Today I found out I made a list. I was featured alongside some incredibly talented street storytellers, all female, on Street Hunters. You can check out the entire list HERE.
I cried. Seriously. I lay in bed staring up at the ceiling with tears rolling down my cheeks. I didn't even know. A friend sent me the link. I didn't start street photography all that long ago. And being in this very male dominated genre takes grit, guts, and a shit ton of patience.
Those tears were tears of joy and tears of relief. Two weeks ago I felt like a fraud. Two weeks ago I was ready to hang it all up. I even threatened to leave my camera at a friend's house and never return to get it. I felt lost in an overwhelming sea of people, buildings, city noise, and feelings. I didn't know how to swim up and I was suffocating. I was not functioning comfortably as an artist, much less a whole human being. I had sunk absolutely everything I had into moving to NYC and I was failing miserably.
Or was I?
I don't know. I doubt I will ever know. I moved to NYC in October of 2016 on a whim, a very well-planned and calculated whim, to pursue my greatest passion in the greatest city (to me) in the world. I was going to conquer everything with my honest, my humbleness, and my determination.
That's when NYC decided to double-down on me. One misfortune and unfortunate event after another, my ship was sinking. Although my emotional honesty stayed intact, my determination and positive attitude was on the brink. I was distraught often, scaring a couple close friends and my family.
But then something happened. I don't know what it was. A switch was flipped an incredible things started pouring into my life. Don't get me wrong, my days are far from easy. I still struggle like any other artist in this city. I mean I struggle like anybody in this city. We come, we stay, and we struggle. Day in and day out I pour myself into physical labor, hundreds of steps and miles on the streets, and long subway rides to spend even 5% each day focused on my craft.
So now I sit here motivated again, determined again, and several projects in planning stages. I am no longer dreading a year from now when I stand on a stage in Jacksonville for my first major museum exhibit and presentation. I am working that 5% per day to the very best I can.
My hope is 5% will become 100%. Today is just a first baby step towards that. I am grateful Street Hunters included me. It was the revelation, the inspiration, the confirmation, and the swift kick in the butt I needed.