Life is constantly changing. I was going to open this post with, “these last two years, life has been filled with so many changes,” but when I really think about it, I realize that is has always been changing.
When I moved to San Francisco in 2011, I dropped out of my school program in Gender & Women’s Studies. At the time, I was already working as a photographer and once I got to San Francisco, I continued to do so. When I moved there, however, it was always going to be temporary. I’d give it a few years and then I’d move back to finish my degree. My school credits wouldn’t transfer properly down to SF, but I desperately wanted to finish this degree one day. About a year and half ago I applied to go back to school, but didn’t get accepted back in. Feeling somewhat lost, not knowing where to go, but knowing I didn’t want to live in San Francisco anymore, I booked a one way ticket to New York City. A few weeks later, I arrived there.
New York was absolutely amazing, but I also knew it was only going to be temporary. I wanted to move to a place where I knew no one so that I could live alone and just be by myself. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. It was short-lived, when I got a letter from my school saying I had been accepted back into my school program for the coming fall. Turns out, it wasn’t that I didn’t get in the first time, I was just waitlisted. My turn on the waitlist came up, and now I was in.
I only spent three months living in New York before I moved my stuff back to the west coast. I was somewhat sad that my time in New York was so short, but at the same time, I think it was meant to be that way because I never reached the low that so many two-year-New-York-residents described (or even one-year-New-York-residents). Plus, I was eager to be closer to loved ones. I spent the summer in Seattle with my boyfriend before finally moving to Vancouver to finish school. It was scary thinking about having to slow down photography for school, but I kept reminding myself that it was only two years, and then I'd be done my degree.
It’s amazing to think that that was a year ago, which means I only have one year left. I didn’t really tell anyone that I was going back to school, at least not publicly, because I wanted to continue taking clients. I also didn’t want people to ask why I quit photography to go back to school when I didn’t quit photography, I was just going back to school, or that school was a waste of time and blah blah blah, I’ve heard it all. For me, a lot of it is to do with a piece of paper. I want to finish school and have my degree. But I also loved my program, and was eager to get back to it.
Here I am now, done one more year of my program with only one year left to go. It’s been really great but also really tiring. I forgot how exhausting school can be, or maybe it’s just that I’m older and busier and so I find school more tiring? I don’t know for sure but I do know that the one time I went out for drinks with classmates, I could hardly keep my eyes open and it was barely 9pm. I have loved this past year, so much, but I am also so very excited to finish my program and move on. I’m excited to get back to me, which is creating.
I start summer school next week which makes me kind of nauseous that I just finished exams and now I’m already going to be back at it. On the plus side, I know it's going to fly by. I’ll have classes for 6 weeks, and then a few weeks off, and then classes for another 6 weeks, and I’ll be done one more entire semester. That’ll leave me with my FINAL SEMESTER EVER OF MY BACHELOR’S DEGREE and hallelujah I am so excited for this. It’s amazing to think that in just a few more short months, I will be totally done. Finally, finally.
I haven’t been creating much while being in school, except for creating paper after paper after yes, another school paper. I think I needed the break, though. Today I picked up my actual camera and took photos of this coffee mug and some pretty light shining through the window and found myself so fascinated by it all. The simplicity of it. Dialing in your camera settings, focusing, capturing the image, redialing new settings, changing the angle of the mug, watching the light give off different shapes and tones… This is what I’ve missed while doing client work. I’ve forgotten the simply joy in taking photos for the pure love of it, and not because it’s my job. I absolutely love having photography as a career, but I’ll be honest and say there are parts of it that I don’t always enjoy. I read things on the Internet that talk about people who absolutely love what they do everySingleMinuteOfEverySingleDay and I’m like wow, I *love* photography but I don’t love every single minute of it. I hate hours of tedious editing and dealing with paper work and billing clients. I’d rather just be taking photos, that’s it. Plus, I'm an introvert, and so by the end of a day interacting and photographing people, I really need my down time. But that’s not the point, and besides, I really do love having photography as my job. I think things just got so busy that I kind of forgot what it was like to take photos just for me.
And so that’s what I did today, I took photos based out of curiosity, love and passion. I know next week I’ll have to flip on the academic switch again and not let myself take photos until I finish this essay that is due tomorrow and I hardly have an outline written for it, but I know it will be worth it. I’m doing school for me, my curiosity and desire to fulfill a bucket list I created a few years ago. Once I’m done, I’ll get to move onto my next bucket list item.