Last night I was driving through Herald Square on my way home from shooting this amazing surprise birthday party, and an Anthony Green song I haven't heard in years started playing from my music on shuffle. As I drove across 34th street and reflected on the past few years of my life, an overwhelming sense of peace came over me. I couldn't help but think "How did I get here?" 5 years ago I was at the unhappiest point in my life, and if you know me, you know I'm a generally happy, optimistic person. I felt stuck, alone, and wanted more out of life. Back then if someone told me I'd be where I am today I would've laughed hysterically, then probably sobbed. Never in a million years would I have thought I'd be living 1000+ miles from home, engaged to the man I thought only existed in my dreams, and working in (not to mention driving in!) NYC as a photographer. Thankful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.
Photography has always had a strong pull on me, but there were so many times I wanted to just give up. I always made up excuses for myself. Running a business is too hard. I'm not as good as that photographer. It would be easier to just work for someone else. The saying "nobody said it would be easy, but it'll be worth it" is so so true. The hardest part of being freelance/self employed is winning the mind game. We're our own worst enemies and toughest critics. If you find yourself in the same spot I was in 5 years ago, please don't give up! No matter how many times I was frustrated and walked away from photography, it always pulled me back. If something has that strong of a pull on you, it's for a reason. Be patient. Stay focused. Breathe. Don't be negative. Count your blessings, not your troubles. Take a risk. Don't be afraid to fail. Don't compare yourself to others. Be persistent. Follow up until you hear "no." Don't measure success in dollars. Work your ass off until you make it because you will make it, these things just take time.