If you've learned anything from my blog yet, it should probably be that I am a huge sap. And with that comes a love for writing, a love for expressing my feelings and finding deeper meanings and a love for finding a lesson in everything. I think that's why I love travel so much, because I always learn something in the end. Before this trip I really started to think about my business and how it was affecting my life. Of course this thought began while I was in a car (that's important to know for before I begin this metaphor).
I'm not sure about you but for me I love being in the fast lane. I always say I'll just speed a little until I get in front of this car ahead of me, then I'll merge back over to normal speed. But honestly, I usually end up staying in the fast lane for then entire ride, never really taking the time to slow down and just enjoy the views. There is always a car ahead of me that I am just tempted to get just ahead of, even if we are all going the same way.
I figured out quickly that I can apply this to work life balance in so many ways. As an entrepreneur we spend hours upon hours working non-stop. We answer emails at midnight and pull all nighters to meet deadlines or try and get even just the littlest bit ahead. We work endlessly on secret projects to drastically reveal to the public in hopes that it will push our business one step closer to something we can feel proud of. We are always finding ways to better our business, which then results in spending more time to achieve these things or fulfill those ideas. And we are suffering. Honestly, it's not just us that is suffering, but our clients.
As a photographer we spend so much time photographing and helping others hold on to memories. Whether it be time spent with family, the day a marriage began or moving from one stage of life to the next, we spend hours upon hours planning and shooting, editing and blogging to share others memories so our clients can have something to remind them of all the good. This is actually the main reason I absolutely love what I do. However, in doing so we completely shove our memories, or sometimes lack thereof, to the side and put our personal lives on the back burner. We cancel dinners with friends to stay home and finish editing just one more session. We miss the gym or meals to answer emails. But most importantly we miss out on those memories or opportunities for memories, the ones that could never be replaced. And sadly once they do happen, we leave our cameras at home simply because we weren't getting paid to bring them and it can be such a "hassle."
But during this trip I learned so much, and while I will always put my clients ahead, I learned that it's also time to start putting myself first. Because this week I hiked mountains to watch blue skies turn into a cotton candy sky. I drove aimlessly off a road just following signs to a type of beach that I thought only existed in movies. I stayed up late eating tacos, sharing stories, playing with henna and going through all the images of the previous day. I made so many memories with friends that could never be replaced and I captured them so I can relive every moment. Because in all honesty, how do expect our clients to invest in us to capture their memories if we aren't even investing in or valuing ourselves?
I guess what I am trying to say is, there will always be another car up ahead, or another person yet to pass. The decision is whether you want to stay in the fast lane and get only one car ahead yet again or if this time you want to ease up on the pedal and just find joy in the views and make pit stops along the way.