What is it we are chasing?
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“It is in fact not our dream that makes us happy,
but chasing that dream!” - Mehmet Murat Ildan
It's been a year now that I've left my full time job. Stuck in a tiny office with no window to the outdoors, sucking paint fumes, and fielding the constant influx of unhappy people, I had enough. I couldn't bare another day daydreaming while viewing my computer screen, gazing at images of the outdoors, adventure and travel.
Indeed it has been a great year, full of photography and travel. I've even had time to put pen to paper and write ( but not as much as I'd like ). I'm still dreaming though. I dream of the day I can call myself a full time photographer (or my bank account can). Somehow the dream is just out of arms reach, the proverbial carrot in front of the goat. But what is it that I'm really chasing?
I've spent more days in the field this year than all the other years put together. I spent a whole week chasing rainbows. A month chasing fall colors, then two chasing ice. A month chasing tides and sunsets, and weeks in sandy deserts. It was... dreamy.
Surely it is what photographers do, chasing, always chasing. We're chasing opportunities, and expectations. Chasing high hopes for moving experiences, and award winning photographs. Chasing likes on social media accounts, and schmoozing people at art fairs for attention (or a dollar).
Reality is beginning to take hold. Maybe I'll never stop chasing. Or maybe I'm not chasing, I'm really running away. You only live once, the fear of missing out, old YOLO and FOMO. That sense of urgency. Maybe I've placed more attention on living in the moment instead of planning for the future. Certainly that's what my dad would have thought, were he still alive. Seeing him slip away, however, flipped a switch in my brain. I was watching myself pass away in front of my eyes. Life is too damn short. I put the clipboard of insurance property loss away, and ran away to deal with my own losses. I think I've earned that, at least.
Maybe I'm just a crazy man trying to catch raindrops, but I'm happier chasing the dream.