I Will Be Back Soon

This past year has been one of the hardest year of my life, I endured a great loss and am still in my grieving process. I’m a very private person and I’ve tried keeping a lot of my personal business to myself and have debated many months whether to post this or not, but I decided that if it can help one person out there that’s going through what I’m going through then it’s worth it. What you see on Facebook or BTS videos is more of a persona, a brand, when you get to know me in real life you’ll discover that what you see on the internet is not who I am. Going through this ordeal it was quite difficult because I only have a handful of close friends who knew about this, and with Portland being so small I had to put up a happy face when I went out in public, when all I wanted to do was crawl into a cave and lick my wounds. For those of you who’ve considered me a good friend, I’m sorry that I’ve kept this from you. It does not equate to how I feel about you, I just don’t like to air out my business.

Since I’ve discovered my passion for photography 5 years ago, I’ve buried my head and put everything that I had into it. I sacrificed everything, my job, my time, my money, my family, my life, my love, my wife. Yes, a wife. We often laugh together when I post images of me surrounded by models because people think that I’m a playboy. I moved to New York soon after celebrating our one year anniversary. Without knowing a soul I went into the concrete jungle in hopes that I would learn from the best photographers. I quickly realized that I was no more than an errand boy. I finished my internship after three months but remained in New York to try and make it on my own. What I learned during this period of time was to how to treat your team. I vowed to never become a diva and to make sure that my assistants and interns always learn on set, and know that I appreciate them.

Time has gone by so quickly. Since then, I moved back to Portland, elevated my photography to new heights, won awards, signed on some big name clients, got a seven figure home, got some nice cars, accumulated material wealth, I was living the American dream. Or so I thought. The truth was, I wasn’t living the American dream, I wasn’t living at all. I had put life on hold, thinking that it’ll still be there after I do this, after I do that, after I achieve this, after I achieve that, in a year, in two years, soon. I neglected the most important thing, my partner in life. She wasn’t my number one, photography was. We grew apart and we didn’t realize til it was too late. The irony is that I was working so hard in photography because I wanted to give her everything she wanted in life.

Since then, I’ve withdrawn from the world. Once in a while I would put on a smiley face and make an appearance around the town and pretend everything was perfect, but only a handful of people knew. I lost all creativity and desire to photograph anything. I worked less, I blogged less, I didn’t do much of anything for almost a year. It was time for me to leave, my therapist said that there’s nothing left in Portland for me but memories of the past. And so I’m on my second stage of the healing process. I moved to LA three weeks ago with only the bare necessities for a new start, a new life. Now to make sure that I don’t fall back into that trap of chasing a false happiness, everyday I make sure that I take at least 30 minutes to meditate and analyze my past and visualize what I see my future to be.

What I’ve concluded for myself is that the most important thing to me are the relationships in my life. True relationships, not the superficial Facebook friendships. Since I’ve been here in LA, I’ve met so many talented people in so many walks of life trying to make it and I wonder if they are living their life to it’s fullest, or if they are putting it on hold like I did. During this grieving process, I’ve learned to deal with my ego. The ego that got me to where I am today because it drove me to work endlessly on my craft, but since I’ve been able to let go of that ego I’ve been more happy with life. Being the best photographer in the room is no longer a concern. I no longer compare myself to others. Gone are the days of getting mad that someone I thought was less talented than me getting the job, gone are the days of being annoyed with bad photographers, gone are the days of envy, and I’ve accepted that there will always be amazing photographers taking better photos than me. There are too many talented photographers in this world for me to get caught up in the race. I just want to live life. Be free. Take photos.

I want to get back to shooting because I love shooting, not because I need that gig to pay for my mortgage or I’m trying to make a name for myself. After I die, what does it matter. The ego thinks it matters. I could care less. I’m starting to find my creativity again and feeling inspired by the little things in life. I want to continue doing photography workshops this coming year to help people learn how to express themselves through photography. I want to impact people’s lives, I want to make a difference. This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned in life, I’m thankful for my family especially my mom, I’m thankful for my friends, I’m thankful that God gave me this gift of photography, I’m thankful that I can help others, I’m thankful for my health, I’m thankful for all the blessings in my life, I’m thankful for those who will come into my life, I’m thankful for being alive.

So my word of advice is to experience life, don’t wait for the perfect time, that perfect time will never come. Thank you for those who keep coming back to my blog and website although I’ve neglected it for so long. Thank you for being patient and understanding. I will be back stronger, wiser, and more appreciative.

Thank you for your support.

A path winds down,
The hill of time.
A path whose destiny,
Soon will be mine.
Sometimes cleared,
and sometimes cluttered.
Step by step,
Words of old are muttered.
I come to a fork,
Afraid to move on,
Because of the pain,
That has hurt for so long.
A pain, like a weed,
That grows in my dreams.
A pain for eternity,
No breaks and no seams.
A pain of a love,
That has long since been gone.
If I can get through this,
Then I can move on.

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6 thoughts on “I Will Be Back Soon

  1. This is a powerful story your telling and I wish you the very best on your personal journey. Your creativity invokes confidence for people through your photos impacting positive change in thousands of people’s lives. This new feeling of empowerment helps people live everyday lifestyles and pursue their dreams.I genuinely have felt the impact you and your work has had on mine/others lives and genuinely hope you find the balance you are seeking

  2. Glad to hear you are on the road to recovery. While we shoot very different things, your work has always been an inspiration to me. I’m excited to see what you create in LA and will definitely be down to visit soon!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. Having the courage to be honest about your experience allows others to look at their choices. Your work has always inspired me. Even changed the course of my life. You believed in me, and gave me wonderful opportunities, and for that I am forever grateful. Wishing you happiness on your new journey.

  4. Wow, thank you for bring so open and sharing this part of your journey. I have made some similar wrong choices and you have put down in words some insight that will help me, and I’m sure, others. Good luck and good wishes to you down there in LA. I’m sure your comeback will be amazing.

  5. Thanks Pauline and Imijes. Sometimes people have to go through their own experiences to know, simply hearing someone else’s doesn’t quite register. I know that I have learned a lot these past couple years. My way of thinking has shifted and I am now more grateful for the experiences and the bonds that I develop during my journey on this Earth. Things no longer revolve around me or what I can obtain. It’s who I can help and living life in the moment. My comeback journey will touch many people’s lives. Emma, it was a hard decision to share. I’m a very private person and I debated for at least a couple months. I hope that by me sharing, it will give others some insight and not have to go through what I did. I do believe in you, just as I believed in you the first time I saw you. You will do well I know it. I’m excited for you to come down to LA and give it a full shot! Isaac, thank you. You kind words means a lot to me. It brings great joy and fulfillment to know that my work can inspire others. Your work has elevated to new heights and I am very happy to see your success. It was good to see you for a brief minute while I was in town. Keep in touch. Robbie, thank you so much. I’m lost for words. I hope to continue to create art that will inspire you and many others. Thank you for your support.

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