“Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion, who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment, because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived. After all, Number One, we’re only mortal.”
– Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: Generations
With the passing of time, things change. People and experiences flow in and out of our lives. Autumn leaves fall and new ones take their place in Spring. Even the ground beneath our feet is moving. None of us ever truly have control — we’re all simply sailing through time, hoping for fair winds and powering through whatever life might give us. But some things are best left unchanged. Those abstract concepts that my brain can’t help but return to. Love, and family, and even friends.
Painful as it is to admit, I am not the best friend a person can have. It’s just that between spending time with my wife, caring for our daughter, and maintaining my photo business… I kinda don’t have much time for friends. Even if I made time, they would be at the bottom of my priority list, because I’d really rather just spend every precious weekend with my family. I miss my wife when she’s working on weekdays. I miss our girl when I’m shooting sessions. I even miss just having some “me” time, playing videogames. It’s hard for anyone to compete with these things, so I suppose I’d prefer not asking anyone to try.
One thing that I do sometimes wish I had were co-workers. The solo-freelancer life I’ve lived for a decade is a quiet one. There is no lunch-room banter about how the work is going, or small talk about life with the new guy down the hall. Because it’s just me running this thing, being my own boss, clerk, editor, blogger and photographer, headphones on and hunkered in front of a computer with an 18 month old sleeping in the other room. If you google “lonely creative freelancer”, there’ll be plenty of articles about it, and they’re true: This is a pretty lonely line of work.
Being very introverted, the solitude is intoxicating, and often addicting, but I know it’s bad for my overall mental health. I can feel it if I go too long without a session, as I ask myself “How do I talk to adults again?” just before I introduce myself in person to a family.
And that’s why being out there and getting to talk with every day people is a big deal for me. You are my co-workers. And my bosses, in certain ways. I’m grateful for every one of you who will let me be a part of your stay here.
Similarly, it was awesome to see my old elementary school buddy, Alex, and it was wonderful to meet his family during this particular session! A lot has changed in both of our lives — obviously we’re both grown up a bit, both married, and we’re both Dads — and yet funnily enough we’re both roughly the same people we were back then. The biggest memory I have from those days was swapping Nintendo 64 games with him, and sure enough, we’re still geeky, and still nice guys. Time changes a lot of things but it hasn’t changed those, apparently. 🙂
I suspect he’s still smarter than I am, too. Ah well.