Thoughts: Defining Success

It's August. As in the month that comes after July. Surprised? I, quite frankly, am surprised I made it to month eight of 2012. Month seven was a knock-down, drag-out, whirlwind of a month for me (just a slight exaggeration) and no matter how many times I checked the calendar, August seemed a long way off. I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. But now that I'm here, I feel kind of nostalgic. You probably want to slap me, right? Like this girl just can't decide what she wants! I'm slowing down, yes; something I've been praying for since busy season began. But to slow down, I'm giving some stuff up ... namely my full-time job. I don't really talk about the fact that I have (check: had, now it's part-time) a full-time job in addition to being a photographer because I guess I feel like a fake. Like the only way to be a successful photographer is to devote 110% of your time to it.

I have a hard time with that because I actually like my non-photography job. Here it is: I work in communications for a fraternity. A fraternity, yes. It's not what you think. I don't live in the "frat house" with all the guys; I don't attend keggers every weekend (should "attend" and "keggers" even go in the same sentence?). I work in a professional office with awesome people; I get to write and think about grammar (that's fun for me!) ... all the things I went to school for.

I get a real sense of purpose out of working. Sometimes it can get me into trouble because I work too much. And working for someone, some thing, some organization makes me feel like I'm involved, like I am doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Working for myself is awesome, but scary. So scary! I'm so passionate about photography. I love creating art. But it's so daunting to count on yourself for everything. It's all yours. To win or lose.

So, the point. Ah, yes, the point of this blog. It's August, and I have more time. Which is amazing. It's fabulous to wake up without feeling panic rise up in your chest that you have to start working righthisveryminuteoryouwon'tgeteverythingdone. I think the point though is that I'm realizing that I don't have to want what everyone else wants, or makes me feel like I want. I don't have to take 30 weddings in one season. I don't have to get published every week. And just because most photographers aim to work only for themselves one day, I'm not so sure that's for me. I get to define my success, whatever that means to me. And believe me, I'm figuring that out.

Northeast Ohio Photographer