I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and soul searching lately. Something in my life just hasn’t been clicking and it’s really made me pretty depressed and out of it. After some screaming and crying and finally understanding, I came to understand that the majority of people in my life don’t actually know the real me.
Something happened about 13 years ago when I was in my last year of high school. I was dating an older guy, I had friends who were all going off to college and I thought “Hey why don’t I look into that too?” I wasn’t able to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, and so I implored family and friends who knew me well to help me figure out what I should apply for. Back then, my writing was something that people actually enjoyed, knew that I enjoyed and they all thought I could turn my writing into a career. They all thought I should sign up for Journalism as that was an option that allowed me to keep writing. What they didn’t know, and that I didn’t know, was that the writing in that field was completely different than what I really enjoyed doing. Within months they had broken down your writing skills. They did warn us – we have to break it down and build you back up so that you write like a journalist. By the end, I forgot how to write creatively.
My friends currently (other than one or two that were around at that time) didn’t know that I worked as a journalist and that I’ve been published many times. They probably knew that I worked as a photographer but wouldn’t have any idea of my beginnings. I wanted to write, not take pictures. My photography was getting better as time went on at the paper, but it could be that I was more creative and willing to try different things that I felt were more newsworthy or visually attractive. Through that, I wanted something more permanent and full time. So I took a job at a portrait studio.
The portrait studio was fun, I got to make people smile for a living and there were very strict rules for the photos. I began to understand how great a clean classic shot could be. Angles, planes, composition, all these things became something I thought about unconsciously every day. I did have fun, but it wasn’t really where I wanted to go. I grew into being a strong trainer, but I think it was the following of the rules.
Then I found myself as a career counsellor. I was able to sit and look at all sorts of different careers and every day I thought about what I’d be when I grew up. I learned some good skills, but I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had great careers and who knew where I was going to go and what I was going to do.
Now I’ve found a job that I actually really enjoy in a company that I really like and I don’t want to move on. But my friends now seem to keep wanting to push me back to photography. They think I’m not happy and think the photography is something I should be doing.
I know that I’ve done many shoots for my friends and they’ve reaped the rewards of my training and experience. I haven’t really charged any of them as I’ve looked at it as being a favour. But it feels really good when they liked the photos so much that they’ve felt inclined to tip me. Even if it was just to pay for my gas, it made me feel so good as it means they actually liked my work. It was fun, but is it something I really want to do forever? And how will my friends feel if I actually started charging for my work – which is what I should’ve been doing from the beginning.
I don’t know what’s been going on for the past few months but my brain has felt completely drained and every time someone mentions taking pictures it actually makes me a little angry. I don’t know why, as they are just acting on what they think I want to do or what I’m good at. However I feel that they are pushing me in a direction that I don’t want. I want to be in control of my own destiny – I don’t want to have to be pushed into it.
After all – I never set out to be a photographer.
Finally broke down yesterday and I feel so awful for what some things I said to my darling husband. But through breaking down and finally being able to open up and have him listen and have him open up and me listen, we were able to really start to understand each other’s point of view. I finally see where things have gone wrong.
My current friends don’t know about my writing. They don’t know what I can do and what I have done. They have no idea that I’m acutally good at something. I need to get back to that me that I was before. I need to look inside myself and pull the writer out. Sure I’ll bring the camera out when I feel like it, but I’m not going to be forced into it. I’m going to be who I am.
I am a voracious reader.
I like all different genres of stories.
I prefer to write from personal experience.
I have a hard time writing without some kind of personal touch.
I cannot fantasize about fantastical worlds and therefore cannot write about them.
I enjoy poetry – both writing and reading.
I really want to be involved in my craft.
I will find me again.