HEART+          .


BEST of CREATIVE Bakersfield: Not all those who wander are lost

So this blog post actually began this morning as I was trying to find the right words to put on an instagram post.  After I realized I was writing a novel, I thought this was the better platform.

I want to share a huge WIN with you, but I need to tell you a backstory first.  I’ll do my best to make a long story…longer (JK…shorter)!

Younger Years: I was this girl who loved art.  Nothing was more inspiring than seeing art in any form.  I was captivated by the action of creating something special.  Since I can remember, my favorite things about school were PROJECTS!  I loved when teachers said we had to create a project or a board of some sort.  Creativity/Art was sort of always a part of me.  And at this stage of life…it was applaud and accepted.

College Years: After high school there is this immense pressure that everyone feels to “find themselves” or know what they want to do in life.  I laugh at this idea because half of the time, adults don’t even know what they want (being an adult now, I understand that).  I feel like society puts too much pressure on attending college right outside of high school and when you don’t choose to go to college you are looked at as “uneducated.”  I struggled a lot during my college years.  I tried a few things within that time frame just navigating and trying to discover who I was in a career form.  It was HARD!  I also couldn’t keep a job for the life of me (that’s such a random side note, but still, wow, what was wrong with me!).  During my college years I pursued acting at Bakersfield College, Fashion Design in Long Beach CA, and I actually received a Manicurist License from beauty school here in Bakersfield.  I mean come on!  Was I confused or what?!  It is funny because all of my choices still revolved around CREATING.

Marriage + Family:  I married my husband at 21 and had our first son at 23.  Having aN 8-5, M-F job became harder and harder as the demands of being a mom grew.  My son at the time was constantly sick so that meant I was either missing a lot of work, or leaving him sick with my mother in law.  Both very hard situations for any working mom.  I realized at that time that I didn’t want to continue to do that and I had to find a way to stay home.  This part is SO LONG that I am going to ridiculously leave so much out.  But…I stepped out on huge faith and decided to start my photography business (why?!  I don’t know.  Lol.  Did I know anything was going to come of it….NOPE!  I just hoped it would be enough for me to stay home).

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R Tolkein

Overcoming Failure:  There are words that were said to me by someone I love, words I hadn’t realized I was carrying for so long.  They went a little like this…. “Oh my goodness, you’re trying another thing, lets see how long this lasts (in reference to my new photography venture).”   I knew they didn’t mean it out of spite.  It was just what they knew of me.  I was the girl who tried things and then “quit.”  I was the girl who was looking and searching and navigating.  I constantly fell on my face, time and time again.  I walked around feeling like I would never make something actually work for me.  I thought photography was temporary just as much as they did.

Fighting for “It”:  I can’t even tell you how many times my husband recommended I get a “real job.”  That sounds so bad, knowing how good he actually was in supporting me through this venture.  But as a spouse, he was also scared.  He saw me invest so much with so little of a return.  I guess this is when I realized that photography was more than a temporary thing….it was “it.”  The thing I had been navigating careers for.  I realized it was it because I was not willing to give it up…despite the opposition and trials.

Photography:  Although photography is the “it” thing for me….it’s not just photography itself….it’s literally the avenue to CREATE!  Creating was always in me, photography is just a tool I use to do that.  Photography has offered me something I love….a Challenge.  It keeps me on my toes and challenges me level by level.  Photography CONNECTS me to people and people are my HEART!  Literally I don’t like to photograph anything else.  Photography allows me to dream and think outside of the box!  Photography has given me an avenue to believe that education can come in several forms.  Photography has inspired my husband to believe in dreaming his own dreams.  Photography has shown my children that you can do and be whatever you were uniquely created to be.  I don’t know that photography will always be what I’m doing as a career, but I am certain I will always carry a camera in my hand.  It is the way I come alive, it is the way I get to document others truly LIVING!

What these nominations mean to me:  Now I bring you to my final thought….what this nomination means to me.  I know you’re probably thinking “girl….calm down, this is not the grammy’s!”  But honestly, it might as well be!  For someone who has fought to show that creating is just as special as someone in a “career” field is HUGE!  To finally be validated for ALL THE YEARS of pressing through obstacles to make something happen….is HUGE!  I’ve cried a lot, I’ve taken huge risks, I’ve doubted myself, I’ve been fearless, I’ve trusted God with all my might through every single process and every single level.  Being recognized as a CREATIVE in my home town is like winning already.  I hope my journey inspires you to press on and create!

Thank You:  If you were one who nominated me in any of these categories….THANK YOU.  If you feel I’m doing something right and want to vote…Thank you in advance.



I am alongside some amazing creatives in my community and I seriously won’t even be mad if they win.  They work so hard too!  I think all of us creatives are just feeling so happy to be a part of this and to even be seen as someone who is doing something right.  Thank you Purveyor House for pioneering this movement!  

xoxoxo Rubi Z