This last week of the year between Christmas and New Year’s has traditionally been a time for reviewing the year just past and envisioning what the coming year might bring. Something exciting is taking shape and I’ll put down in writing what holds the promise of fire.
By May 2011, I shall have completed three years of an informal sabbatical to study photography and video production. A bachelor’s degree takes four years so I gave myself four years to acquire skills and experience sufficient to start making money from a new career. I think 2011 is the year I add marketing and sales to the learning experience.
I did 19 model and 13 portrait shoots in 2011. By my own assessment I have some ways to go before I’ll think myself qualified to compete with professionals in the field but just this piece of statistic is impressive. Where do I go from here?
The thrust of my present endeavor has roots going back at least to my senior year in graduate school when I found myself conflicted about my career goals. I chose to go on with school and finish the degree because I saw the degree as my ticket to come to America. It took the next 30 years for me to start working on that initiative. I limped along all those years but now find myself poised to finally make the life change I was not able to make until now.
Joe Campbell, the great American mythologist of the 20th century, used to tell his students: follow your bliss. Bliss is what this is about for me, and authenticity: making my actions harmonize with my inner world and aspirations. Bliss, authenticity and identity are what this is about. Finding out who I am is why it’s taken this long to take this step into embodiment.
I remember the day in 2008 I shot my first model, Kaleb. This is how I want to feel, I told myself. This is my bliss. The learning curve has not been clear-cut and I have often faulted myself for not making a beeline for the goal. But what is clear today is how the path had to manifest itself gradually. One makes the path by walking. I didn’t know in 2008 where I wanted to go!