Finding my lost puzzle piece. Getting back on track.

by on July 24, 2011

iPhone photograph from my Instagram (Diane Cu) : “Never alone”

I wouldn’t be honest to you all if I said that I was doing fine. I hope you don’t mis-understand, life has been treating me very kindly. I have an wonderful and supportive partner, a bubble dog that loves me un-conditionally, a garden of heirloom tomatoes and a growing list of clients that I love photographing with. I’ve been satisfied, content with waking up every day excited about what I hope to accomplish, discover and create.

But over the last 6 weeks, I’ve been feeling a void, a missing piece of the puzzle that kept me awake at night more than normal. My instagram pictures (Diane Cu) were a reflection of how I was feeling during those early hours and many of you reached out to me, comforting me and I thank you deeply for that.

I believe I need to share with you, my friends, an explanation of why I was photographing the way I was. This is all part of my healing.

You see, I made a decision to close my photography studio of the last 10 years. This company I started was one of the most fulfilling projects of my life and I nurtured it every single day for the last decade. It was a business that specialized in portrait, family, kids and special events photography. My clients became friends and many evolved into family. Having clients trust me with their precious family moments was the biggest compliment anyone could offer.

Over the last 2 years or so, I was feeling burnt out and losing some creative juices when my shoots were scheduled. I stayed incredibly busy with the photography work for the 8 years prior, that I wasn’t able to explore more personal projects. I worked so hard to build my business and making my clients happy and wanting to return to me for their next sessions that I completely forgot about personal self.

I worked so hard and feeling tired, overwhelmed with all the daily commitments it took to maintain my business. I started to yearn for other creative, personal outlets more and more. It became worse when I kept wanting to be in a different place and doing different things.

Then an opportunity came up for me to leave the business, to close my portrait studio without any further lease obligations. It all happened so quickly, feverishly and within 48 hours, I made the decision to give up this business without selling it or my special event accounts to anyone else.

I just didn’t want to have anything else to do with it anymore. I ran out of creative fuel for this part of the business. And most importantly, I needed to take care of my self, my sanity.

The lease allowed me 30 days to close my studio, clear out my belongings and shut the chapter of my life that I made helped me grow and nurtured me for the last 10 years.

My head was pounding with fear. My heart was aching to pain to say good bye to all that I worked hard to build. The risk I was taking to change my career path scared the shit out of me.

Foolish was the word that was whispered within my family circle. I don’t doubt that the decision I made was risky and abrupt, but I was liberating myself from something I wasn’t happy doing any more. The thoughts of Todd and I having to work every single Friday, Saturday and Sunday exhausted me. Holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Prom and Graduation seasons had us working 16 hours a day.

The freedom I felt from letting all this go was liberating. I was going to take care of my personal self, my sanity again.

My multimedia business I started with Todd kept me busier than ever before. Finally we were able to take jobs and assignments that allowed us to travel more and this was where the new creative energy thrived and continued to explode. Life was finally surrounded by what I wanted to be doing, producing new visual/video content and the new list of clients was fresh and fiercely exciting.

Still, I was feeling like something was lacking, the missing piece of the puzzle I kept searching for.

This photograph that I captured above with my iPhone spoke everything to me. While on a road trip up the CA coast this weekend, I witnessed this little excited child being cradled between her 2 elders. I watched her for a few minutes and it made me happy to see how she frolicked in the water, how she managed to splash her little legs past bigger waves and how she always made sure her Mom was close by for comfort.

I had that surge of happiness again, like when I was photographing kids a few weeks back at the studio. Witnessing the togetherness of family and children was so wonderful and it was an even bigger privilege to be asked to capture their special moments.

So there it was, right in front of me, that happy little child on the beach reminded me that my heart belonged there. Photographing kids, in their environment, doing what made them happy, sad, play, cry, jump or fall. I need to go back to photographing kids. Their free spirit, innocence and wonder with the most simple of things makes me happy and to be able to capture that on camera completes me.

I found it, my missing puzzle. I need to go back to photographing kids. Their free spirit, innocence and wonder with the most simple of things makes me happy and to be able to capture that on camera completes me. If I can return back to more of what 10 years at my studio taught me, then I’ll feel complete both professionally and creatively.

I implore you to find your missing puzzles. We all have missing pieces to the whole picture and we owe it to ourselves to never continue the journey to fulfilling the vision of the life that we want to live. I’m confident that I’ll be missing more puzzles over the years, but I’ll always be exploring and searching.

My hope is that I never finish my life puzzle. I continue to find challenge, hope, creativity and answers to my frustrations when I look for these missing pieces when they appear lost. My life is often like a scavenger hunt and often finding those little things is all it takes to get me back on track.

Thanks for listening,

diane

 

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve in ORD July 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Diane,

We all look for that muse in our life that completes the puzzle. There’s not a day goes by that I look out the window and think about those “what if” questions that bug me. What if … I’d got this degree instead of that one, if I’d stayed in that city instead of moving, if I had done this or that. No matter what the question (or answer) I’m very happy with where my life has been, where it’s at, and what it has in store for me in the future. You too will find this path. A wise woman once told me things happen for a reason. That woman is no longer in my life but her advice still stands and it’s something that I live by to this day.

I think that it’s great that you’ve made this move. Don’t dwell on those what ifs’. Think about those what next’s. I’m pushing 40 and I can feel it in my bones that it’s time for me to ask that “what next” question or as you put it, my lost puzzle piece – a puzzle that I hope is never finished.

Keep shooting. There’s not one of us readers to your site that will tell you that you made the wrong choice and I bet every one of us will support you in the path that you take.

Thanks for sharing.

-Steve

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2 Marion July 25, 2011 at 9:15 am

I second your comments and say from my perspective at 65, having had lived a few lives already, I am still finding many new areas to explore. Photography has been a hobby nurtured through traveling, and I am working towards improving my capablities each time we go somewhere………thank you for sharing, and thank you, Diane, for all your thoughtfulness.

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3 White on Rice Couple July 24, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Steve,
thank you, your words are really appreciated.
I thought that closing my studio, that part of my life, meant that I had to give up on my subjects and that type of photography completely. Believing that I would have closure if I did so was actually hurting me.
I was wrong in thinking so. Everything happened so quickly, abruptly.
The risky decision I made felt so scary, but I knew it was the best thing for me. I needed to take care of myself and my health more on many levels.

Now that I’m looking to return to the photography that made me happy, I’m excited to pursue it again this time, on my terms, on a different level and fresh, creative perspective.

Thanks for joining me on this, xoxo
diane

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4 Kalyn July 24, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I love your process of examining your life and seeing how it’s working. And good that you realize that there are few decisions that can’t be reversed or altered, if that’s what feels right.

And I can relate. At all the family parties I go around taking photos of the kids. I think I am the official Denny family kid photographer!

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5 White on Rice Couple July 24, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Kalyn,
You have officially been anointed as child photographer and you have so many wonderful subjects to photograph! Time to start a kid photography blog now . xoxo

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6 Emily July 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm

This was such a heartwarming post. I’m so glad you’ve found something that excites you!

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7 Nisrine M. July 24, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Diane, thank you so much for sharing this heartfelt post. I’m glad you found yourself and your missing puzzle in child photography. I can imagine it being the source of much satisfaction. Best of luck with what you chose to do.

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8 nicole July 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I’m glad that you figured out what was missing in your life. I hope that you continue to strive for the balance in your life that allows you to do everything that you love. I’m also glad that you took the time to share this with everyone. beautiful

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9 White on Rice Couple July 24, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Nicole- you are the sweetest thing, always being there for me. And you helped guide us through Boston too, so I owe you double one day. thank you.
-d

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10 Maureen July 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Your post was meant for me. I’ve been working 7 days a week for the past 11 years and I’m so burnt out I can’t stand it. I found food blogging and it’s been my savior. I can’t walk away from our business unfortunately but I did find an outlet to find “myself” in the life I lead.

Thanks so much for sharing this insight. It helped me and gave me encouragement that life won’t always be like it is now.

Best of luck with photographing the kids.

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11 White on Rice Couple July 24, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Maureen- Blogging has been my savior too and it helped keep me sane. I know how you feel about not being able to walk away just yet, but I’m hoping the time will come for you like it did for me.
In the meantime, keep blogging! xoox
-diane

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12 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Diane thank you for sharing your story and what’s going on with you behind the scenes and I am so happy for you that you are free from that which was weighing you down AND that you have things that excite you in the future…like photographing kids. So happy that you’ve found your missing puzzle piece.

I believe I have recently found mine…and it is…photography! In all forms, I am loving it. Although I love the technical aspects of shooting food, I feel more joy when I capture images of people. Of my 4.5 year old daughter, of people I pass by…there is something about the energy that nurtures me in a way that taking pictures of brownies doesn’t. But brownies are still fun :)

Take care and can’t wait for Boulder!

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13 White on Rice Couple July 24, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Averie- The personal connection and gratification of photographing people and their stories is wonderful. And I’m so glad you have a 4.5 year old to practice on every day. See you next week!
-d

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14 Snippets of Thyme July 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm

What an incredible read. What professional prose you possess through writing. You are giving yourself the gift of freedom but are also sharing that gift and planting seeds for everyone who reads your words and begins a little move towards sprouting themselves…

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15 White on Rice Couple July 24, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Penni- thank you for that. I don’t consider myself to be a writer, just more of a rambler of life.
The last few months have been flooding with emotion for me in so many different directions. Sharing it all on this blog is healing.
thank you for your words. Always.
-d

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16 Cooking with Michele July 24, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I left a 25 year career in the tech industry to pursue my passion around cooking. I could have been called foolish (my earnings are about 1/10 what I used to make), but thankfully I had family and friends who thought it was fabulous and offered nothing but support.

Now I’ve just landed my first cookbook contract, my business is doing well, and I’m thrilled to have a daughter following in my culinary footsteps. (She just landed a job in the kitchen at SALT in Boulder and will be going to Johnson & Wales when she graduates from CU soon.)

You have to pursue what you love in life. I’m happy my daughter is trying to figure that out early on. And I’m glad you have found that for yourself.

Looking forward to meeting you at the food and light workshop in August!

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17 White on Rice Couple July 24, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Michele- So I get to see you next week a give you a big hug of congrats on your cookbook contract!
Best of all, you’ve planted nurturing seeds in your daughter and she’s sharing your passion. You’re a wonderful Mom and role model to your daughter. She’s a lucky girl. xoxo
-d

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18 Melissa @ Dash of East July 24, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Diane, thank you so much for sharing this post. I believe we all go through phases with our careers when we grow tired of what we are doing and decide that it’s time to follow another path.

I myself am trying to make a proper move into photography, from almost 4 years of running a web & graphic design business. Photography has always been a passion of mine, but I’ve been too scared to really leap into it. I’ve felt burnt out for the past year and have decided that now, it’s time.

Reading your post tonight has really inspired and encouraged me. I’m so happy to hear that you have found your missing puzzle piece. I wish you all the best with your new path, with your talent and passion for photography, I know you’ll be incredible!

See you soon in Boulder!

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19 White on Rice Couple July 24, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Hi Melissa- I saw how passionate you are about your photography by visiting your beautiful site. I’m thrilled that you’re pursuing what you love and your graphic design skills are an added bonus to your photography! Leaving a career for something different in another field is certainly one of the scariest things one can do, but when you enter your choice with conviction and support, the journey is a lot easier.
I’m here for ya.
See you next week. xo
d

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20 dtr3 July 24, 2011 at 11:16 pm

As one who has never been able to break free from the expectations of others (and herself) I applaud your courage. You are a hero.

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21 White on Rice Couple July 31, 2011 at 12:17 pm

dtr3- I read your comment 4x. Thank you 100x.

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22 Flavor of Italy July 25, 2011 at 12:02 am

Hi Diane! You’re introspective enough to reflect on your professional needs and take action. Many people do neither over the course of a lifetime or just do one or the other. You’re lucky Diane. You’re also in a position where financially you can act on your introspection and effect change, also with a kind, supportive partner.
I’m very excited about the prospect of your coming to Italy. Italian children are amazing and we could go to some smaller towns and capture great photos.
I also have a lot of food ideas (you haven’t abandoned food photography have you?…) so we need to talk!
A presto,
Wendy

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23 Gilbert Ho July 25, 2011 at 3:04 am

Hello Diane, thanks for sharing this. I believe it wasn’t an easy choice to make, but congratulations on having the courage to follow your heart’s calling. All the best with the new venture!

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24 Katie Ring July 25, 2011 at 5:16 am

Diane,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. If it’s not fun anymore, why do it? I get it. I photographed weddings for 5 years full time, but now only shoot a few here & there. Why? Not because I love weddings or the wonderful clients I had any less, but because I love being able to see my husband, family & friends on nights and weekends again in the summer. You won’t got wrong if you do what makes you happy. Your videos are fabulous and food photos are mouthwatering. I’m sure you’ll find happiness in this new tasty chapter of your life. Wishing you all the best!

-Katie

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25 Kristen July 25, 2011 at 5:35 am

I still remember you taking pictures of Leah & I on the rooftop at the first Blogher food. You had such a way with her and I remember her tiny 3 month old laugh as you snapped away, interacting effortlessly with her.
Portrait photography is a lot of work, but it is one of your greatest gifts.
I’m glad you discovered you need that part of your puzzle!

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26 Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking July 25, 2011 at 6:24 am

Diane, what a beautiful post. It is VERY scary when we leave something familiar not having a plan or knowing what the next step is. It’s a risk, but at the same time, can be very exciting. When one door closes another door opens and the possibilities are endless. I found this out after I left my job as an office manager for a vet’s office after two years. It was time to come home and be a full-time mother to our three kids. It scared me that we would only be living on one income, but we’ve been making it work and I’ve found a new passion in blogging and baking/cooking. I majored in theater in college for crying out loud. Who knew that this new passion would be my “puzzle piece”. It’s awesome though and I feel more complete doing this and providing my family with wonderful meals more so than I ever have in my life.
The love you have for photographing children will definitely be revealed in your pictures. I can already see it in the picture you posted. You are going to capture some of their most intimate moments and that will be such a gift to their family, to you, and even the world for years to come.
I’m very excited for you and I hope you are able to post some of the photos you take. I would LOVE to see them! My best wishes for you!

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27 Brooke @ Waiting to Rise July 25, 2011 at 6:59 am

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I know its scary…I’m at one of those “missing puzzle piece” moments in my own life. I’ve spent so long dwelling in the past…thinking of what has been done to me, what I’ve done, where I’ve been, the pain I’ve experienced (and continue to experience), the degree I have that truly doesn’t “fit” me….its all a mess. I have no idea what is going to help complete me right now and push me forward to live in the present and get out of the negative thought patterns I’ve experienced…but I’m working on finding it. I have found the love of life, who really believes in me and loves me unconditionally. I’m starting a new school program to change careers. I’m finding my way in a kitchen. I’m changing….and while its scary, I know its a far better place than where I was and currently am. Thanks for your willingness to share and I wish you luck in your journey. Take care! Brooke

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28 Geri Miller July 25, 2011 at 8:10 am

A beautiful, intimate ‘share’…thank you. It was a gentle reminder that we should all “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates. Glad you are focussing on your true bliss!

xxoo
Geri

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29 bunkycooks July 25, 2011 at 8:11 am

Hi Diane,

I loved your honesty and heartwarming story of your journey through these changes in your life. It seems that every day brings a new challenge and a door closes, but it also opens somewhere else. It is the moments where we find the missing puzzle piece that makes life worthwhile. You are truly a special person and I know that these puzzle pieces will continue to fall in place for you in the many years to come, both personally and professionally. :)

Gwen

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30 Ren July 25, 2011 at 8:18 am

eloquent.

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31 Bonnieg July 25, 2011 at 8:21 am

Thank you for sharing Diane,

Your post was, for me as well, beautifully timed and appreciated. My “nest” will be empty as of September and I too feel so energized being around children and teens and the “wonder” and innocence that breathes within them. Your thoughts are much appreciated as I begin the process and quietly listening to my own heart to see where it takes me.

Best wishes, Bonnie G.

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32 Ren July 25, 2011 at 8:24 am

By the way…
You inspired me to plant my first fig tree. It’s beautiful. And putting out it’s first fruit.
Thank you.

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33 Sally July 25, 2011 at 8:27 am

Dear Diane, Not only did it take a lot of courage to close your studio, but also to share your feelings about it (and you expressed them so beautifully). I think it really helps others to know when our lives aren’t exactly perfect or we don’t have all the answers, because it is such a universal experience. But we often keep that to ourselves. I remember when we closed our restaurant (for some of the same reasons you closed your studio.) It felt right but it also felt sad to end the work I had been doing fourteen hours a day for years. And then came the void. I have been dealing with that void a lot in my life, on and off over the years, and I have come to accept and embrace it more and more easily, though it is never comfortable. But something wonderful almost always comes, so it is worth learning how to just let it be. I am so excited for you with this new chapter. I know you will find (and are already finding) more joy, more energy and more satisfaction–bravo to you for taking such a courageous step!

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34 Yvette ~ Muy Bueno Cookbook July 25, 2011 at 8:36 am

I LOVE that photo and I had those same emotions when I saw it. It reminds me of what it was like to be a child – to see everything for the first time and to be innocent. That’s what I love about our own children who remind me daily of the simple things. Sometimes we lose sight of our goals and burn ourselves out going on the wrong path.

I am so grateful to have our blog as a creative outlet and to “meet” people like you along the way. Best of luck in all that you do. You have such a gift. No matter if you are snapping photos of children, food, flowers, you are an artist! Thank you for sharing your story.

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35 MikeVFMK July 25, 2011 at 8:40 am

Diane, a journey is only a journey when we can take stock of the progress and our place in it. And we have time to reflect and see if we want to continue or take the fork in the road and begin anew. And be honest to ourselves. Sometimes we’re so caught up in life that we forget to enjoy the process and the pieces that keep us happy. Keep us fulfilled. And content.

I’m glad you found your muse again. Some people never find it. The two of you have a gift. But a gift is only good if you can enjoy it. And now you can.

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36 Tamar@StarvingofftheLand July 25, 2011 at 9:16 am

Your pictures, your food, your good will, it all makes the world just a little bit better, a little more beautiful, a little tastier. That you have rediscovered what gives you joy means, I hope, that we will have more of your pictures, your food, and your good will. I say brava!

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37 irma July 25, 2011 at 9:30 am

Diane that is the greatest satisfaction to discover the next path of your life, congratulations!!!
And congratulations on the piece on Foodography!!! You guys rock, keep up the flow!

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38 cindy July 25, 2011 at 9:42 am

Diane, this is wonderful. I follow your instagram stream and I almost feel foolish “liking” each and every thoughtful photo you post. Your words and pictures are, simply put, inspiring. I needed to read this post, as for each moment of content I feel is countered by feelings of fear, naivete, and the routine of everyday that rule my wake. Somehow knowing the struggles of others, especially with such talent and charisma that I admire, helps. Thanks :)

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39 Haute Cookture July 25, 2011 at 9:47 am

Hi Diane,
What a touching post. Though we’ve never met, You and Todd have been such a blessing to me. The photography tutorials, the laughs, the thought provoking, the and of course the amazing amazing food photography. Your blog is such a comforting, warm and inspirational place that soothes my soul when I need it most.

I can totally relate to your sentiments regarding working with kids. I am blessed beyond measure to have the creative freedom to do so many of the things I passionately love on my terms but the time I spend with my athletes and kids I mentor is the most thing rewarding thing I do. The kids give me joy and peace that words could never express.

Thanks for sharing and cheers to finding your missing puzzle piece:)

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40 Haute Cookture July 25, 2011 at 9:50 am

Hi Diane,
What a touching post. Though we’ve never met, You and Todd have been such a blessing to me. The photography tutorials, the laughs, the thought provoking, and of course the amazing amazing food photography. Your blog is such a comforting, warm and inspirational place that soothes my soul when I need it most.

I can totally relate to your sentiments regarding working with kids. I am blessed beyond measure to have the creative freedom to do so many of the things I passionately love on my terms but the time I spend with my athletes and kids I mentor is the most thing rewarding thing I do. The kids give me joy and peace that words could never express.

Thanks for sharing and cheers to finding your missing puzzle piece:)

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41 Steve-Anna July 25, 2011 at 11:36 am

Hey girl~! What a wonderful post, and I so understand. I’m thrilled for you that you created the space and quiet to hear that little inner voice when it spoke to you at the beach!!

My favorite line, and I love that you wrote it twice: “I need to go back to photographing kids.” “I need to go back to photographing kids.” Underscores your conviction.

Love you, love your husband, love your dog, and love your puzzle ; )
xoxo

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42 Garrett July 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

Diane,
You gotta do what makes you happy. Sometimes that’s super scary, but I think taking these sorts of actions are what define us and make us stronger. You’re already pretty damn strong. You’re She-Ra with a camera and a cocktail shaker. I can’t wait to see how much more amazing you become. =D

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43 Jason July 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Been there before… trying to figure out what’s next or whats missing? Kids bring an inexplicable joy! I’m glad you are going back to what makes you happy!

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44 terri July 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I think that what you wrote about children–”their free spirit, innocence and wonder with the most simple of things”–encapsulates your writing, photography, and who you are so perfectly. No wonder you’re so drawn to photographing them.

Beautiful post–thanks for sharing.

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45 Cookin' Canuck July 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm

What a personal journey you’ve been through, Diane and I can imagine this process has been for you. I have gone through something similar over the past couple of years and know how turn it can make you feel. I’m so happy for you that you came to a decision that makes you content and excited. Life is far too short to be doing the things that others think you should do. You are following your heart and, ultimately, that will lead you to peace and contentment. Well done!

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46 kimberly July 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm

In spite of much criticism from people we love, we sold our house in the city and moved to a farm in Idaho. To everyone else, the decisions were abrupt, but it had all been brewing in our hearts for years. Trust your dreams and live the life you dream of!

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47 The Undercover Cook July 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Kudos to you for taking the brave step of making a change! So many people stay in jobs they don’t like or that don’t fulfill them because it is scary to make a change. Life is too short to stay stuck!

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48 Christine July 25, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Diane, that was a beautiful post. It comes at a time when I really needed to hear about changing life directions. It’s very hard to acknowledge something like this and then to actually do it. Bravo and thank you!

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49 Alyse July 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm

No- thank you. We have homeschooled our two boys, and one is going off to college this fall. Our younger son is going to miss him terribly, as are we.
Your post was so good for me right now in ways that are not mine to say right now.

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50 jenjenk July 25, 2011 at 9:26 pm

D – Thank you for this post. I’m in awe of your courage and strength that it took to say goodbye to something that was reliable, even if it were draining. I would hope that I would be able to say good bye when it was time for me, too.

I hope you don’t mind, but I’m adopting your perspective on life being like a scavenger hunt for missing pieces. It’s too easy for me to gloss over the missing parts with “busy-ness” thinking that it was the same thing as “fulfillment”.

Thank you for the reminder.

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51 Barefeet In The Kitchen July 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm

What a beautifully well written post. I’m so glad that you are at peace with this now.

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52 Helene July 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Seven years ago I gave up on a career that I liked a lot. I never looked back. It was liberating to be able to be home with my family everyday. The biggest gift I received was when my son, that was 15 yrs old at the time said: it is so nice to come home after school and to find you home mom. I had found what was missing in my life. I needed to stay home for my family. My youngest is 17 now and I am still home for him. Will be until he graduate. Then will have lot’s of time in my life to explore new paths. Thanks for sharing this honest post with us :)

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53 Kathy M July 26, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Nice post Diane! Congratulations on finding a puzzle piece. I love a good puzzle.

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54 Steve Carlson July 26, 2011 at 10:41 pm

One of my “puzzle pieces” is walking out most every day among my citrus trees that you inspired me to plant — checking out the Buddha’s Hand to see what it’s putting out, looking through my yuzu tree to see if I can get some more buds to set, wondering how I can get the calamondin tree to flourish, etc. I learned about of all those from you and Todd, and I really appreciate it. You’ve enriched my life, so thank you.

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55 Valeria July 27, 2011 at 1:26 am

Thank you so much for your words, Diane. I have been following you for a long time, and I feel like I have left very few comments. I am 23 but for some reason I understand very well what you feel. I feel stuck in a spiral of internships and short-term jobs that I don’t really enjoy, and I find my only interest in studying photography, blogging, writing, learning English and baking. I am trying to figure out how to put these passions together but I am really scared of the future, of not having any income or any money to keep going. I am just starting to face life as it is after college and Master and I am so scared and excited at the same time.I have so many dreams and such little means to sustain them. I am trying to find a solution but it’s hard. Your word encouraged me to try harder, to persue my dreams and to work for them. Thank you for this enlightening post.

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56 Jaden July 27, 2011 at 11:32 am

::love::

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57 Karina July 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm

We have not met- yet- but I feel such a kindred connection to your words here, as you describe your feelings about letting go of something that no longer nurtures you, and searching for that missing piece that gives you inspiration and fuels your happiness. The thing is, that missing piece can change shape and become something else after a while. We grow, we move in different directions, we try new things. Some pieces fit, for a time. Then they don’t, and we move on. Life is change. And bravo to you for the courage to express yourself authentically. I wrestle with similar questions. One day I hope we meet.

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58 Muy Bueno Cookbook July 30, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Hola Diane, I feel like I know you and yet we’ve never met. Thanks for sharing such a private part of yourself…I’m crying now even as I write this, understanding your pain and your happiness all at the same time…I think I read somewhere that in losing oneself we find ourselves. I’m glad you found what gives you the most joy…can’t wait to see some kid pictures…besos…Veronica

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59 Brooke @ Food Woolf August 5, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Diane,
I like how Jen K said “scavenger hunt for the missing pieces.” I like that, and I like the journey you just shared with us. It’s good to take chances, do things that feel scary, search out and stand up for your inner truth. I’m happy to hear you figured out what needed to be done in order to get your equilibrium back. You’re incredible. Happy happy.

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60 kellypea August 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm

How wonderful for you! I’ve been through something very similar, so five years ago changed my life and things have slowly begun to come into focus again. I wish you the very best.

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