Creatively Filling In Life’s Unexpected Blanks

What do you do when the sentences of life provide an unexpected “fill-in-the-blank”? I recently spoke with photographer Mikaela Hamilton, who found a “blank” in her life and creatively filled it in with color and light.


Photo credit: Mikaela Hamilton Photography

Mikaela grew up focusing on athletics, and was an avid soccer player. Throughout most of her young life she was a “closet creative.” She always had an interest in creative pursuits, but never thought she’d be able to chase after them.  Mikaela always found herself boxed into the “athlete category.”

She intended to go to college to play soccer, but injured her knee. More than that, she was burned out on soccer, but didn’t want to admit it to herself. Since she was no longer going to play soccer, she found herself at school with an abundant amount of free time. Knee surgery had removed from her everything she had known. Her family wasn’t around, and she was surrounded by people who knew nothing about her.

Life had given her a “fill-in-the-blank.” She figured she could discover a whole new outlet for herself. She asked for a camera for her 20th birthday, and with it went to the Dominican Republic on a spring break with a group from her school. It was there that she discovered just how she was going to fill in the blank of her life.

In the Dominican Republic she volunteered at an elementary school. There was a little boy there named Sam, who had striking hazel eyes. She snapped a picture of him, looked at it and thought, “I really like this whole photo thing.” She went back to school and started shooting anything she could get in front of her camera: engagement photos, sorority houses, weddings…anything she could possibly put into the form of digital print.

This all led to her getting a job at the university with their Department of Technology and Design. Mikaela started to learn the technical side of photography with the incredible equipment she was able to access in that department. She stopped shooting everything on the automatic setting, and learned about light and exposure.

The sentences of life are almost certain to give a “fill-in-the-blank” every now and then. 

  • The question is what will you do with them?
  • Why not take those blanks and fill them in with the pursuit of passions and dreams?
  • What is it that has been latent in your life and wants to bubble up to the surface?
  • What is it that you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time?

Fill in the blank with something that you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time. Fill it in with incremental pursuits of a passion you’ve always had. Fill in the blank with photography, or art, or writing, or crafting, or making, or creating. Fill it in with color, light, and creativity.

Mikaela did it, and you can see the products of her pursuit right hereYou can do it, too. Keep an eye out for those sentences in life that provide a wonderfully unexpected “fill-in-the-blank”.

What have you done when life has provided a ________________?

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3 thoughts on “Creatively Filling In Life’s Unexpected Blanks

  1. I am working on filling in a huge blank in my life right now. It is exciting….but it is much more terrifying! I find myself asking over and over if I should even attempt this huge responsibility. Nothing terrifies me more than failure. I’ll keep at it and see how it all turns out in the end. I won’t know until I try!

    • Sandra: I am so excited for you and this great adventure you are on. I am cheering you on all the way from Florida! I know that you will succeed. You have the heart and passion for it. Keep up the good work. I want to come to your place the next time we’re in Milwaukee!