(image inspired by Ben Howard’s new singles, my old photo style, and anxiety — and a special shout out to Megan Zacher for fielding my endless stream of texts and talking me through all my irrational thoughts. Big sisters rock)
Prepare for more over-dramatic, poorly written, stream of consciousness !!
Ready set go
Today I was anxious for the first time in a while.
I was sitting at my desk, editing photos for nine hours straight, just like every other day, but my chest felt tight and I was getting a headache from the crease I had held between my eyebrows for virtually the entire day.
I wasn’t forgetting anything; I hadn’t forgotten to pay rent or turn off the stove at home… I was anxious about the future, which is somehow significantly more terrifying than getting evicted or burning your entire apartment building down.
I was thinking about all the advice I’ve received in the past year about “adulthood”, specifically about being an “adult” creative (quotes bc I’m still not sure anyone would call whatever I’m doing right now adult behavior, and I definitely don’t feel like an adult).
I was told that everyone stops creating for themselves once they get a job, your personal projects fall to the wayside, and you forget to work on things that are not for Work. I didn’t want this to be me. But over the past three months, as I’ve settled into my 8:30-5:30, Monday through Friday desk job, I’ve found that I’ve barely picked up my camera in a month. Creativity and the energy to create wanes day by day and the ever-growing portfolio I was once creating while in school is now gathering dust in the corner of my room.
I have things I want to shoot, I have aspirations and plans, but when I have time to work on them, I feel like I’ve lost all motivation and energy to follow through. My job drains my inspiration and motivation during the week and I spend all weekend sleeping and running errands. Before I know it, it’s Monday again and I begin every week wondering when I’ll create again.
I know where this path leads and I don’t want to be there.
I know what I have to do to get where I want to go … so why is it so hard to follow through?
Why am I not taking the steps I am fully aware I need to be taking?
Why am I not shooting more.
Scared I’m not good enough
Scared to step out of the comfort of a steady paycheck
Scared people will hate everything I create, or worse, that it will go unnoticed Scared I’ll be stuck in this (or another) boring, uninspiring job forever
I know it’s just a matter of starting something, and allowing things to grow and evolve from there, but that has always been the hardest part.
I was on such a roll a year ago. I started taking photos and didn’t stop all the way up until graduation… but since then things have slowly tapered off.
I keep hearing that I should cut myself some slack – after moving to a new city alone, starting a job, being on my own, getting settled, moving again, and everything else that has happened in the past two months … it has made it difficult to pursue my personal passions, but don’t they always say that the people who push through the struggle are the ones who are most successful?
I have begun to settle into a routine.
Every week looks the same, and any variation from the monotony becomes my only salvation (ask me how excited I am for my sister to visit this weekend).
I long for the day that I don’t know what the next month holds, when I’ll travel, and explore, and create, and interact with other creatives, and feel excited again.
I know I’ll get there.
I’m just so impatient.