Prioritizing Passions


When you work in the field of your passion, most days don't feel like work. So sometimes it can be hard to know when to leave "work" and just "relax". Personally, those lines blur together in my world.

Before I started a business as a photographer, taking clients instead of friends out for photo shoots, photography was how I relaxed from day to day life, from school, and from stress. Now, with deadlines, payments, checklists, and reminders, every time the phone rings, I am torn between excitement over a new project, and the stress of yet another added event. It can get to the point where I just want to put my camera down for an hour, a day, a week, a month, and I don't want to feel that way.

Today, in a business meeting, talking with fellow small business collaborators, I realize that I need to prioritize.

Since I started this business, and as I look back, I realize there are many things I have stopped doing that I love: yoga, soap-making, print photography excursions, going to the dog park with my dog, watching movies, going on dates(!), having a regular sleep schedule(!). At first, I was having so much fun, I didn't even notice. People were paying me exactly how much I wanted to do something I already LOVED to do! But I ended up compromising my daily life to attain that.

I feel myself getting burnt out more easily, getting tired and sick more often, and having much less patience than I used to. Not only had my physical body been suffering all the stress and rushing and lack of sleep, but my soul was suffering for all the things it was missing; all the things that make me happy. I don't want to lose jobs and forfeit having a business, but I don't want to lose my mind and forfeit the things I love. What I need, is balance.

I'm going to sit down and write down the things I love , when I love to do them, and how much I love to do them. I'm going to look at myself, how I feel, and think about how all the things I miss doing fit into making myself better so I have the energy to perform at my job as well as the strength to tell myself, "No, not one more photo, go to sleep!". I can't expect it will be easy, because even at 19, I don't know everything (despite popular opinion), but I feel like I really learned something about myself today, something that will be valuable when I blossom into more than who I am now.