Yes, I'm still here.

Sorry about the lapse in blog posts. Though I have been busy doing freelance photo work, I have also been busy going to school and working at a new job. I was, and still am, hesitant about telling people about my emerging new career, for fear that people will think that I've completely moved on from photography. I am still a photographer! And I am still available to shoot portraits and weddings and even news!

With all that being said, I have begun my studies to receive a Master's in accounting. Thrifty, I know. I decided on accounting obviously because there's a variety of jobs in the field, and no shortage of them, but I also didn't feel like I was doing enough of fighting the good fight when I worked in journalism. I entered journalism with the intention of making the world a more honest place by shining light on issues that should be more transparent and holding people accountable. What discouraged me was how limited the resources are in newspapers to support the work that must be done to make any sort of impact on those things. Time is limited, money is limited, and there's always the looming pressure of feeding the beast and meeting deadline, resulting in stories that merely scratch the surface. With accounting, you get right in the heart of the beast, and you work from the inside out, making sure every penny is accounted for.

I work as a bookkeeper at my new job. I'm still amazed at how within six months I went from being a full-time newspaper photographer with absolutely no knowledge of accounting principles to being a part-time student and part-time bookkeeper.

Change happens quickly.

I love my new job. I work at an agency that assists people with mental and physical disabilities, and runs several programs for its clients' benefit and also owns a few residential facilities for clients to live in a family-like, cooperative setting. I do a lot of things at my new job, but probably the most important thing I do is overseeing that the clients' funds are appropriately handled. If that's not fighting the good fight, I don't know what is.

Since I quit the paper, I don't grind my teeth anymore. My stomach doesn't tie in knots from the stress of being assigned three assignments 30 miles apart within 90 minutes. I don't get migraines. I haven't had to risk life and limb driving in blizzard conditions to get to work just to spend the next eight hours risking life and limb again. I can enjoy snow, and rain, and any sort of precipitation without constantly worrying about keeping my equipment dry. I can go to baby showers and weddings and birthday parties. I don't get nasty emails from readers, or nasty looks from presumptuous people who accuse me of being a minion of the "liberal media" even though I worked for a place called the "Republican-American." I don't lie awake at night wondering if I made a typo that will be seen by more than 50,000 readers, with my name on it. I don't get yelled at by overzealous state troopers, overzealous athletic directors, and overzealous parents of little league players just for doing my job. I don't look out into the newsroom at all the working parents who never get to tuck their children in and think to myself, "There's no way I could do this with a family... and I eventually want a family."

Hey, I devoted all the other posts to the good parts, so I'm allowed to indulge in just one paragraph of the darker side.

And this is what I did yesterday.