I remember the first time I explored the thought of having a "career", my mind immediately went to being an artist. I was laying on the beach on a lunch break from working my first job at the local surf shop in Cocoa Beach, Florida. I let these thoughts dance through my brain and loved how they made me feel. I was 17 at the time and immediately grabbed onto the thought of becoming an artist. "What would I paint?" I asked myself curiously. The answer was glaringly obvious. I would spend my life painting the ocean. "What would a lifetime painting the ocean look like?" I thought excitedly. Thoughts of walking on the beach at sunrise, being very tan, going swimming on a whim, painting right at the edge of the sea, the sound of waves crashing drowning out all my thoughts... I was sold. I put my work clothes back on over my bathing suit and headed back in to finish my shift at the surf shop. Little did I know, my life path for the next decade would look very different. After I graduated high school, I went on to college to pursue a Bachelors in Molecular Biology, joined the Peace Corps, and later went on to pursue a Masters in Public Health. My 20's winded up looking very different from how my 17-year-old self imagined my life on the beach that day. It wasn't until 2013, when I moved to the beautiful state of Wisconsin, 13 years later that life handed me the opportunity to make this dream come true.
*Images in this post by Annie Parish Photography and Andrea Naylor