Have you ever hit a wall creatively? Have you ever felt like setting aside your passion for a while because you were just so burned out? That’s how I was feeling. Tired and dried up. Like I’d lost my desire, my creativity, my mojo, if you will. Maybe I’d never get it back? Maybe I’d lost it forever…
It was March, and I desperately needed a respite from the relentless winter cold, so I bought a plane ticket to Florida and stayed with my sister for awhile. Over many cups of coffee she did what big sisters do best. She listened while I spilled my guts about where I’ve been, where I’m at, and that illusive somewhere I want to be headed in my life and my career. I said maybe I was done with photography. Maybe I didn’t have it in me to take another picture. (I appreciate it when people humor me and bite their tongues while I talk nonsense.)
But after I’d rambled until their were no more adjectives or synonyms left to describe burn-out, I actually felt something stirring inside of me. It was weak and faint, but it was the desire to try again, even if I failed.
So we went to Zara and I selected some clothes for the kids while they climbed under clothes racks, under dressing room doors and terrorized the general public. Then we sewed a yellow gingham blanket and pulled together a few props. Early one morning while it was still dark we rose, packed up the car and drove to one of the places that inspires me most in life. The beach.
We arrived just as the sun was peeking its face above the horizon. The smell of salt and sand invaded my nostrils. Usually my camera feels like an appendage, but I remember that day it felt awkward in my hands like a fawn on wobbly, new legs. I made my way down to the water. Uncertain. Searching.
Then a beautiful scene unfolded before me as my niece raised the gold pashmina over her head, like a warrior princess about to set sail across the sea. As I watched it whipping in the wind, I felt that tiny, miniscule ember of desire begin to flicker into a flame again. Lifting my camera to my face, I snapped. I snapped again. A smile crept across my lips as I felt a surge of creative energy flow into my veins.
That morning at sunrise it felt like healing. Like a second chance. And in my heart I heard a familiar voice whisper…
This is not the end. This is only the beginning.