I had been photographing weddings for a few years. Then I was in a fire. (Like, bonafide house fire.) I took it as a sign: I looked around at my life and asked myself where I could afford to burn a proverbial house down. (Looking at life symbolically, nothing is an accident.)
I stopped shooting weddings and started photographing women in the wild. I haven’t looked back since.
There was this one thing. This one, tiny, nagging voice that wouldn’t let me go.
I procrastinated a lot. I consulted my dreams / boyfriend / mom / astrologers / friends and their tarot decks, and the answer I got back was the same:
Do the work.
“Why” doesn’t matter.
“How” hasn’t happened yet.
Right now: honor the hunch by doing something about it.
And so I jumped.
I decided (lawrd help me) the voice had to be coming from somewhere, but mostly I decided to stop suffering.
Not acting out of fear is just as bad as acting out of fear.
And the results are the same:
your life isn’t really the life you need.
What was the thing?
You’re looking at it. This website. This blog. These words. Because as it turns out, I’m kinda psychic.
It may not seem like such a big deal, because here we all are, happy as clams and kumbayah-ing like a bunch of rainbow star children, but once, I was terrified to know, and I was terrified to act.
• • •
These days, when I wake up, two things will definitely, for sure happen:
1) I will make coffee (and drink some).
2) I will sit down and write.
Every damn day.
Not because I am so consumed by the muses of inspiration or because I think I am a supersonic gift to the world — I write because I’m a writer. Because it’s my job, and every day, I do my job. I try to do my best at doing my job, but just like any job, the work is the work no matter how inspired you are to do it every day.
This can be hard for creative people — especially people who think they might have something to give the world that is very special. We get kinda shamey about it, and afraid to do what we feel called to do because we’re afraid it makes us super self-obsessed or over-confident.
When did we start believing that doing our magical work in the world meant we were narcissists and ego-maniacs? And when did confidence which inspires us to take magical action become a dirty word?
You guys, I have three words for you:
Fuck. That. Guy.
That voice, that horrible, mean, second-guessing motherfucker of a pessimist who lives inside you (but whom you have a pretty good feeling isn’t around to do anything good for you)? Fuck that guy. And fuck the next guy who tries to tell you that telling the first guy to fuck off is a bad idea.
Fuck ’em both. They’re not your friends. They are false gods, my friends, and they do not have your best interests at heart.
You know how I know? Because they keep you from feeling alive. They keep you from knowing what you know.
And here is something else that is true:
“Not Knowing” is a myth.
The truth? “Not knowing” is an excuse to stay small.
To not do the thing.
To not end the relationship.
To not go on the trip.
To not make the art.
To not be who you are supposed to be & what would make you really proud of yourself at the end of each day.
The truth is that you may not want to know (what you know).
The truth is that what you know will change you, and you will have to change your life if what you know is true.
The gift of “not knowing” is that it actually is a very clear instruction. It’s like math for the soul:
“not knowing” – not = knowing