Well, that was a week. In a span of five days I was blessed to shoot seven incredible artists – but the best part is that six of those were women. Six confident, talented, badass women. I was going to base this blog post on quick reviews of the performances of each, but experiencing such a strong force of that energy this week got me into some deep self reflection and – well, this turned into something a little different and a little personal. So I went with it.
First off let me just say that I’m really happy with where I’m at in my life currently. I have the most incredible day job that I still sometimes can’t believe – it requires me to use a mix of both my business and creative skills (for those that don’t know I went to biz school in uni and have a strong appreciation for a good Excel spreadsheet, so it’s pretty ideal), and in turn surrounds me with a mix of business and creative people, so I’m always learning new things in both categories. Another huge plus, and maybe the most important, is that the flexibility of the job allows me to keep up my side hustle of photography so I can keep doing what I love without the risk of totally burning out.
I’m giving you this background to set you up for the basis of this post. By having this lifestyle that works so well for me and has me waking up excited about each day, I’ve fallen into the hole of constantly saying how lucky I am – that I don’t know how I came to be this lucky, that the universe seems to just have my back, etc. I’ve had many people (and continue to) tell me how lucky I am to be doing what I’m doing, to get these opportunities to be front row at concerts, to have a job I can do from home when needed, and the list goes on – so it’s put me in a place where when I reflect on everything, luck is my first explanation of how I got here. And I am lucky. I am so, so lucky. I don’t mean for this to sound ungrateful in any way, or that I don’t still have huge goals and places I want to go. But, thanks to some incredible close friends who remind me every so often when they hear me make a statement like that, ya it might seem too good to be true sometimes but when it boils down to it everything has come out of the hard work that I’ve put in over the years. It’s become such a lifestyle of mine to always be doing something productive even on my time “off” that I don’t even realize it half the time. And this week, after seeing so many incredible women confidently taking the stage and being so vulnerable in front of hundreds or thousands of people, I’ve been doing some reflecting and wanted to speak a bit on this unhealthy trap we so often get stuck in.
While my current job isn’t directly related to photography, it’s photography that really got me there. Not to give too much here, but my Instagram page did have a part to play in getting my name out for this current role I’m in. So that’s kind of when I start to go “wow, I’m so lucky that someone passed on my name and then that person stumbled on my IG page” but (again, as some certain friends graciously point out for me) the amount of work I put in to get my IG page looking as apparently impressive as it did is the part I need to focus on. For the several years prior, when I started getting into photography, I was working a very corporate and inflexible job. This is something I don’t talk about and maybe should more, but it was a Monday to Friday corporate role I went into right after school that often had me working upwards of 10 to 12 hours in an office downtown, which meant that I was occasionally finding myself bringing my camera to work and going right to a venue after to shoot a show. Then I’d find myself either staying up after the show to edit or waking up at 5:30am to get it done before heading back into the office the next day. And the kicker – yes, I did this all without monetary compensation. Honestly I did it so much that it seemed so normal, and I think that’s contributed to this “I’m so lucky” mentality because I don’t take the time to really think about how many hours I’ve clocked in. It’s so often we see someone successful, someone that we envy, and sit and daydream that maybe one day we’ll be that lucky to get there too – but chances are you’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg insofar as how much work they’ve put in; how much energy they’ve invested in small things. Small things that often didn’t have an immediate reward, and even more often no reward at all. It’s so much easier, and lazier, for us to just place it all on luck.
I really hope this doesn’t come across as preachy or as a sob story, I’ve made it a point to keep my opinions (well, most of my opinions – you all know I have zero tolerance for anyone that disrespects Young Thug) off the interwebs because that’s just not who I am. But after being so inspired this week I needed to write it down. I hope that some of you (I’m looking mostly at you, ladies) will take a second and reflect on everything you’ve accomplished to become the absolute boss that you are right now. Maybe more importantly, do it for your friends like I’ve had mine do for me. Sometimes we’re not able to step back and realize it on our own and we need that reminder to come from those we love.
Alright one final thing – with all this being said, I’m still working tirelessly and investing as much energy and money as I can into my hustle. I’m not saying that I’m happy just being complacent with where I am now. I’ve still got mad goals – I’m gonna get on to shoot a tour if it kills me, mark my words. But take the time to appreciate all the BS you’ve overcome to get here and the endless amounts of energy you’ve invested. In the words of an incredibly inspirational local legend – f*ck luck.
Photos of the people that inspired me to write this novel are below, thanks for sticking this one out with me.