I am making a big change.
I've decided to take a break from client photography for a while - lately I've been having a rough time of it. Back in January I gave a TED talk on Creativity and Happiness, and while writing it I realised quite a lot about myself.
I had fallen into The Hole without even realising.
The last three years, I've been on work-overdrive. Trying to pay my way in life, trying to be someone else's vision of successful, trying to bury myself a little here and there.
Photography is so much more to me than a way to earn money, photography has been my way of expressing myself, for the last six years and trying to figure happiness out has been my quest for quite a while longer.
When I was 16, I lost about 1/3 of my hair due to a bout of alopecia brought on by stress, unhappiness and general lack of life enjoyment.
It grew back, along with the smile on my face.
I have lost the sides of my hair twice more over the last six years following, and this October it started happening again.
I took this back in October, it's the size of about the palm of my hand on both sides of my head.
Losing your hair is a very interesting experience. I've learned not to be bothered by it physically, it's pretty normal to me now. But it is a symptom, for me, of something a lot deeper which is growing inside of me that I need to fix in myself. There's a blackness which comes when my hair starts falling out, and it's been present with me for the last 6 months now.
When I look at my life right now, it isn't where I want it to be.
My photography is my life, and for the last three years I have felt a lot like a slave to my clients - some of which I was gladly a slave to, I should add :) But I haven't felt like I've been able to take time to appreciate doing nothing, I have felt like I have had to put a price on myself, my time, and I can't do it anymore.
The last four months have been pretty soul searching ones for me. I've cried a LOT, had a breakdown, tried to throw myself into other things, other people, no work, too much work. I haven't been able to settle, because without the mask that is routine and comfort, I've been questioning pretty much everything about myself.
Heartbreak is a bitch, I've had some cracks open up in my heart which are finally getting some air inside them. I haven't properly experienced emotion like this in quite a while. I feel very raw, very vulnerable and very open.
Here is my hair regrowth, as of today! :D
So I'm going to be changing some things up to ensure that this newly treasured sprouts of hair don't go disappearing again for a while.
- I won't be taking on anymore paid work until I feel lighter again
- I will be shooting, for me. I am so excited to get out and create something of me, put some more of my soul into my photos!
- I'm going to be upholding all the workshop dates/current bookings, because I made promises
I'm also going to be changing my daily life - instead of it being work, work, editing, emails, work, work, sleep
It will now include things like
Going for a walk
Going to the gym
Putting music on and just enjoying it for a while
Looking out of the window without feeling guilty for not being productive
Shooting personal work which I enjoy
Stroking my new hair growth
Cuddling my cat
I can't wait to feel more excited about life, I can't wait to feel happy again, I can't wait to wake up every day and look forward to what's coming. I can't wait to be able to balance my time when I eventually get back into work, but I will be doing so with a new mindset and a new attitude!
Thanks for understanding :)