I’ve been a bit quiet for a few months now and while it’s not exactly necessary, I wanted to address “the elephant in the room” – mainly as a reminder, but also as a manifesto and a bit of insight into what direction I’m taking. Full disclosure – The blog post ahead deals with very heavy topics such as depression and abuse. To skip, please go to A New Direction.
Where it went Downhill
This whole mess kind of started back in May actually. I was on a roll with the concert photography gigs I was getting and had just gotten the green light to photograph L.A Gun’s Phoenix, AZ show. And then, it happened. I received a text from my dad during work. He told me that my uncle died. It’s bad enough when family dies, but this uncle was different. It was because of him that I learned that photography is actually in my genes: my great grandfather photographed what he could during the Mexican Revolution, my grandfather focused on photography to document his life as a French National immigrant living in Mexico, my dad as a nightlife and club photographer, and my uncle who focused more on family and travel. Mexico is a pretty classist place– social status matters a lot, and my uncle was one of the very few people in our extended family that always welcomed us with open arms, never judged us, and always thought highly of us. The news came as a swift kick to my stomach, and I quickly started spiraling. I stopped all concert photography, I avoided most of everyone in my life and my mind was constantly filled with regrets: I never got to spend more time with him and his wife. I turned down the offer to live with them in Mexico instead of moving back to the States. I ducked a lot of his messages and calls because I didn’t want to feel like the messenger between him and my dad. I didn’t take advantage of having people that actually cared about me close to me. I was left broken.
And then, I Spiraled: Work
Despite trying to keep it together, the news eventually affected my work at the time with the only option to quit due to my mental health. Things had changed heavily, and the moment I started messing up, it was like there was nothing I could do to make things okay again. The more I tried, the more I kept messing up. I was a real mess, and finally made the decision to leave the job I was at, which ended in my taking a three-month break to heal and figure out my next steps. Unfortunately, not having financial stability messed with my sleeping and soon enough, I was lucky if I could manage to fall asleep by 5am for as long as 3 hours a night.
Good Things come with a Price
Once I felt okay enough, I found the closest thing to a realistic version of a dream job that I could: working remotely and getting paid exactly what my services are worth. I almost didn’t get the job though. Part of the recruitment for my new job included retrieving paperwork from past employers: the real nightmare was opening myself to communication with my previous boss (before the one I had recently left). To outline a few of the things I had endured with this person: sexual harassment, bullying, intimidation, emotional and verbal abuse, substance abuse coercion, and more. It was the most heart-wrenching and terrifying feeling to know that my getting my current job depended on him releasing a few forms to me that he had not sent to my new address or email account. Once I got my items through mentioning certain legalities, I stopped my communication with him – in fact, I refuse to check the email account he has of me anymore.
Lost, but Somehow Hopeful
I’ve slowly managed to pick up the pieces when it comes to work and financial stability. I’m in a good place with work where I’m appreciated and constantly praised (which is my favorite thing in the universe considering all the abuse I went through in the past). Unfortunately, but maybe somewhat fortunate as well, I picked up on the whole fight or flight dilemma where most of my responses are literal flight. I’ve had the itch to travel now more than ever to escape what I feel and what I think. I’m too much of a pacifist to fight; I personally detest confrontation, so running is kind of an okay thing for me and helps me deal with things in my own way. Though I’m fully aware that there are people out there that have it worse than me, I’m still pained and I think it’s valid to express it. My idea of a relationship is completely skewed, I believe words much more easily, I second-guess absolutely everything I do to the point that I’m exhausted from fighting my own thoughts on a constant basis. I’m currently no stranger to blood-curdling screams inside of my car. Despite all of this, I’m staying hopeful.
A New Direction
Currently, I don’t think I have the strength to get back into concert photography as much as I’d like, so I don’t think I’ll be pursuing any more gigs until Spring of next year. In the meantime, I want to take advantage of my interest in traveling and content creation especially now that I have the ability of working remotely. I’ll be testing out this new direction with my last impromptu travel of the year in Las Vegas next month, so please keep an eye out. I’ll also be modifying my Instagram account and content to better suit travel blogging and content creation. My hope is that next year I’ll be traveling a lot more frequently with my first big international travel towards mid 2020. I want to be able to live more intentionally and with better control of my actions and decisions while keeping my interest in photography alive, which is a bit in honor of my late uncle. And who knows? Maybe I’ll be able to share the pictures he loved so much from my great grandfather on the Mexican Revolution soon.