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Finding my feet
April 7, 2014
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Finding my feet

“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”

John O Donohue

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It’s been a few weeks now since I made an announcement that I was stepping away from my portrait photography business. I have spent the time since then finishing off client work, giving my office a makeover, and playing. I don’t mean that frivolously, (well, maybe a bit) I mean that I’ve been dipping my toes in a dozen creative puddles, from gardening and cooking to painting and writing- exercising curiosity- with the emphasis on being rather than doing. There have been occasional wobbles that I am not earning enough/ being productive enough / sufficiently justifying my existence but I’ve been reminding myself that it was meant to be like this, to give me a period of grace , a pause,  a moment to take a breath and  to let things unfold. Pausing, letting go, fosters a creative energy like nothing else- when we stop the striving and let the creative juices flow; when we breathe and let the mind clear of all the noise and chatter, whether it’s for a minute or a month, things begin to move again. Add in a dash of sap-rising Spring energy and away we go!

For some weeks I’ve been trotting out the line ‘I’m just going to BE’ to myself and to others when I hear the voice ‘What are you going to do now?’ Only now I’ve made the decision do I realise what a really huge leap of faith and optimism it was to leave the field of portrait photography and not immediately slot myself into another box (although I did change my Instagram Bio to read ‘Artist and Photographer’- boy, that took some guts! ) It’s been amusing and occasionally alarming to witness peoples’ reactions when I tell them I’m no longer ‘in business’- a few expressing panic, fear, occasional resentment and a complete misunderstanding  of the situation, fortunately in the minority; and thankfully many sharing a sense of relief, acceptance and overwhelming and wholehearted support. Which has been wonderful, and all the ‘income’ I need, for now.

Yours, still-a-work-in-progress,

Maz x


6 Responses

  1. Its good to just be sometimes, you’ve just put a new pair of shoes on and they take a bit of time to wear in properly. Its exciting not knowing quite where this path will take you but take you somewhere you can be sure that it will. Im looking forward to seeing where you go on this foray into the unknown and what get produced on the way. exciting times mrs!!! xxx

    1. Maz

      Good analogy Niki- my favourite shoes are the oldest and most worn and probably the ones that were pretty uncomfortable to start with…. xx

  2. Finding the time to just ‘be’ while you discover what lies ahead of you sounds like a really vital part of the journey you’re taking. My partner has just left his job to undertake a solo cycle trip that’s been niggling away at him forever. Whilst there is a part of us having a panic about the earning and as you put it so well ‘justifying existence’ the rest of us is excited about change, and about the possibilities to come. It sounds like you’re on the way to a wonderful creative future. I do love your site ( I found you through the Blognix link up) and I’ll be back!

    1. Maz

      Elizabeth, thank you :) wow, the bike trip sounds intriguing- and challenging- for you both I’m sure! My husband cycled John O Groats to Lands End and then in reverse the following year… I’ll look forward to hearing more x

  3. I totally get the “just be me” phase. Probably sounds like I’m super wise or something beyond my years lol. I was in one job for 5 years – it was my first proper full time job out of university and I ended up staying until I hated it, to the death pretty much. I think it made me depressed/stressed but I tried to ignore that fact and dragged myself there every day anyway.

    In the end I was “encouraged to leave” so I handed in my notice and that was that. What the heck was I going to do next? Well I couldn’t sit around and wait for a mysterious hand from the clouds to appear so I got applying to every temp agency in my town – temping was better than nothing.

    I finished on the Thursday before Easter and didn’t do anything job wise until the Tuesday after. As it happened one of my Mum’s clients were starting a new contract and they hadn’t expected to take it on for like another month so she needed a temp person and needed them to start like the 6th April or something crazy like that. So in the end I didn’t have a job for a week or something like that. I was part time there. Then in May found myself a new full time job. I’m loving it so far but in 9 shifts I start Maternity Leave. I don’t know if they will have me back after as I’m still just a temp but as it’s a national company they should still have temps even if it’s in a different department.

    So sometimes just being you has unexpected but lovely results. I hope you’re going to blog about what you’re upto and how it goes.

    1. Maz

      Hannah, so good of you to share your story. You’ve got some exciting days ahead by the sound of it! Sometimes we have to trust that the right things will happen at the right time and not let worry for the future taint today- especially when you will soon have a new baby in the house! Sounds like you’ve good a good amount of trust and positivity to see you through :) x

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