Burn out can be real. There has to be a happy balance between life and what you want to do. Sometimes, over-thinking can become detrimental, and other times, we become victims of a woe-is-me mentality. These words aren’t to negate those feelings, but ultimately I found myself in this place where I was thinking of the past. I found myself thinking about all the times that I stopped when people had “got me” per se. And it’s not about fear at that point. It’s about getting hung up on what someone else thinks of you.
I looked back into the past and realized I had done this with my writing before. I’ve done it with my photography. I’ve self-sabotaged myself continuously because of what OTHERS thought. And then I just became angry with myself. I got mad because I feel like I could have more now if I hadn’t let people comment saying, “I hope you didn’t get paid for this because it’s awful.” Or having someone who was a fupa hunter comment with something equally as rude on top of calling himself that. For those of you who don’t know what it means, it means fat upper pussy area, and of course, they dragged my weight in that comment.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve realized that it really doesn’t matter. These people are insecure assholes. They want to drag you down so that they can do better. Or they can add you to a notch on their belt of people they’ve destroyed. What kind of life is that to live? I’ll never understand trolling someone to that extent. I’ll never understand gaslighting to that extreme. In many ways, it turns into that because you start believing their narrative of you. Not the one you are attempting to paint for yourself or the one you know deep down, but their story.
With photography, I heard phrases of “don’t charge that much you’re not a professional,” and “well for that price, she could have gone to a professional.” And I still think of that now and then. To that, I say I FUCKING WENT TO SCHOOL FOR THAT. I studied that! And how dare you for saying that to me. How dare you for making me doubt my skill set! Instead of thinking that at the time, I just gave up on MY dream. The support I had was giving backhanded compliments. That’s not supporting. I know that now. I wish I had known it then. I wish I had the ability back then, the confidence, to say fuck you, I know what I want, and I’m taking it.
But the truth is we all get back to that point when things become frightening similar. What we have to remember is that it’s just an opinion at that point. It’s not constructive criticism. That’s different. That is welcomed. Making me doubt myself ultimately is not. It was making me feel lesser than it is not. Making me feel like I can’t charge specific prices because I’m not a “professional photographer” does not help. And I think what makes this worse sometimes, at least it did with me for writing, is when you apply to all these places, and you don’t hear back.
I did a 1000 sample piece for someone I worked my ass off for and emailed back even after submitting it to hear nothing. It shook my faith in myself. It shocked me into thinking maybe I need to give up looking for a professional writing job and do it on the side. I don’t want to do that, though. I believe in myself. I think I can do a great job when I have that title somewhere. It’s not giving up on myself and getting that title that takes work. It’s convincing yourself that you can make waves in the world you want to be in ultimately no matter what.
Why do I write all this? Because I’m tired. I’m tired of giving up on me. It’s not even the fear aspect of it because lord knows I have applied for all sorts of jobs, not just writing at this point. I’m tired of letting these thoughts creep back in and finding myself curled up in a fetal position in my head, letting them win. I know a great deal of it has to do with anxiety, but I’m just done. I’m me. I’m going to write what I know. I’m going to write. Period. And if I hear those thoughts from others, I’ve heard before I’m deflecting ’em like Wonder Woman deflected bullets.
As I’ve heard from my therapist before: Enough. Just enough.