While the path of the creative journey will never be predictable, the feelings that come from it certainly can be. In the two years that I have been a full time freelancer, I have gone through the emotional cycle that ranges from the excitement one can find on Christmas morning to what can seem to be the same feelings of loneliness and confusion that Tom Hanks went through in Cast Away at least a baker’s dozen times. As a matter of fact, one time I had a shoot that went so badly I almost went home and knocked my tooth out with an ice skate. I kid.
Recently my life has been looking like this — I will get swamped with work all at once after things have been quiet for a little while. I will tell myself that I have finally “made” it, and I need to get an agent, an assistant, a business manager, and a retoucher or else I will not be able to keep up with all of this work that I am getting now. I manage to take care of all the work on my own in a couple of weeks and then things get quiet again. Disappoint kicks in because my inbox is back to being mainly emails from J. Crew or my mom sending me my updated dental insurance info.
In all of this I’ve learned that if you want to make it through life with your soul in one piece, you need to learn how to be content in any part of the journey.
I think contentment can be found in any circumstance by recognizing that every step has value even if life doesn’t look exactly how I want it to. All too often I get upset when I don’t have anything going on for a week or two, but it wasn’t until recently that I started recognizing how important those slow times are because they allow me to rest. It’s in these times of rest that I find I get the most inspiration to create the images that take my work to the next level. Boom. Value found.
What I’m learning is that every step I take means something if I let it mean something.