Summer is a wasteland. A floating myriad of lost hours and extra daylight. We make a point of doing nothing on purpose around my house in the summer, just to balance out all the “have to’s” of the school season. It is the way I do it, which doesn’t say much for the way it “should” be done. I’m sure some structure for the kids would be a good thing… however at the moment I’m listening to my 13 year old play our steinway with passion and fervor – better than i’ll ever dream of playing… and she’s doing it not because she has to, but because she can’t help it. and that’s how i want to live my life – not like i have to, but like a lover who can’t help herself.
there are too many things in this life, that to get along with society, we must do… pay taxes, go to school, get a job that actually pays something so we can pay our bills, brush our teeth :)… but i’ve been thinking about it lately, and the fuel that successfully runs my life has never been “have to” juice. so i look for moments and motivations from the “get to”.
i say this in light of my sister’s coming birthday. she would have been 47 this year. this coming tuesday. when i lost the unthinkable, when i lost my only sister, I realized what she had lost… (well, one of the countless things) – she had lost her choices. slowly and painfully, her choices were lost one by one until she did not even have the choice of perspective anymore. i have walked on in my life without her voice in my ears, knowing that i have something I must never take for granted again. i have choices. i have all the choices. and so to honor my sister, to honor my own life, i will not forget that i get to choose. i get to choose what to pursue in my life, how to live my life, how to love people in my life… because i have a life – and therefore i have choices. it’s not a small thing. and i am determined not to treat it as such.
so… as part of my “i get to choose” lifestyle, I am pursuing photography again. I had completely forsaken the whole idea. i had decided I would rather go work in a coffee shop or go back to school to get another degree… but I realized (as my head started coming out of the dark water of all encompassing grief) that the reason I didn’t like photography was because I hated the industry. this should come as no surprise to me, but it was like a lightening bolt awakening.
I realized that I hated the cookie cutter nature of industry – any industry – and I had bought a lie that said I wouldn’t make it in the industry if I was myself, if I didn’t fit into a mould prefabbed by the thousands that came before me. Now, i know i’m not doing anything ground breaking, it’s all been done before by someone, and by plenty of people better than me, but what I now understand is that I was trying to fit what I was doing into a template designed by a money-making industry, when what I needed to do was put my creative heart out there and create a sallie-shaped space, instead.
So that’s what I’ve been doing. If what we are doing isn’t coming from a place of passion and flowing from who we really are, then of course we’ll burn out, hate it, and quit. Granted there are some who can succeed at doing something that doesn’t make them come alive for much much longer than I can – they are determined, strong folks… i’m not that strong. So out of sheer necessity, I had to come to the place where I was willing to take a chance on myself, and BE myself in what I’m doing, or I could pine away in misery… not a great option. (I love how there’s a moment before every ceremony where the bride looks like she might pass out… it’s the most honest moment, and then the sheer joy when it’s all done)
So I choose to take that chance. It’s part of my new life initiative: Tell the truth and say it out loud, and it’s changing my life in the most profound of ways.
There’s more to say about that… but that will have to wait for next time. For the time-being, you can check out my re-vamped website… I stayed up till 5am the other night/morning, going through my weddings and only pulling out pictures that made me happy, to create a new portfolio… go figure, doing something because it makes you happy. I almost cried when I looked at the pictures in my new wedding portfolio page… (i know, shocker, right?) because for the first time since I’ve HAD a website, I can feel my wedding portfolio… I guess that’s what happens when you stop trying to make what you do fit into what someone else built. ha. go figure.