I've been updating the site plenty over the last few months, and save for the descriptions in my photos and a few design tweaks, I think I'm pretty close to being finished with the new portableviva. I'm about a bajillion months behind on actual blog updates, but those are next on the list. I like the new look of the Squarespace update, the templates are clean, the design translates on mobile devices and my photos look good. Bravah, internet.
Offline, however, less has been getting done. It seems like I've been writing a lot in my head lately, which does no good for you, me, or anyone. Visitors to my site think that work is stalled out; up in my head, words are stalled out, rattling around and begging to be... exponged? extracted? and dumped out into some kind of permanent state. I've kept medium-ly caught up with my blog posts over at TIG, but there's so much more I want to say about what I'm into right now: a half-year best-of mix, for starters. And there's the paintings I want to make that I haven't bought the supplies for yet, and the exhilaration of moving (but how I'm slightly freaked out that I won't find something I like).
Under that layer, there's all the stuff I don't want to put on the internet. About how inside, it feels like winter has kept going and I can't get my brain unstuck. About trips to the naturopath, the nutritionist, a shrink, a med management doctor -- all to have them tell me that I'm eating properly and taking good care of myself, and how they can't quite sort out what the problem is. Try not eating dairy. Switch from almond to coconut milk. Have you considered Adderall? How about a personal trainer? Food combining. Toxin exposures. Hormones. Sleep cycles. The list goes on and on and on. All of this plus some good ol' fashioned "losing interest in one's regular activities" and you've got me, stuck, with winter brain. A touch of the depresh, with a bunch of unfinished tattoos, feeling like I need to drag everything I own out into the front yard and set it on fire, and like I need to change my hair and all of my clothes.
Anytime I've felt like this in the past, it's always been attached to a thing: a relationship I didn't know how to leave, a death, an anniversary that snuck up on me -- and this time, there's not much technically awry. I need to move, but that's not all-engulfing. I have a good job, where I get paid well for what I do, working with good people for a good cause, and an excellent work-life balance. I've fixed a lot of broken things in my life of late: my car works, I finally have a new camera, and I'm typing this from the desk I didn't set up forever, from the desktop Mac I kept putting off buying. If you asked me, I'd tell you I was fundamentally at peace, and that I didn't understand why my guts don't jive up with my brainlogic. I'm getting better at being a photographer. I have concrete examples of people loving me in my life, not that I need external validation to be okay, but there's plenty to draw from should I feel the twinge of loneliness. A shit ton of people came to my birthday party. We just hosted a beautiful house show. I'm making new friends and keeping up with old ones. Life is rich and multi-faceted, with plenty to learn and so many areas to grow in / so much I can get better at. These are all good things, but the Feels are taking over, and I can't untangle it.
I've been here for a minute (and by "a minute" I mean "since winter") and it doesn't seem to be changing anything. My boss (and friend) said the other day, "You've got to point the boat at the direction you want it to go in. If you keep staring at the rock, you'll smash. Point it at your destination." So there are all the things that have been swimming in my head for a while, and here's what I can dig up under the surface, now that the Feels-purge is out of the way:
Destination :: Future Awesomeness
- A good, rad apartment, potentially in West Seattle, which is where the Universe seems to keep pointing me amidst bunk ads for credit report companies. Good light. Room for my cat to roam and take sunspot naps. A place to take photos and host friends, and to create sanctuary and solitude when I need it.
- A business plan. It's time to figure out what comes next in the photography world for me. I know I'm good at teaching and portraits and architecture and photobooths, and that I'm getting better at landscapes, and that I don't think I want to shoot weddings unless I'm a second shooter (which is where I tend to shine). Whether that means advertising more, or shifting perspective, or practicing more or starting on a new project, I'm not sure -- but I've got to take the time to build out what the next set of goals look like and hop to it.
- A life plan. I want to travel. I want to do tour photography. I want to be out of debt. My day job affords me the ability to do all of these things, and is satisfying enough that I can make it work while I do some dreamchasing. I need to build a list of the places I want to go, and start seeing them. Research certificate programs in copywriting, or project management, or some other thing that will give me letters after my name that ensure gainful employment. Something challenging that wakes up the dull parts of my brain. Trusting that the NP / MD / nutritionist / therapist hive brain will come up with a solution to my lack of focus.
In writing this out, I feel better already, and I remember another boss having told me that quote about how Michael Jordan (I think) said that you are literally 1000% more apt to reach your goals if you take the time to set them. I've had the good fortune of being surrounded by employers and friends who run businesses to be mentors and examples for a good, well-directed life -- I've gotten a lot done so far and I think I'm ready for whatever the next version of me presents itself to be. Victoria 5.0, about to celebrate a Seattle-versary, grateful KEXP member, medium-accomplished photographer, good human. I want to add more to that list. I want to feel like CJ in West Wing where she sits down with someone and is all, "I am very aware that I am living the first line of my obituary right now." I want to do bigger things and feel more identification around what it is that makes me tick.
I guess I'm starting today.
Stay tuned, friends. More shiny-bright photo updates to follow over the rest of this weekend, as I tear through my backlog.