The Lonely Photographer – Another Sunday

Sunday again.

And with it, the usual trepidation about the coming of Monday. What will it bring? Disappointment? Criticism? Validation? The promise of a new paycheck? Or nothing at all.

That’s the worst. When nothing happens. Same scene, different day, and nothing happens all over again. I sequester in my house, wanting work, craving human contact, trying to occupy myself with banal things that…occupy me. It’s what some might call a “daily routine” but really they are just a small number of distractions I depend upon to entertain me when I’m not working.

And nothing happens. Nothing comes in, nothing goes out, and no status changes. But, relentlessly, my burn rate runs across the calendar.

How many Mondays like this have there been in a row? It’s too scary to count. How many stories have I told myself, in exquisite detail, and with insightful humor, about my “situation”, sitting on my couch, staring into space, planning my future great life, telling future stories of how “it used to be”, while “it” is staring me right in the fucking face.

It’s a struggle. But this struggle, this story, it isn’t mine alone. It’s the story of multitudes of people before me and around me even now, people who’ve risked everything to chase a dream and who would rather live paralyzed with financial and emotional anxiety than be told they can’t do what they know in their hearts they must.

Hearing these other stories helps. This is where the internet can be a blessing. In photography groups online, I’m always learning new perspectives and gaining wisdom from others. I hear others tell their versions of my old familiar challenges and I feel a brotherhood in arms, as each of us slog along, pursuing our goals, plotting our rise to greatness, individually, and yet in the sharing of our struggles and helping each other along online, somehow doing it together.

The good days are work days. The best days have a check at the end of them–another week’s expenses paid for. I’ll enjoy a cold beer and flank steak and ice cream for dessert, bought at the market and eaten in my living room, watching TV.

This life, this story, this struggle, I thought at first that it was a temporary situation. But I’ve come to understand now that it’s not. It’s my reality. And it’s not going to change by itself.

But I’ve also come to the understanding that if I keep at it and stay focused, adapting, experimenting, “daring greatly” as Brene’ Brown says, and if I get lucky, I may yet get to write a new chapter in my life.

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