February 2010 marked my return from Australia, having spent 15 months working in Melbourne. Those were probably 15 of the most eventful months of my life thus far. So much transpired within that time that it’s best not to get into it. Let’s just say I learned a lot of things from my time there, and as a fallout of various events that occurred in, and because, of my living there. So once I came back to Pune, life had shown a whole different side of itself, and me, to me. One that I had not been aware of earlier. I knew I had to do something to change the way things were going. There really wasn’t much that was holding on to in terms of my career. It was no career at all, in fact. Think of it more as a temporary adjustment, just till I figured out where I wanted to go eventually.
All sorts of ideas were thrashed about, from the mundane (read safe) to the more interesting (read totally nuts!) Each would be pondered upon for about a fortnight before another one took its place. This was interspersed with numerous discussion with family, friends, and random people on various online forums. A few things were tried out without much success. A couple of interviews were given here and there, only to be scuttled at the end. It just felt like I wasn’t ready for the leap. Which, in turn, led to a short period of complete disillusionment, discontent and a general lack of interest in life anymore. Through this all, though, I had kept reading about making transitions and eventually it began to dawn upon me what I would need to do in order to give myself a chance of figuring my life out. I had to start living.
Was I a vegetable then? No, not quite. But not far from it either. Something had to give. Either the life I was leading or my mind. Not a very hard choice to make, you’ll agree. So then, what did I need to do? For starters stop working. Quitting seemed to be absolutely the right thing to do. Looking at friends who had switched/quit their existing jobs made me even more determined to do the same. After all for the change to have an impact I couldn’t hold on to the very thing that was holding me back. Had to go, had to go, had to go. There, done, decided. Only, things weren’t quite fitting into the time-line I had created. The idea had been to quit work, then get into a three month PPL course followed by a couple of months of travel and photography. Pit the two protagonists head-to-head and let things figure themselves out. Seemed to be a fairly sensible course of action. Except for the fact that there wasn’t much I had in terms of a plan beyond that. So what would happen after I was done with six months of this match? Ummm, I dunno… I mean, that’s the beauty of the whole thing, right? If only it was so easy to convince myself, maybe I would’ve stuck to this plan. But, as you must have already guessed, it fell through.
Back to square one then. Okay, how about a compromise solution – quit and get the PPL and see if I like it. if I do, go ahead for the full deal. If not, pick up another job for a short while, and figure out how to break into photography as a career. Sounds better, eh? Except I know that once you start working it’s extremely hard to focus on setting up your own shop. Yeah, people do it all the time, but I’m not in that category. I find it hard, if not impossible. to multi-task. And having to work (in an industry that I frankly abhor) again was nothing short of a punishment. So, bad idea. Out you go again.
More compromise required. Okayyy… how about we don’t quit. Take some time off from work. Yeah, that sounds good. HOLD IT! Take time off and do what? Eh? Errrmmm, I dunno. Somethin’, you know. Like travel and shoot. And chuck the PPL stuff into the bin. And maybe try and get in touch with some pro shooters and talk to them. And maybe working on my own body of work. And maybe trying to see what it all could possibly be like, working to create a saleable product day-in and day-out. Working to a set target. All the while kicking up the level at which I operate, artistically. Think that’ll work? Only one way to find out. Thus, this.
So that is what this is about – attempting to jumpstart my own life by kicking its most crippling component to the corner for 90 days. Immersing myself in something I think I might want to do professionally, while trying to see if what I like doing is good enough to be sold, and to figure out a way to start moving on the road to making it all work. It may turn out to be the best thing I’ve ever done. Or it may just be a damp squib. But I sure as hell am going to give it all I have. This is 90 days for my freedom. And I’m going to do my darndest to make them count. There’s so much that I haven’t figured out about this whole thing yet. But I’m getting there, piece by piece. I may miss a few ones along the way, and may make a mess of others, but it won’t be for a lack of trying. Hey, at least I’m not sitting on my posterior bitching about life anymore. I need to do something if I want things to change. No messiah will descend from the skies above and show me the way. It’s mine to find, and mine to walk on. I’m hoping 904F is the door that opens the view to that road.