Someone asked me if I was going on a photography hiatus here, why I would do that and how it is actually possible. It turned into a little essay.
Things are going quite well in photography right now and with that comes the risk of chasing after “success” instead of creation and growth. I believe that happiness through “success” (or fame or wealth) is a tempting will o wisp that can never be reached. Earning 3k/month is only great until you adapt your lifestyle and need 4k. Like trying to reach a goal while running on a threadmill of constantly increasing speed. There is no getting closer, but stress increases. (The key to happiness here would be to enjoy running.)
For that reason it is a good moment to step out a little. No matter if Seneca, Aurelius, Tao Te King or recently von Schönburg, they all share that the desire for having more hinders individual growth. Instead it makes us its slave. This fear of not reaching deadlines, not generating traffic, not making noise, of not being noticed, the fear of failure or not getting the big jobs is all a lie. The only thing that should matter is learning (and being good to others but that is a different topic), the rest will follow.
The thing is, I get scared easily. Even of minor stuff sometimes. By disconnecting and facing all those fears at once I remind myself that none of this matters, that the world does not end. It never does. Dancing in public, getting punched in the face, getting pushed under water by waves or asking that one girl out, the world will keep spinning. Ultimately it will even do so without me, or you. According to american/spanish comedian Leo Bassi abandoning all ego, all concerns for dignity, leads to the freedom of the clown, the biggest freedom there is.
It is the fear of problems that causes harm, rarely the “problems”. This is how terror works and it is very possible to be one’s own source. It explains how insurance companies work and according to Arno Grün even how the Nazi regime could establish itself. Fear becoming bigger than dreams, morals or empathy. Watzlawick mentions the bear that keeps dancing all his life, being too scared to stand still even once to check if the ground is still hot.
I know so many people stuck in jobs they “can’t” quit out of fear, no matter how much they hate them. Ridiculous, considering they keep their skills that got them the job to begin with. If they are good they will always find something similar. YOLO only seems to extend to drunk partying, not to responsibility regarding living a fullfilling life. Funny, considering here it would actually make sense.
I have done this numerous times, sometimes with pretty heavy consequences. Not intentionaIly at first, but it showed me that the consequences of pretty much anything are never half as bad as expected. I never finished school. Later intentionally. Quitting university shortly before finishing didn’t hurt because I went there to aquire skills, not a paper. Those skills became part of me and I could use a lot in photography. So, no loss. I need little money to live and use the free time I gain from working less to study and learn new things (like becoming a massage therapist and later photography). At the end it always made me stronger and put me in spots I could not have reached by working more and more. Individual work does not scale through quantity.
In the few days since arriving here I had two inquiries for magazine covers that I had to turn down because I am not around. Terrible?
No, we will just do them in march.