Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Brave questions

Some days I feel very, very brave. I've got it all under control. I'm handling everything, getting things done, being the person I want to be. Some days I feel not so brave. Things are starting to slip, I can't get anything done, and I'm not at all who I feel like being.

Isn't that life, though? Isn't part of living experiencing the ups and downs, and learning to navigate through both?

Overall, things are going remarkably well. My problems, such as they are, are pretty much exclusively first-world problems and I am very much aware of that, and of how fortunate I am. So I try to not complain too much when I feel things starting to crash a bit, or when I let my emotions go unchecked, or when five bad things happen in a row that nearly send me off the edge of Shitsville. I'm usually pretty good at this, and when I do slip, I pride myself on bouncing back quickly and moving on.

I'm writing this mostly to serve as a reminder the next time I feel like griping about something. It's a "note to self," so to speak.

I'm shooting a lot these days. The past week a little less so just because of being busy with work and it being dark when I get home. But the iPhone has been invaluable in keeping me connected to my art. I'm learning to say, "Yes, yes I am a photographer" when people ask. While I'm not a professional in the true sense of the word (I don't get paid to make images...well, not regularly anyway), I am still a photographer. Why I stumble over this I don't know. I make images every day. I share them with people. I'm half offended, half amused when people see my photographs and say, "Wow, you must have a really nice camera."

Why can I easily say, "These are my photographs," but I stumble over, "I'm a photographer." Ridiculous.

I'm trying to get over it, though. Slowly.

In the last week, I've had two people ask me to photograph their kids/family. I've had another ask, after viewing not only the kindergarten soccer images on my Flickr page but all my other (non-soccer) shots, "Holy cow...are all those yours?" And then upon receiving affirmation, espousing how much talent I appear to have. Several have asked if I'm a "professional." I got my Moo cards. People in my photography circles are posting all over the place about chasing dreams and doing what you love, etc. The Camp Shutter Sisters experience lingers, and pulses, barely below the surface.

And it feels like it's all adding up to a big sign, a big push from the universe, to maybe consider myself, and my work, in a different light. And see if I can do more with it, share it more, make it an even larger portion of my life.

I don't know. I've gone down this path before, and ran out of steam. Part of it has to do with fear. "Am I good enough?" is a biggie. Okay, it's more than big...it's f*cking huge. Part of it has to do with a sense of obligation to be a good corporate worker bee and use the MBA and continue making good money to provide for my child, my family, so we can live the wonderful life to which we've become quite accustomed. I toy with the idea of doing both. Working the corporate gig and dabbling in pro photography on the side. And then I think about how at the end of most work days I'm exhausted despite the personal to-do list that is never-ending, and how weekends seem to be jam-packed with social obligations and running my kid everywhere (I so love that she has such an active life, filled with friends and play dates and fun) and getting the damn house clean. Again. And I think, "No f*cking way can I take on anything else."

Don't get me wrong...I am in no way complaining about the lifestyle we have. It is so full and vibrant and filled with loving, nurturing relationships that half the time I want to pinch myself to see if it's all real. Most days I simply cannot believe I have built all this.

So I guess the question I'm really asking is, "Why do I feel like taking on something else?" Why do I think there might be more out there?

The only thing I'm really sure of is that I don't have any answers now, but I'm grateful that I'm at least asking the questions. One of these days/years/decades I'm bound to come up with something. Right?

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Anonymous Corinna said...

Ahhh, the struggle of "how can I possibly shoehorn in one more thing?" and "if I do, will this whole house of cards come crashing down?"

I am happy for you to be in the abundance of Good Life, and in the tension of Not Knowing. And hopefully in the space of Patience, in the sense of it not being a struggle, but a deep understanding that everything has its own time.

7:40 AM  

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