The biggest conflict in my life today is my job situation, or currently lack thereof. In more of an expanded sense, I have a conflict of identity and purpose.
I simply don’t know what I want to do with my life.
I don’t know what I am talented at. I don’t know what I enjoy doing which could bring me some prosperity in my life.
I look on to those who have had a clear sense of purpose in regards to their career and what they want to do with their life, and I feel an acute sense of envy. And that sucks. Envy is such a debilitating thing. I try my best to let it wash over me like a wave, or if I see the wave of envy coming toward me, I’ll dive under it, pass through, let it go over me, and I’ll rise back up, unaffected.
I wish I was that person who studied hard from an early age and knew they wanted to study law or medicine for instance. They may have had this in their mind from perhaps age ten upwards, and kept this goal, studied hard and maybe forewent all the things that make adolescence a little bit fun [sex drugs rock n roll and all that], and instead kept their heads down and made it, and became what they worked hard at doing.
I also wish I was that person who wasn’t academically inclined, always struggled at school from a young age, graduated and fell into a trade, and now have burgeoning and successful businesses which means they get to enjoy their lives and not worry about things like money and rent.
Right now, I just don’t know what I have to offer to anyone. I really don’t.
And it’s been something that has plagued me for over a decade and a half since I graduated school.
I used to think I wanted to be a photographer. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the creativity of it, the fact that I was world-building. Fusing a story and narrative and weaving them into something marvellous. Creating something from my mind’s eye into reality was the core of what I absolutely loved about photography.
It was this act of creation that pulled me towards this art, and what made me fell in love.
Somewhere along the way, however, I lost this passion. I lost the love. It slowly faded and died, turning into a dry husk of what was once vibrant and alive. I turned my back on this art form, bitter and let down, both by my own failures at it, and the fact that it just wasn’t appearing to work out for me.
Each new shoot became less fun. Each time haggling with clients over pay became less fun. Receiving less and less money from clients became less fun, as was the expectations in terms of ever-increasing workload. Exposure for the work we did slowly became the industry standard, and I hated it.
I get saddened over the fact that I lost this great love I once had. I really don’t think I’ll get it back. I’ve had seven months worth of time here in San Francisco to start shooting portraits, yet inevitably I’m drawn away elsewhere. Why is this? Maybe it’s that venomous interior that I sense when I equate my photography past to present. Perhaps I just don’t enjoy it all.
So, here I am in the unenviable position of being 34, not qualified for much at all, and unsure as to what I should be doing. Or what I want to be doing. I’m extremely lucky to be able to live in a vibrant place such as San Francisco, and have the opportunity to move here from home [I remind myself of this daily], and I’m the first to say I’m privileged to be able to live in this country due to my nationality, and the hard work of my husband, who through his determination and sheer talent, has meant we are here.
The fact is however, I feel like a bit of a transparent ghost sometimes. Drifting in and out. Haunting spaces in an in-between dimension of purgatory, with no real purpose.
What do I do? Which direction is good for me, and something that will bring me some kind of career and prosperity? Do I try to seriously pursue my writing? Do I try to revive from the proverbial dead my photography?
Do I keep applying for those mediocre crappy jobs that I know I won’t enjoy and don’t get any response to anyway, yet would bring that much-needed money in?
I definitely sense that I’m in a rut. That I’m simply running on neutral, and spinning the wheel.
I hate that I’m always in this situation, and I know it concerns the other half. I get scared about it. I tend to worry a fair bit about it, and this overpowers my drive to search out new work or pin down what I should be doing here in this town, and with my life.
I don’t want to miss out on enjoying life here and seeing this great country and travelling. I don’t want to feel like a failure and disappointment to myself anymore.
This is the biggest conflict in my life today. Yet, I still know something great will be around the corner, and this faint light of hope and faith in the future, and myself, is what keeps me going.
What’s the biggest conflict in your life today?