bright eyed and bushy tailed

Wednesday September 2, 2009

Friday, September 4th is my one year anniversary of leaving The College of St. Catherine a.k.a. St. Catherine University.

I didn’t have a new job lined up when I quit. I just had had enough. I was so tired of hating (almost) every second of the day.

People would ask me, bright eyed and bushy tailed, “So where are you going!?”

My response, “Nowhere. I don’t have a new job. I just can’t be here anymore.”

Insert: blank stares and the sound of crickets.  Chirp chirp chirp

With the resignation of my friend and colleague Abigail Garner, I had never been more disappointed about a place in my whole life.

I was disappointed that my expectations were not met.
I was disappointed with the leaders of my department and administration.
I was disappointed that nothing ever changed.

I was tired of the bullshit.

Even with all the bullshit, I did meet some lovely women and am grateful for the experience I had at St. Kate’s.  I can appreciate the academic freedom and the spirit of St. Kate’s students.  Most of Jake’s family went to St. Kate’s so I understand what a special place it is to them.  However, my experience was on a different side of things and unfortunately…well, it didn’t work out for me. Slowly my confidence and enthusiasm were suffocated.  And I couldn’t breathe anymore – I had to leave.

This last year has been the strangest and most humbling year of my life. At first I felt like I went through a sort of detox…because I slept and slept and slept.  I stumbled and procrastinated and cried a lot.  I had to restore my confidence and be able to walk into a room and say, “I am taking a break. I don’t know what I am going to do. But I am figuring it out.”

Some people got it…but most people just thought I was crazy.

But then the pieces starting falling together and now I can’t even blog anymore I am so busy! Woohoo!

The photography business is really picking up and it feels great. I shot my first wedding last Friday and my next one is Sept. 18th (in between I get to practice at my cousin Abby’s wedding in North Carolina this weekend). I have also had a kid’s shoot and a real estate shoot and got paid for both!

Of course, Jake is my rock and I couldn’t have done any of this without his support, kindness, and faith.  And let’s face it, paychecks.

After almost a year of nothing…finally, something is really happening.


  1. David says:

    I am so happy for you!
    As you know, this past July I left St. Kate’s myself, under very similar circumstances. Tired of finding my passion for justice for LGBT persons to be at such odds with administration and Campus Ministry priorities. Tired of being criticized because I couldn’t seem to “compartmentalize” my personal passion from my professional job (which was, after all, to promote faith-based social justice!).
    Like you, I quit without any work in sight. (In fact, may I say that your courage last fall helped me imagine my own courage this past summer.)
    After 6 weeks of time for family and helping to make BIG changes in my national church (we Lutherans are far from “there,” but have taken a big step toward full inclusion for LGBT persons) I am busily networking to move my passion as an Ally into full time work as a speaker and writer. My book sales ( are approaching 1000(!), and I have some good leads on speaking engagements. (If you know of any more leads, send them my way!)
    Congratulations on choosing integrity and imagination. Let’s (finally!) get our households collected over a glass of wine around a fire pit soon!
    Sending you an armful of joy!

  2. Anne says:

    Thank you so much David. You are an inspiration as well! I am so happy for the success of your book and wish all the best. And we definitely need to get together soon for a fire and glass of wine!

  3. Ashlee says:

    I am so proud of you. You are and always have been an inspiration to me. I have learned much from you by following your blog and of course from working with you at ISU. Thank you for everything and I have no doubts that you are going to be super successful. The pictures you took at my wedding were great and I am sure others lucky enough to have you shoot their wedding will share my sentiments. Anne, you are a beacon of pure inspiration. Thank you!


    ps- I know I leave across the world in Maple Grove but I would love to get together soon!

  4. Kate & Dane says:

    Dane and I are so proud of you. What courage it must have taken!

  5. Anne says:

    You are so sweet Ashlee! It would be great to get together and Maple Grove isn’t that far…wait, where is Maple Grove?! Just kidding! Thanks for your support, it means a lot to me.

    Thank you so much Kate and Dane. You guys are the best! It was scary but I just knew that it would work out in the end…and it definitely has been one of the best decisions of my life.

  6. E.P. says:

    Wow! It’s hard to believe how quickly a year can pass, and I am so excited for you about the photography business picking up! I hope that a year from now, I can write a post similar to this one and be in a happier place in life. Because my work situation? Just isn’t working out as well as it should be.

  7. MegD says:

    I am so proud of you Anne and not once did I ever think you were crazy. You are the most fantastic woman I know. I love that you’re pursuing photography…you truly have a gift to see things that other don’t…you always have.

  8. Anne says:

    E.P. – I am sure that you will be in a happier place next year. You are sooooo talented and whatever you decide to pursue, I just know that you will be fantastic!

    Meghan – You humble me with those kind kind kind words. Seriously, thank you.

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