Helping my wife out with some classical music concert org’s she manages – photography, web work, some video. Happened on your site when trying to find out more about Premiere Pro. Glad to see someone else considers the 70’s a start!!!
Wow! I’d forgotten about this. Hey, I’m 76 and now fighting crime and corruption (there’s lots of it going around) after being involved in software engineering. Current battle is against an amazing propaganda campaign by a developer, FivePoint Communities, that has taken over ownership of the Irvine City Council majority. Even more remarkable is that they’ve captured a variety of organizations (like both the Democratic and Republican parties) with fake information and fake news, including a fake newspaper and gobs of “philanthropy.” Even some friends believe the nonsense, some of it as obvious as a red circle on a black background, when the truth is available for all to see in online documents. Maybe, people don’t read, anymore, if the message is more than 10 words. It’s been highly educational though on how to scam an easily-duped public.