March 17, 2009


Warning the premise for this post stems from a friggin Facebook quiz:

So I'm sitting at home tonight. Thinking about life and where I'm at in it.

Earlier today I took this aforementioned Facebook quiz about the best place for me to live. (It's apparently Italy...not complaining). One of the questions in it is how would my friends best describe me. So naturally I turned to a close friend and asked them which of the words described me. They broke the rules and combined two of the words from different categories: Driven and Down to Earth.

Down to earth I'm not surprised by, but what did surprise me was their response of "Driven." I've never seen myself as being driven, I always feel a day late and a buck short; always behind in the game of life and maybe that's actually part of being driven, you always feel like you're playing catch up.

True I have goals and ambitions and I'm working on achieving those goals and ambitions, but as I sat at home tonight and thinking about life, I realized that maybe I've been a bit to "driven" in the last several months. Here I am doggedly pursuing this photography thing, and to what end?

This weekend at the shoot I did, Jim asked me what I hoped to do with my photography. I think I gave an answer about how I want to do portrait work and I enjoy meeting new people and I'm outgoing and a good conversationalist and so it's a natural combination.

I also think I mentioned how down the road I'd like to see my portrait/commercial work fund my photojournalistic ambitions: travel the world and document all of its triumphs, injustices, inhumanities, victories and defeats. Not necessarily in a war torn, bedraggled photojournalistic way, but not in the "I've-got-my-whole-studio-in-the-Land-Rover" National Geographic sort of way either. I want to show people doing the everyday...commuting to work, at work, at play, at home, doing what billions of other people around the world do every day; live.

The part that concerns me about this "driveness" is that I hope I don't drive others away. At the start of February I went on a date with a great guy and several days later told him that I couldn't devote the proper time to going on further dates with him and working on photography, while meeting the demands of my real full-time job, and the time I devote to my friends and other commitments. Then it was the truth. It still is. But.. there's always a but.

There have been some things happening in the last few weeks that are causing me to look at this. One of them involves my friend who said I am "driven." This friend in the span of almost two years has become like my right arm. We are the two amigos.

They have been as much a part of my daily life as the oxygen I need to keep living. They're the one who keeps me going photographically, who inspires me to keep picking up the camera, who can make me smile when I'm down (and there have been some real lows in the last month) and whom I'm afraid sometimes shares my brain.

This dear friend has met someone who seems to make them giddily butterfly filled happy. They're infatuated and I'm happy for them, because they deserve that and more. The tough part is that what I've been fearing would happen is happening and it feels like I'm losing my right arm and my oxygen at the same time. It sucks.

I know my friend is driven photographically, but I'm jealous. Jealous that I felt that I had to give up on dating someone to be driven photographically and in what I want to do, and jealous that they don't feel that way; jealous that we can't remain the two amigos; jealous that time can be more easily divided or devoted to other things, and annoyed that I feel like I'm competing for my friend with someone who sounds so fantastic.

So back to my life and where I'm at tonight. I don't know.

Last week was a hectic one in my life. Some debts were consolidated, I started a new car lease and I was given a clean bill of health in a situation that had me incredibly low and feeling very alone for almost a month.

As I look forward there are amazing and very exciting things coming my way, but it feels like I can only be successful at one aspect of my life at a time. I'm thankful for what I have, I'm thankful for where I am today but I don't want to have to choose between being photographically/career/work successful and relationship successful. I want to work at one and have the other come easy and I know that both require work.

I think my health experience in the last month has opened my eyes to what is really important to me. A different friend said at the start of that journey that this would be a catalyzing moment for me, and I think they're right.

Oh btw, the song that goes perfectly with this stream of consciousness is Kanye's "Welcome to Heartbreak"


  1. Oh dear..."driven" isn't a bad word. Trust me from one driven woman to another. It's hard to recognize opportunities or discern which ones to pursue sometimes. At least, it's like that for me :)
    It's at least what your priorities are NOW. J came along at the right moment: I was in a rut at work, completely disheartened by the world that was once again having babies without me, and far enough into home ownership that it was no longer new and shiny. We see so much of God/fate/karma in our relationship it's scary. Had either of us been in place 6 months before it wouldn't have worked.(love the pics BTW)
    Hrm...this is a ramble, is it not? And what am I really trying to say? That you're driven for what you want, and so long as you're not forcing it, that's fine be it relationship, photography, or whatever. Your story's not done, so the problem can't be resolved...yet :)

  2. I completely understand you. I'm so focused on business right now, I barely have time to blink. However, that's how it is when it's a startup. Not that it becomes a lot less work later, but there's a lot less stress when you are on your two feet. (That's what I'm hoping anyway!)

  3. Ditto for the world, home ownership rut deal. I've been in those relationships where you're holding on to it just because it's a relationship and not because it's beneficial or providing any ounce of meaning to your life. Basically everyone's going through the motions. I've also had my fair share of dating relationships that were fantastic and ended because: 1.)I chose someone else over them (I know that's my only regret in life thus far) 2.)Distance and an inability to communicate would have killed it and we both would resent the other.

    It's a difficult balancing act this whole work, play, relationship thing. I know I'm not the first or last female to go through this. Also, I need to work at sticking to my guns. My arms are made of rubber.

    Thanks so much for the words of wisdom and encouragement Sarah! Glad you love the pics!

  4. I had a feeling you'd respond Linds! Haha! We need to work at our no-guys/business only pact :) Ultimately my friend starting into a relationship (they've told me repeatedly that their relationships don't last longer than 2 months, but from ones they've been in before, this one feels completely different) means they are occupied, busy and distracted, which means I consequently have a whole lot more time to devote to this photography thing. I think it might not be so hard if the baggage wasn't there, but mine is made by Louis Vuitton and it's hard to give up.

    Watching both my parents work at their own startups it does take A LOT of work to stand on your own two feet, it just helps to have someone you're incredibly close to be there as a crutch and cheerleader through the tough spots!