I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I showed Young Mothers at Modified Arts, defended my thesis, and graduated from college. I feel like I’ve learned a lot since, but I haven’t really accomplished anything. I interned at Anderson Ranch and then I came back home and immediately started working part-time at Tempe Camera. It was a good place to readjust. Transitioning from school into real life is confusing and weird. I lived in Glendale in a room with my boyfriend the first month I got home, back in October. I didn’t have my car for a while because it didn’t make it through the hot summer without me. We moved to Scottsdale in November, and in December I got my brat-dog, Queenie. In January I decided to go vegan and February was kind of a blur. I put a lot of time and energy into Blink, and shortly after we started we had to go on a break because there was a chance that I was going to move back to Snowmass. I interviewed for the Photo and New Media Studio Coordinator position at Anderson Ranch and my life kind of came to a pause because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. After a long series of events and about a month later, I found out I didn’t get the job.
Though having that job would have been a great step, I was really afraid of moving away from my friends and family. I was mentally prepared to do it, but I was scared. Ultimately, I’m glad I had the opportunity to interview for it and didn’t get the offer. That experience made me realize that I’m not where I want to be. Essentially, it gave me the courage to put in my two week notice.
My job was holding me back in a lot of ways–financially, emotionally, creatively. I was hardly able to pay the bills, much less finance my art. I couldn’t come home and work on my own photographic practice after being surrounded by an environment that turned photography into the means to an end. I learned that I need a fast-paced environment to thrive (which rarely happened there). I was getting burnt out from being so underwhelmed, which prevented me from setting and achieving personal goals. In the last week, I’ve updated my website, I’ve tried to sort out my online/social media presence, I’ve edited a backlog of images that I took last summer, and I’ve taken more pictures than I have in the last six months combined. I’ve been able to sift through my goals and figure out what my next steps are.
I’m terrified at the prospects of my unemployment. I can’t help but wonder if I’m making a crazy mistake. I know that it’s not the most practical route to change, but despite my concerns, I have faith that it’s the best way for me. I still don’t know what I’m reaching for, but I think I’m a little closer to figuring it out.