I went on a medication this summer that was pretty great until I realized that it was the reason that I pretty much only wear sweatpants because I was popping buttons on my jeans and moving hooks on my brassieres. So I went off the medication hoping that the ten pounds would just fly off the same way they flew on, but no. I read too many articles about this particular medication doing this wonderful thing called slowing down your metabolism which is really frustrating because had I known beforehand, I never would have taken this pill because seriously I am making a bar mitzvah in three weeks and I don’t have the money for a new wardrobe. As it is, I had to buy a new dress for the bar mitzvah because the original dress I had bought months ago thinking “This is the dress!” cannot be zipped up anymore, even with double spanx. It was so, so pretty though and had sleeves which is now a prerequisite for the almost 40 me. I bought a new dress that makes me look like a ballerina and I like it because I don’t feel like a sausage in it and the sparkly shoes I am going to buy are going to make me feel better about that damn pill.
My family wants to disown me a little bit, though, since I’m the only one who isn’t following the green and gold motif that we had talked about. Yes, my son’s bar mitzvah is going to be super kitschy because he lives for football and never asks for anything except for more Madden time and I really want him to have a party that he will enjoy, which is why there are going to be sliders.
It’s amazing, this online space, because I often sit down to write one thing and surprise! something else entirely pops out. My day started out super positive. I’m wearing a killer pair of heels and my music on shuffle dealt me I and Love and You and Pink Bullets on my short drive to work where I’m spending a lot of my day photographing (and talking to) the grade 9 students who are hanging out at my office for bring your child to work day.
But early this morning I was reading Facebook while I was blow drying my hair (yes I do this) and I stumbled upon a quote from a Facebook friend who was quoting Ivanka Trump. The quote said: If you’re passionate about what you do, and have the work ethic to match, you will succeed. I read it. And then I read it again. And I read it again. Normally I’d just walk away and continue my daily routine of trying to figure out how to put on eyeliner without looking ridiculous, but the quote kept nagging at me, so even though I usually am not much of a boat rocker, I left a comment.
Because here’s the thing.
I’m trying — desperately — to build a full-time photography business.
I don’t think anyone would question my passion. Book a session with me, you will see it.
I don’t think anyone would question my work ethic. Come and visit me in my home office at 2am, you will see it.
These are just not the only factors at play. They are super, super important. Yes. I’d even throw in smile a lot, be gracious and grateful. Those are important too.
But at the end of the day, all of the passion and work ethic in the world doesn’t mean I can have a full-time photography business. I may, someday, but right now, no. I am lucky that I can take more courses to be better skilled as a photographer and truly believe that I have a good eye. You can’t just plop a passionate person with a camera in a room full of crappy lighting and fast-moving children and expect success. I am lucky that I have a family who allows me to fill three full sundays in a row of mini shoots—a total of 28 shoots. My mortgage and day school tuition(s) and my son’s upcoming bar mitzvah (and clearly this new wardrobe I need to buy) mean that I can’t possibly do this full time. Passion and work ethic doesn’t buy camera equipment. Passion and work ethic doesn’t put dinner on the table and a roof over my children’s heads.
The caffeine is pretty self explanatory.
So it’s just simply not the whole story.
As it is for my photography business. As it is for many people I know.
(Also, I’m sure my husband would like to open up a kosher restaurant in Toronto, and yet)
I left this comment out there.
And because I’m an overthinker, I overthought about it. And then I realized that no! I believe every word I wrote there. I am (admittedly, I can say it out loud!) knee-deep in work ethic and passion. So I walked away in my heels and didn’t think about it again.
Until some random commenter (who does not know me, by the way) disagreed with me and suggested that — oh wait, let me cut and paste because it’s too good not to — “you are right, even with those, if you are ok with making excuses, success will be much harder to find…”
I guess I’ll just be over here making some excuses then.