I've been running this entire last year on pure adrenaline. I know why, though, and it's because the life of an artist is a long and penniless road.
I decided last fall that I really wanted to pursue something in the photographic field as a possible career path. I began dabbling in photographing a variety of concerts and activities, just for fun, and got such a thrill. This past spring, I joined the Review and the Grape as a staff photographer, shooting concerts, lectures, dress rehearsals, and pretty much anything that was happening around campus. On recommendation from one of the Review's photo editors, I applied to be photo editor for the following school year. Now, I've turned to face the intimidating dragon of photojournalism with a wide angle 17-70mm lens (though a telephoto might actually be more intimidating). As you've read before on John's blog, Oberlin prides itself on its publications, and yet we don't have a journalism program, much less a photojournalism program.
I'm deciding to make my own way at Oberlin to head on this path. I'm moving at breakneck speed on most days, jumping from classes to various photo-related jobs to performances to sleep (when I can). My schedule has shifted drastically this year; most of my classes are in the morning, there's some free time to do homework in the afternoons, and then I dive into photo assignments and then image editing late into the night.
I lament that I talk to my parents late at night when leaving the library or the Review office somewhere around 2am (It's the only perk of having family very far away... time zones work to your cell phone advantage), when I usually complain about how tired I am but how gratified I feel. I see my friends minimally to none, unless they just so happen to be performing in a show I'm shooting, or they are in the audience for an event we both happen to attend. My downtime that used to be spent watching movies (yeah, I had some downtime, once upon a time... and watching movies is always extra study time for a cinema studies major) is now spent organizing and editing thousands upon thousands of images. I'm constantly behind, which is never an encouraging thought as a college student, or in life in general.
With all that said, I will not ever stop. I truly and completely love what I am doing and I know that sacrifices must be made. Sadly, this semester my major sacrifices have been in the sleep and friends department; the lack of both is taking a blow to my carefully calibrated homeostasis. I have realized that balance, balance, balance is the key to remaining passionate about this chosen direction.
So, I have three thoughts about this coming year:
Do more. Do less. Do it.