Today has been a long day, but a satisfying one.
The past few weeks have been fairly tough to keep up with, and everything has been getting ontop of me somewhat. I’m not one to ever consider myself ‘stressed’, as I’m a fairly considered and laid-back sort, but it’s been difficult to avoid the adjective as of late.
A combination of work (in all its forms) with all its difficulties, and starting back at Uni has resulted in there being little to no time to just… be. Every day that was completed failed to ease off the burden, and it felt like a little bit of me was eroded each time.
In order to do what I want to do within the law, you’re expected to not only juggle University, but do extra work, volunteer, do unpaid placements, speak another language (or two), be a well rounded, unfettered person, oh.. and not to mention have a job to pay your way. It’s a huge demand on your time, and something that’s almost impossible to achieve.
It was reassuring to hear the ‘Human Rights lawyer’ Aamer Anwar comment on just that fact tonight in his guest lecture at Glasgow Uni. How can you effectively be involved in politics and University life, not to mention everything else that you’re meant to do, whilst having to work all the time in order to scrape by?
I’ve taken quite pride in the fact that whenever I’ve been asked to do work over the past three to four years, I’ve always done it. No matter whether it meant I’d get 2 hours sleep before I had to get up and work somewhere else, I did everything I could, and it’s probably partly why I am where I am in terms of the amount of jobs I get now.
Thing is, where does it get you in the end? You realise that no matter how much you put in to something, sometimes you just can’t go any further with what you’ve been doing, and you need to cut back and expend your energies where it’s more worthwhile.
What people need to realise is, that photography ends up being just a job like any other job… a means to an end. It’s fine to work for free and live up the jollies for a while if that’s what you desire, but when day in, day out you’re doing the same thing for years, it takes its toll. When people dispute or complain about your rates or give you more hassle than its worth, it becomes time to move on.
It’s time to re-evaluate a bit. I think I want to be more of the Stephen I feel most comfortable with.. the Stephen interested and passionate about human rights; the sacred and the spiritual; the philisophical and the wonderful… something deeper than just doing what other people want for money. It’s easy to lose track of who you are in all of that. I need to reclaim all the bits of me that have been appropriated.
Or some of them at least.