This is my first time trying the Daily Prompt from the Daily Post, so here we go!
Shiny and tough, delicate yet rough. Anne Hendricks, a woman of twenty-eight years took a year and a half hiatus from her dream of being photographer of New York City’s hottest bands that would play the Lower East Side scene. She sits at her desk looking at her framed photos she took of her friend’s back when used to do what she loved. Everyday a pang in her side hits her when she misses what she used to do.
She was a corporate woman prior who would balance working 8am to 6pm, then 6:01pm dart to the restrooms, change her button up to a graphic band tee. Run to a coffee shop with her laptop briskly yet handicapped by the weight of her laptop case plus purse. Anne was out from 7am in the city to 2am. She kept her life in her purse with her at all times. Being an artist in the city, you have to sacrifice something she would sacrifice temporary posture strain carrying everything in her purse over her health and self-care any day. She would get to the coffee shop, get a large hot brew, get settled, open her laptop immediately put a block on her computer from getting distracted. She would hammer away editing and uploading pictures from the night prior. Then jet to her night gig of photographing bands perform.
On average, she would get four hours of sleep. She hated being tired, but knowing after work she would be doing what she loved, energized her. One day, a year and a half ago, she was waiting for her hot coffee at the coffee shop after work, and a gentleman named, Frank, started talking to her. They immediately clicked, her asked her out, left the shop, and Anne went back to her seat with a giddy smile on her face. She has been single for two years, due to her hectic schedule did not even try to date, as not many men understood her lifestyle. Frank and Anne went on their first date, which turned into another and another, into them being in a relationship.
Anne found it hard to balance work, an art at night, and a relationship. At first, skipping a gig to take photos to have dinner with Frank felt like a gallon of guilt sitting in her stomach. Then, after four months, she began to rationalize that maybe she was burning herself out with going out overnight and working on four hours of sleep. Anne was tired. Her job performance would get critiques by her boss all the time that she needed to “focus more”. Anne was starting to enjoying the life of simplifying. She focused on being happy in the moment, and not where she needs to go next, who she needed to impress.
Her life was going great. But something felt so mundane and she missed her old hobby of taking photos. Anne was not a person to let herself be unhappy for long. She knew she could sit in the known, and comfortable safe zone, or get out- put self at risk of judgement, but she would be happy. She told Frank, “Frank, I need to get back to my photography”. To which he replied,”But Anne, when would we see each other?” She really did not know which made her sad. She found a family feeling in Frank, but found a family feeling in her night gig of doing photography. She could do it two nights a week, but then that is just a hobby. Doing something just as a hobby is not a way to make it your career.
Anne was so overwhelmed with balancing art, work, and love. She couldn’t do it all. But could not deny the artist in her. “Frank, I just need to.” She went to her living room, and drew up a year goal chart. She promised herself and him that in one year she would live off her art. Frank was sad but knew he had to support her. After a year and a half of not doing photography, was the night she declined dinner with Frank. She had to go out and do photography. This time around, Anne did photography not because she was lonely and needed to be out, anywhere- but because she knew she had to fight for her freedom to make an income doing what she loved. This time around, she worked with intention, and sharpness.
This time around, Anne valued her time more. She incorporated a business side to her art that she was initially resistant to do. She developed a website, started making money off of headshot, and developed a professional portfolio of her work. A top magazine editor contacted Anne in regards to using a few of her photos for an article on an up and coming band. They developed a professional relationship and on a sunny spring Tuesday morning invited Anne to the magazine headquarters in Soho. His name was Mr. Babbs, he looked like a cool Sherlock Holmes, except with a leather jacket and Nike Air Max 90’s. “Anne, I like your work. Your photos are sharp but soft, glorious with shine, but matte with authenticity. You have a buff eye! We would like to offer you a position her as staff photographer.” Anne was elated. “Yes, I would be honored to!”.
Anne’s hard work, and persistence paid off. She had to prioritize and pull back from giving too much of herself. She had to feel uncomfortable at times with uncertainty. Her drive to have it all, brought her to the point of unsure if that was even possible. But built her up to find her own balance to life. Her trust in herself brought her to a place she thought would once be a dream. She stopped scrambling for every opportunity spreading herself too thin. She made her own opportunities, and they came to her.