I was too busy figuring out life in Calgary, life working for a major metro newspaper.
Three years after moving to YYC, my life went into a tailspin. Newspapers in Canada started contracting. People lost their jobs.
I was one of them.
My life as a storyteller, as a journalist, as a sports writer was taken away from me.
At the time, it was the worst moment of my life. I liken it to the worst breakup I’ve ever been through. (The moment has since been eclipsed by the day I had to put down my dog, my best friend, my Shep.)
It took a long time to get over. Eh … I may not even be over it to this day.
A few months later, I landed in marketing and communications.
I gave myself a promotion eight months later by jumping into marketing and communications for a post-secondary education institution.
Sweet baby jeebus, who knew a writer could make more than just above minimum wage?
Celebrate good times, come on …
But wait … first, I became friends with a gal who liked to hike, liked to explore the mountains. She took me and Shep hiking in Bragg Creek, camping in Banff and Jasper national parks.
I dare you to go to the Rocky Mountains and not want to take a picture.
I was surrounded by beauty.
Mountains. Lakes. Fog. Trees. Clouds. Rivers. Creeks.
No. You cannot go to the Rocky Mountains and not take a picture.
I borrowed a point-and-shoot for one trip. A picture of Shep backdropped by the Sawtooth Range at the Ink Pots remains one of my all-time favorites.
It felt natural. It felt like a part of me had been missing.
That Christmas, I bought myself a present. A Nikon D40 with a kit 18-55mm lens. I added the kit 75-200mm a few months later.
It was a start.
It was a return back to where I started, telling stories not just with words but with pictures, too. Somehow, like so many people before seem to have just known, the two go hand in hand.
A picture can be worth a thousand words.
But a picture without the words, much of the story can remain untold.
That’s why you’ll never see a picture in a newspaper without a cutline.