If at first you don't succeed, try and try again...

So to put it lightly January was a bit of a challenging month in terms of workflow and travel. To me, it seemed like I was putting in more effort and miles of travel than I was getting lucrative work in return. But as a wise person once told me, "If at first you don't succeed try and try again." Easier said than done considering i am used to a non stop work/travel lifestyle. I did make a bunch of new contacts or meet new artists, or potential clients. However, in hindsight it is nice to have some down time to enjoy things for myself and to reconnect with friends and family.
Of course just as I was getting used to having some time to focus on personal projects and my art show in New York coming this May, multi offers start rolling in all at once. That is one of the blessings and curses of being a self-employed, freelance contractor most of the time it is all or nothing. Some days you feel on top of the word money is flowing in, employers are praising your efforts and images; then other times well it feels like you have no place in society and have nothing worth contributing.But let me tell you that the latter is wrong. No matter who you are or what kind of work/art you make or do no one is every worthless. We all have something inside of us to give back to society in our own way, place and time. It's just a matter of balancing when is the right time.
I have times in my life (especially early in my career) where I didn't have contracts for a few weeks even months. And during that time I would always ask myself what am I doing wrong? Soon as I started to feel totally down and out I would have a handful of jobs knocking at my door. When I was younger I thought that I had to take everyone of those jobs because if I said no then what would happen when I went through a dry spell. How would I survive. Well, after years of freelancing and figuring out my niche and place in this industry, I realized that stressing out and taking all those jobs that may not be a good fit for me just because I was scared of saying no or being a failure was mostly all in my head.
After 13 years of being freelance, contractor self-employed I have become more and more comfortable going with the flow and understanding that the industry of photography and art as a whole is a rollercoaster of intense ups and downs. In turn, no one is going to chastise me or make fun of me for declining a job or company I don't believe in. Or for taking on a smaller company and project versus a big fortune 500 company. I am allowed to work on my own terms and to provide society and this life of mine with my best work and projects that I enjoy as much as the employer enjoys. This is a two way street. Yes I still have days of doubt of where my next paycheck is coming from or if the travel is worth the job. But in the end the good days and happy clients out way the down time and anticipation. So if you are like me and a freelancer/contractor who loves their career, yet struggles with some of the harsh realities like budgeting money, travel, even loneliness or guilt, just know that you are not alone and it is okay to not feel on top of the world all the time. It is okay to fill that downtime with personal projects, hanging out with family, and friends. You are still a human being with emotion and needs. You are allowed to put down the camera, sculpting tool, brush or pencil and pick up a book, have a cup of tea or binge watch tv. The only person you own anything to is yourself and your own happiness.