I’ve been quiet here and mostly staying off socials and email (besides TikTok – that is my guilty mind numbing pleasure these days) as I let myself ride the wave of burn out. I had just over 100 regular sessions from Sept-Dec, 71 mini sessions in Nov/Dec and I shot over 1,000 students between 3 schools in Sept/Oct.
It was an AMAZING fall season full of smiles and laughter and new clients I loved meeting and old clients that truly are like family, but by Christmas, I was worn out. I felt empty. Out of steam. Idealess with no creative energy and wanting to do anything but pick up my camera while also balancing an innate fear as I walk into my slow season. Fear of not making rent. Fear of not making enough money for our family. Fear of failing. Not wanting to work AT ALL but also scared I’ll never work again. It’s stupid and exhausting to vacillate between those two extremes for weeks on end.
I’ve been doing this job, my dream career, since 2007 and still every single year I fear no one will book a session come January. It’s a scarcity mindset I really need to work on. Most years I work hard to push through, but this year I let myself wallow. I let myself veg out. I spent hours scrolling TikTok thinking about NOTHING. Add in extreme Covid anxiety creeping back in and I’ve just sort of been frozen.
But today I woke up and felt different. I knew I would come around eventually and it finally happened. I cleaned my desk, tackled laundry, worked on editing photos for social media and am almost done painting my Valentine Mini backdrop. I was able to keep my Covid anxiety at bay today and overall just feel so much better. Feeling more ready and excited about 2022 than I was before.
2021 was hard in so many ways but it was actually my best year in business ever and while I’ve been riding the burn out wave the last several weeks there is also this constant undercurrent of gratitude.
You guys, I am so thankful to you. To you who forgive my slow email response. To all of you who DO want sessions outside of my busy fall season. To you who comes back time and time again to let me capture your family. To you who allow me to be a part of your lives with and without my camera. I am a one-woman show and 2020 was the hardest year I’ve ever been through professionally so to then walk into 2021 and have the best year? It’s amazing. And it’s all b/c of you. So thank you. THANK YOU. Truly.
What will 2022 look like? I have no idea. But I’m excited about my Valentine Mini set and that’s the first step of the year for me! I’ll show you soon. What I do know is that we start college visits for Bailey this year, Parker gets her license (after she gets her permit next week) and basically life keeps moving at breakneck speed. I will enjoy so many days and really hate others. I will work in the yard, feed the chickens and walk Ellie. I will have ideas for Fresh Art that work and some that don’t. I WILL make rent each month.
If the last two years have taught me anything it’s that we have VERY little control over how our lives will turn out. So in the meantime I am living by this quote from Elise Blaha Cripe this year…..
“it is very simple,”
“you get up, you go,
you do, you see,
you put one foot
in front of the other
and along the way
you do your very
best to enjoy it.”