A pre-warning: What you are about to read is very long-winded, rambling and I’m not all that sure it makes complete sense. You have been warned. Good luck.
Okay, so it’s August now, so it’s a bit more than six months on, but eight months doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Back in January I decided to give myself some pretty contradictory New Year’s resolutions. Chill out and get your shit together. Right? Weird. But, while in the process of getting my shit together, I made this website and wrote this post, explaining my new mentality.
And now, five months on from when I hit that publish button on my first post of my awfully professional looking website, I’m here. Further along in myself than I ever thought I’d be.
I guess in a way this is more of a personal update post in terms of “what ya been up to?” because I literally haven’t stopped. But in a good way. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, either. I made the decision to stop waiting for the “right time”. Things were never going to just fall into my lap, especially if I kept putting things off incase I wasn’t good enough. The progress I’ve seen in my own photography has been ridiculous, even if I do say so myself.
When I started pushing my photography again at the end of last year, it was a huge leap of faith, but I’d put a time limit on myself, which I’m so glad I did. While taking photos for my Grandad’s 70th birthday party, I was approached by a couple who were friends of my parents, asking me to photograph their wedding the following September. Fast forward to now, it’s now a month away. And in that time I’ve done countless shoots with my friends, joined online photography communities, got my first few paid shoots and even worked towards and smashed my end of year goal by June. Progress.
Since I was about 17, my dream job has always been to be a music photographer. No mean feat, I know, but I’m far more stubborn and ambitious than I should be, so I was determined to make it work. At the start of the year I was working part time in a nightclub as a photographer, getting used to working in low lighting (I know I had a flashgun, but still) and working with a couple of local bands. I realised that the only way I was going to start getting to know these bands is to MAKE myself known, so I just dropped them a message. Honestly, if I’d done that a year or two ago, I’d have been sweating and ready to deactivate my Facebook account out of sheer shame and embarrassment. But recently I’ve been living off of the phrase “the worst they can say is no”. It takes a LOT of the fear out. And they never really said no, but why would they? So, a few gigs later, I’d finally built myself a portfolio after all this time.
To cut a long story short, I sent out emails to as many music publications as I could find, and eventually one got back to me, wanting to make me a contributor. And a few weeks later I’ve got my first photo pass at a local venue. Six months through the year and I’ve got my first photo pass in my hands – my goal for the end of the year.
And now onto the more personal stuff. When I made these goals for myself, I wasn’t in a good place or way by any means. In fact, about one month later I was officially diagnosed with depression and put on antidepressants, which I spoke about in this post. Well, it’s officially been six months on meds, and the difference in myself is hard to believe. I know so many people that have had awful experiences on antidepressants, but they’ve done me the world of good.
I’m calmer, more focussed, less scared, less confrontational and I just feel so much better. I maintain that I wouldn’t have done half of the stuff I’ve pushed myself to do this year without them. So I can’t deny that I’m scared to start the weening process. My time on them has come to an end, and this month I’ll be cutting down my dosage, and yeah – essentially I’m bricking it. I don’t know whether I’ll stay the same, whether my mood will dip, I don’t have a clue WHAT will happen. But I guess it’ll be nice to stand on my own two feet and realise that everything I’m doing – it really is me.
I guess the only other update that people like to have a nosy about: I’m very much still single. As of May I’ve been single for a year and oh my GOODNESS what a blessing. I’d have achieved none of this, literally NONE if I was still with my previous boyfriend. Or – chances are – with anyone. I went through a phase over the last year of being a bit of a serial dater. Go on a few dates with one bloke, wait for that to all fall through, then find a new one. But now I find that it’s just far too tiring (and expensive) and let’s be honest, do I really have the time? I’m happy to just be me, and if the right thing comes along, then so be it.
But at the moment that’s all that really matters to me – being happy to be me.
(All photos by the wonderful Kaye Ford)