There are times when I just don’t know if I can press on with what I want to achieve. There are times when it feels like the best option is to let go and stop.
The push to move the seemingly huge boulder up the very steep mountain just doesn’t look like it’s worth it. Especially if you’ve tried before and had the great fortune of sliding back to the bottom and feeling crushed.
That’s when certain experiences just come to mind at the right time to help motivate and empower. Those stories where in retrospect it feels as if you should have been crushed, but instead you crushed it.
Right now, thinking of such a story, to help me keep pedaling forward.
-just a word of interest.. shifting writing styles… for dramatic effect only
The photog sat in the corner of the reception room. The party was packed. The music was blaring out of poorly tuned speakers that had a cellphone as it’s music source. Sure, Pandora was a great DJ, but quite frankly, all the heat from compressed bodies was not helping the photog at all.
To make matters worse, the photo was under the attack of a nasty stomach bug that should have best been treated with a rushed visit to the ER. Fever sending chills down his spine ever few minutes, pangs doubling him over, the photog had a commitment to hold.
The photo’s journalistic photo career had seemed to tank. Gigs were few and very far between. Models were always super busy. Other photographers were undercutting his near free prices. This gig just had to work. These clients had to be happy.
As sick as he was, the photog couldn’t afford to blow this gig and walk away. Quitting was not an option, as appealing as it was What if this was the much needed break?
Wiping the torrent of sweat off his forehead for the umpteenth time, the photog braced himself to do work. Elbowing his way to the star of the afternoon, the photog started to chronicle the festivities celebrating life and family.
To his great fortune, the party had a steady ebb and flow to it that allowed him to duck out to the bathroom to address his malaise and buy more precious time. There were no assistant to watch the gear, just a back room that mercifully was not in use, and dark enough to deter curious hands and eyes.
All the years of shooting in varied circumstances came back as muscle memory that fought through the brain fog of illness. Trust had to count for something. If these pictures didn’t succeed, the weight of frustration would kill any hope of making a comeback on the scene.
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As the party wound down, the woes of vertigo started to plague the photog, making it harder and harder to set up the various photos. Graciously, the host found him and pumped him full of compliments, reviving some hope that payment would come and the show would soon end.
Well. See. What had happened was. There is no money. Let us, the host said, pay you on delivery of the photos instead.
The host must have picked up the scent of vanishing blood in the photog. Not having any fuel left due to being so dehydrated, the photog just nodded and mumbled about needing to leave to go see a doctor.
Some time later, after a valiant fight, the photog recovered enough health to look at his work and begin the process of editing and photo selecting. To his great surprise, the photos came out very clean, very sharp, and vibrant. In fact, one thing was certain, this work was pretty good.
Too bad, the contract was as close to free as one can get. Just enough to cover transportation to the event and shipping cost for the photos. When this was all said and done, breaking even would be a tough stretch. However, the photog was very happy with the results of the photos.
Any doubt about being able to do great work had been dispelled and sent into the trash bin. The game was still on. The skills were still sharp. If a shoot done in sub-optimal conditions while suffering a 104 degree Fahrenheit could come out this nice, well, there is hope still.
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-returning you abruptly back to the original writing style…. to conclude the post that is….
I am in awe about that story.. why? well, i don’t usually get that sick. I still remember how sick I was that day. I spared you many details… because that’s not really the point of this post.
Had I quit that day and not moved forward with this shoot, my confidence would have taken another beating. One I don’t need to subject myself to. Many projects, like this blog, have been able to come online from the boost of confidence I had from that shoot. Yes, it was not fun doing it at a financial near loss.. but….getting back in touch with my inner grit was so worth it.
Prior to that shoot, I had many starts and stops. I had many chances that I let roll back down the hill and crush me. I built a series of self defeating habits that has cost me dearly.
However! I have not quit! I am building the habit of pressing forward. That’s the only way to get to the top of the hill. Grit! Stick with it.
I’ve pivoted, I’ve changed orientation, I’ve modified, and I’ve restarted. The one common denominator, I have not quit. Even when it looks extremely tempting to do so.
My advice to you, dear reader, is simply this. Don’t quit on yourself. You may have to let go some things and learn new things. So long as you don’t give up on yourself. In time, you’ll be able to climb out of your hole, situation, position, station, habit, or what-have-you and get to a much better, different, higher, smoother, (fill in any necessary words here) place.
Keep in mind, somethings will have to be let go. But that is in no way you quitting on yourself, no matter how appealing it may be. Hang in there. Learn. Grow. Change. Move!
p.s. I am not advocating you ignore physical illness to make a goal happen. Do please always take care of yourself. Without your health, you can’t create any wealth or move towards your goals. DO NOT ignore your health. Do be good to yourself and take care of yourself.