Finding happiness amidst change


It’s been quite a couple of weeks. Lots of doing this and that and this and that. Time for a break.

I’ve been horribly bad about keeping up my blog and I do believe I’m repeating myself here, so I apologize. But let me explain.

Something I’ve never really talked about on my blog, in anytime whatsoever, is my struggle to balance my days. And by that I mean the jobs I keep. I have two. Both of them full time. And I’m tired.

Its too easy of late to lose motivation in just about everything I do. It takes everything I have sometimes to just sit up straight and feed myself. Oh, yes, I’ve dozed off more than a few times holding a fork full of kung pao or maybe dropped a morning bagel slathered in cream cheese on my lap. And that’s the worst, falling asleep even before you’ve gotten to work. And lets talk about the time I have for exercise!! It’s nonexistent. Somedays I feel like a swollen cork bobbing and floating amongst the dirty dishes in a sea of bad foods. There has to be a way out of here, an escape route. Someone pull the plug and let this all drain out and free me!! Ugh.

But I digress.

Everyone knows I’m a photographer, but not everyone knows that I’m also a man with a day job. God, I hate those words, Day Job. I’ve struggled for so long to keep these two seperate. But I can no longer do so. They are affecting each other so much so that I can no longer pretend they don’t. I have worked for a company for nearly 24 years now and while they have been good to me I can no longer find my happiness there. I’m talking about my work life in general when I’m clocking in and out for the man. And after that long, it does become your life and I, unfortunately, let it take over everything, including my true love of photography and exploring. I feel somedays I could honestly say I miss photography because I don’t nearly create as much as I would love to. It’s sad.

Currently I manage a small group of folks and we all get along famously and I love them, yes, I really do. They are the best people I know. We work well together and are very protective of who we let in to our personal life. We are a family of sorts and I’ve heard it over and over from upper management how we are probably the best tuned department in the building.

But like I said, overall, there is no happiness. And I am no longer challenged. And while some managers will say, “well, try something new in the warehouse,” obviously, they are the ones that don’t get me, not that I expect them to. I have given nearly my whole life to the company while I’ve put my dreams on hold.

I hear myself saying over and over, “soon”.
I’ve said this so many times that even now customers come in, see me and say, “ahhh, still here I see.” It’s pathetically embarrassing really. I constantly hear, “why are you still working here?” Or better yet, “you have too much talent to be wasting your days here!” Each time I hear that I’m crushed just a little bit more. But I know they’re right. Putting this out there for the world to read, well, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I need to. I need to hold myself accountable. I need to promise myself this is it. I need people to hold me to it. This is my declaration.

There is so much more I could go into on the what’s or why’s but there just isn’t the space, or desire. I’m moving forward on a positive wave.

Soon I will be a free man. I’m still debating a date but it is close. Within a few months and definitely no later than Christmas. At that time I will step to part-time, give up my management and my salary. Soon after that I plan on walking away completely. Anymore, the money doesn’t mean much since I’ve felt like I’ve been selling my soul anyway.

I have been on a search of late, looking in all sorts of places for inspiration and I’m starting to find it daily. I hardly look at photography anymore, not because I don’t think there is any inspiration there, but rather because I need something new, something to come at me from another direction, from my blind side. I need it to stab me when I’m not looking. To jolt me alive. One of the greatest inspirations and moments came to me in the last few months and I wrote about it here. I’ve since read the book twice and started on my third reading as of this morning. Each time I gather a little bit more from it and I put what I find away in my pocket and hold onto it. Closely.

Another great inspiration came just yesterday, and from an unexpected place. I found, after searching for months, what I am looking for in a new office and office furniture. Office? For inspiration? you ask? Yeah, it may seem odd that some office furniture may inspire but it was the artist behind the work. I read his blog completely from beginning to end last night and the more I read, the more I admired, and the more I admired, the more I could feel a sense of balance coming over me. His work, and the way he sees things, completely stripped my own work down to the basics. I could see my own work in a new way, the way I wanted to see it. I could see how I needed to get back to me and my ideas, my thoughts. I could see everything I was doing wrong with my photography. Yes, I was that inspired by him. I sat there for quite a while last night just in awe. I’ve had my eyes open for a long time but I was just not seeing.

I’d love to show his work right now but I’m going to wait for just a bit. I’m commissioning him to design and create a new working environment for me and I promise you’ll soon see it.

So, all that being said, I took most of last week plus this weekend off from everything. Day job, paid photography, calls, emails,,,everything. I needed me time. And it’s been good. But don’t worry, I’ll be all about business again tomorrow!

I started my weekend with my good friends at an outdoor performance by one of my favorite bands, The Clumsy Lovers. After the performance, we all wandered onto a nearby patio where we just hung out and chatted. The next morning we all got up early and headed out to Molt, a favorite destination of mine. With the windows down and the cool morning air flooding the car we were all smiles and happiness.

We soon enjoyed a country breakfast while listening to live bluegrass music and it was all simply awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to the weekend. I shot all these pictures, except maybe one or two by friends, loose, not worrying with color balance, composition, etc. It was the same during editing, save for that last shot. I basically just uploaded them straight. I just let it flow from me and it felt good.

It’s that freedom I miss and need more of. To just relax and have fun and enjoy the moments. Life is at your fingertips and I’m just learning to get a better grasp of it.

this post has 09 comments

  1. Ronnie,
    I have to tell you that I have not found your work to be contrived. I’ve always thought they were raw and beautiful! I am so sorry to find that you were struggling with the love of it. Because your talent is rare and I so enjoy watching the growth of it. I wish you would put together a coffee table book, is that what they call it? I assure you I’d buy it! I hope that you find what you are looking for and that you find happiness again in your work. I love these photos from Molt, I don’t think you could ever be accused of being boring. Much Love to you.
    Your Friend Always

    via Tamara Benjamin

  2. Ronnie. You are an amazingly talented photographer. I have always loved admiring your work. I am glad you put that all out there… you have a lot of people that will hold you accountable. :) You’re great, keep it up. xoxo

    via Tracy Moore

  3. Beginning more mornings with country breakfast and live bluegrass will cure what ails you. Follow your dreams. Your photography makes people happy, and should you, too.

    via Ron Hadfield

  4. You are an amazing person first and foremost and also an amazing photographer. Your pictures inspire me to look at ones life in different ways, a stop to smell the roses so to speak. Follow your dream and we will be here to support you every step of the way!! Plus I will need family pictures this fall!!!!!

    via Nikki Heitzman

  5. Hi Ronnie, I admire your courage in finding your happiness in this journey. I wish for you the quiet nudge that will lead you down the path you are looking for.

    via kim

  6. Ronnie,
    I relate so much with you in your words. I so wish I could be around you daily. You’re so honest. I need to be more honest with myself. I’m not happy.

    via Toni

  7. Thanks everyone, I appreciate it! I’m anxious and nervous all the same but I know only good things are ahead! Love ya’ all!

    via ronnie

  8. I hope you find happiness with whatever you decide to do. Personally, I’d be scared to give up the benefits of even a part-time position. I guess if I were as talented as you, it would be a much easier decision.

    via Paul

  9. I think you need to spread your wings and let the wind blow you. I hate to hear you are frustrated. You are an amazing artist with great talent and potential. I look forward to every project you do to see how much more amazing it will be then the last one. Hold tight to what you are passionate about and the rest will fall into place, remember its about the journey.

    via Sara