Just a friendly warning this is one of my rare, more perssonal posts. If you’re just here for the lighter subject matter, move along, nothing to see here. If you don’t mind some heavier stuff though… have a seat and stay a while.
Mountains of obstacles I don’t know how to overcome. My prospects are grim. 😐 I have wrist problems which are getting worse so jobs that require repetitive motions or lots of hand/wrist use are a no go. I am an introvert with social anxiety so anything that will have me dealing with a lot of people all the time is not doable. (My whole hatred of talking on the phone thing is part of this.) I can deal with people in small doses as required but large numbers of people and/or all day every day? Not so much. I’ve got no formal education so anything requiring college education is not an option. I’ve spent my life taking care of my family (and being stupid and thinking things were going to go so very differentlt than they have.) so don’t even have any real work experience to at least have that much in my favor. I’m fucked, and not in the good way.
When I was younger, I was discouraged from schooling and things I genuinely had interest in because it was assumed the things I said I wanted to learn was “just to be around boys”. I am a girly girl now but in my younger days I was a total tomboy. What I really wanted at the time was to do vocational training for auto mechanics. I had genuine interest in cars and getting my hands dirty working on them. I was always wanting to help my dad work on his cars, and sometimes if his or my brother’s car needed something simpler done, I was the one to do it. And I LIKED it. A lot. But when I mentioned wanting to attend the local trade school for this, it was met with “Why don’t you take the cosmetology course instead?”. Which back then I had no desire for at all and was the last thing in the world I wanted. Even now as a girly girl I honestly don’t find the idea of getting into cosmetology appealing at all.
There were a couple other things I don’t even remember now that I was told “no” when I asked of I could study them, because nobody believed I wanted more than to be around boys. Basically I had the tomboy forced out of me. I no longer possess any desire to learn any of those things I once craved. The girly girl tendencies took hold and are now deeply rooted. Not gonna change.
Nobody ever told me trying to make a career of photography blows. Granted nobody ever really supported me either but they didn’t try to steer me to something more sensible and lucrative. So I spent a lot of years trying really hard to make that work, and even spent a year (or was it two? The memory isn’t so hot these days) studying photography, though it was not a course that resulted in any sort of degrees or even certificates. It was just learning more about the finer details and techniques of a craft I love so I could improve my skills, nothing more. And for what? I sold a handful of prints and managed to get two images printed in a local paper when they were running a story they didn’t have photos for that I did and at the time I happened to have a connection to make it happen. Despite continuous effort to get more of it, to be able to make a living from it, it just never happened. I spoke to numerous publications, sent portfolios to every company I could find that might have wanted to give me something, anything. I would jot down info from calendars every year, greeting card companies, stationery/paper product companies, magazines etc. Most of them never bothered to reply and the ones who did all had varying kind words of rejection for me.
I thought I had a golden opportunity to get into sports photography when a pro minor league hockey team came to town and I knew the coach. I was “hired” as “team photographer”. I was elated. Yet… it ended there. I took the player’s headshots, went to some games to photograph them, and that was it. They never informed me of special events they did so I could be there. I only went to home games, they did not have me go with the team to away games. I found out just a couple weeks in that they had another girl who was being kept in the loop and included who was “team photographer”. The league didn’t last a whole season anyway before they called it quits. And I was never given a single penny… though my photos were used on the league web site.
All things considered (including the fact that my dslr recently stopped working properly) as much as I love photography, it seems it just is not the right career path for me. I don’t know what is, or how to figure it out, or what the hell I am going to do in the mean time. But I need to figure something out. I keep applying to everything I can find that is a reasonably close match for my skills, even if they’re jobs I would hate, and even some that I don’t really qualify for but might be decent if someone would give me a chance to learn and try… but I’m getting nowhere. Hell I even applied to be a dishwasher at the country club that is nearby… and couldn’t even get that. I am struggling, in so many ways. I am still trying to get used to the neighborhood but I still hate it and am not happy. I have more bad days than good. I cry far more often than I will admit. (Though I kind of just did admit it, I guess.) I try to put on a brave and positive face for the people in my life (and here, cause who wants to read a blog where all the posts are sad?) but the truth is I am drowning and failing and so very lost, and I truly don’t know what to do…