It was time. I didn’t even realize it was time until it was absolutely time to end the 365. My husband told me before I started Round Three, it was time. But I didn’t feel it then. I still enjoyed it. Until I really didn’t. For that past two months, I kept telling myself the funk wasn’t because of the 365 project. I’ve had funks before and they end. But this funk lasted much longer and it didn’t feel like it was getting better. It felt like it was dragging me deeper and deeper into a funk. Typing my Funk post was a way to get out. I got the best advice and I’m very grateful for all of it. I learned how other people handle their funk-ness. I learned a little bit about how other people saw my style. I relearned that everyone has funk-ness. But the best advice pointed out the problem. I just had to admit to it.
Molly Flanagan told me it was a great place to be and she was really excited for me. Really, Molly? I said I was afraid of stopping photography all together. Fine. She’s a nice person and I respect her, so I kept reading. And this is what she typed:
“ for me, for the first couple of years it was fun to just shoot anything. it is cool… taking a picture and seeing it on your computer then fiddling around with it. you know? but, it is like the difference between numbly scanning the radio station and never settling on anything. and listening to a song you are so connected to you dance in your seat and sing at the top of your lungs. or sob like a baby. and you don’t care who sees you. when you are numbly listening, you don’t even realize you are missing anything. when you have experience the process of creating something that comes from deep within you… you are ruined for scanning the radio… you are ruined for shooting just to shoot. or just because the light is pretty. or just to document. you want to feel that connection. i don’t think there is anyway i could do a 366 and not get in a funk. so maybe this is just a normal slump that you have when trying to push through something like this? but, i think this is an opportunity to dig deeper. not worry about the images that result. but the process of digging and exploring. you are right, this is for YOU, so take advantage of that. “
I read it and walked away thinking, “No. That’s not it. It isn’t the 365’s fault.” And then I stopped and read it again. And one more time until it sunk so deep I couldn’t stop thinking about it. That’s exactly what it is. I don’t want to listen to Matchbox 20 just because it’s on. I don’t want to drive 3 miles while the radio is stuck on Scan. I want Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” (yes, I’m still on a Nicki kick) followed up with The Lumineers’ “Hey Ho”. It was time to plug in the iPod and make it happen. Stop being lazy.
The 365 became a crutch. I figured the funk would go away if I just waited because I love the outcome. I love starting a new year watching last year pass by on the screen. I love watching the boys grow in 365 days. I love watching our tiny but monumental moments strung together to form our lives. But this round wasn’t the same. If I kept going, I wouldn’t be watching good moments from our life. I’d be watching snaps of OK light because that’s what I spent the past two months doing. My 365 pictures were taken just to take them. That’s not a good representation of our life. It was a good snapshot of my boredom.
I also used the 365 as a reason to be inappropriate with my camera. Casually interrupt dinner with friends for a picture? Sure. It’s for the project. Pull my car over because the field was too pretty to pass up? Why not? I have a photo project. My kids are having a melt-down, sweet moment, down-right pissy, down-right adorable? Snap a picture because I needed one for the day. But I don’t need a project to be inappropriate. I’m good all on my own. I can own the right to have the camera in my hands. I don’t need an excuse any longer. It’s mine.
So on Day 137 or Day 857 (who’s counting?), I decided to stop. Trust that I’ll still document my life. Trust that I can enjoy the process once again. Trust that I don’t need a reason to be inspired. Trust that I’ll find a point for all of this.
And if I was counting on Day 138, I took pictures because I desperately wanted to. And if I was counting on Day 140, I didn’t feel the need to take a picture.
The wrestling match could ended with much worse than a kiss. It usually does. But Day 138 was different.
Molly, along with Kellie Hatcher, Rosina Waszaj, and Sarah Robertson are putting on a workshop call Soul Shooting. It’s already full which makes complete sense and makes me so happy for them. But visit their site to get on the wait list. Plus I’m hoping they update with future sessions.