I used to think I was a terrible procrastinator. As I've continued into adulthood I've learned this might not exactly be the case. The reality of the times I struggle to keep up with everything on my plate has a common theme: I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew. And I procrastinate... but that's not the point.
This has been increasingly apparent to me as I continually find myself trying to take on the same kind of workload I would have pre-children, despite the fact that I am my childrens' primary care giver, and nap time makes up a very small portion of each day. It started with the brilliant idea that after our eldest was born I would continue to run my small business, resume taking freelance illustration clients, continue to do event photography, return to roller derby, and, while I was at it, I'd go ahead and get my birth doula certification. Why not, right?
The short version of how that went involves a miserable experience turning over my business to someone else, a client list for illustration for the last couple of years so short I'm embarrassed to have it on my resume, and roller skates going to live in a box in a storage unit. I did get my birth doula certification though, and kept shooting event photography (especially if you classify birth photography as a sub-category of "events"). I should learn from this, right?
Well, apparently I'm a slow learner. Even after the above mentioned post-partum stress fest, and the year of too many doula clients that taught me how to say no (2010), I went biting again. I've fallen more and more in love with photography since I first ventured out with a point and shoot when I found myself with a no show photographer and a desperate need for photos of an event I was organizing. I've gotten a DSLR, learned how to shoot in full manual mode, and fallen in love. So when a photographer friend whose work I like tossed up a post on Facebook advertising that the group she interned with a year or so prior was looking for a fresh batch of interns, pronto, I jumped at the opportunity. Three months of internship, three months of maternity leave; that's fate, right?
I admit, I didn't expect to get the internship. I saw the application at the last minute and it was filled out in a rush with a portfolio tossed together in a similar fashion. Getting the email that I made the first cut was a bit of a surprise. I was excited and thrilled. I consulted my mom regarding babysitting, talked it over with my husband, and filled out the second application. I heard back almost immediately. The answer? Thanks, but no thanks.
The next thing that happened was probably the most unexpected part of the whole thing. I was relieved. Deeply, truly relieved. My habit of taking rejection personally and having to remind myself that it's not was no where to be found. Instead, I snuggled my little girls and remembered that I was taking maternity leave for a reason.
They grow up too fast as it is. I still want to make an effort to fill out my photography portfolio, get lots of practice, and work to improve in that area in the next few months, but I suspect I'll be focusing on a much smaller group of models. I rarely think of things as true blessings in disguise, but the internship I didn't get is a reminder of something crucial: my babies won't be babies forever. Everything else can wait.