I thought I’d pop in and give you a quick update and perhaps a little pep talk on this whole ‘focus’ journey, if you too are in the same boat and wondering if change is possible. Firstly, it’s been f’in! hard (and you know I don’t like to swear!) I have successfully trimmed a bunch of ‘fat’. It seems I had more interests that I pursued in some form (even if it was just research), more than I would ever know what to do with–ever. An example would be hair bows; they are inordinately expensive for something that your toddler will inevitably pull out of their hair and lose within minutes. I decided one day I’d make my own, I researched for hours, got my supplies and then got down to business. I made 2. I lost hours of my life, literally hours that I can’t retrieve ever again. I now am asking myself before I try something, if the effort to pursue something is worth my time (for me time is money, especially with such a shortage of it). It would have in essence been a lot more cost effective for me to order a few sets of bows than waste those hours. Lesson learned. I decided that since I have limited time, if I did pursue a hobby (that seems laughable), but if I did, it would need to enhance my life both personally and professionally, since I can’t afford for those to be too separate and honestly I don’t need them to be too disparate. I asked myself what I would regret in 10 years if I didn’t do it and didn’t try to master (and that is a goal of mine to obtain mastery) and it was shockingly, hold on to your seats, not lettering. I loved it and enjoyed myself immensely discovering and exploring technique, but I have no desire to be a lettering artist professionally and the more I practiced I got farther away from the wonky hand I like. I will now admire from afar, as I actually have been doing for quite some time now, but being able to let that go feels very freeing. When I asked myself what I would regret the most if I didn’t do it, it would be documenting my life and it’s ‘wild imaginings’ (as Michelle put it) via photography and writing. I was on cloud 9 when Michelle and I wrote our novel, I felt like I was on creative steroids, it’s one of my most proudest personal achievements. I want to make more time in my life to write, not for the pursuit of anything but for the sheer pleasure it gives me. If I am making toddler hair bows, or whatever shiny thing I see that day I can’t spend time getting better at something that would truly enhance my life. These are all very huge lessons for me! The photography, I am a little embarrassed to say this, I wasn’t shooting, because I was bemoaning what I didn’t have and what I thought I needed to make the shots that I was envisioning. I was seeing all this great work and I wanted my images to look like that but I have a totally different environment and instead of embracing it, exploring it and experimenting with it, I was avoiding it. Completely. I decided to just shoot and see what happened. You know what? It’s not like what I had wanted, it’s polar opposite in fact, but it’s not half bad, just different, and I am enjoying the process and starting to feel like maybe, just maybe I could make it something. Michelle, that sage woman said, ‘bloom where you are planted.’ I guess I never really realized what that meant until now.
The business part we are discussing, dissecting, dreaming, etc. we are getting closer and closer to something that feels more authentic to us, makes sense and has lots of room for growth. We are really trying to cut out whatever doesn’t make sense and does not enhance where we are trying to go. We discovered so much about ourselves in such a short period of time. Not all of it has been great, but Michelle and I are eternal optimists and if we get knocked down, even if we knock ourselves down, we are pretty darn good about brushing off our hands and getting back up again. We shall continue to keep you posted!
What about you? I know a lot of you have felt like you are in the same situation with multiple interests and not a ton of real success. Have you started to take action as well? Anything working out for you? Feeling worse than before you started focusing? I can raise my hand on that one…
This is for everyone that is multi-passionate that wants to stay that way!
This book keeps on getting recommended as a life changer, I have a request in at the library for it
I am taking this class, a photo journalistic approach to photographing family
If you are an Austin Kleon fan you’ll love this interview