Seeing Through the Fog

I haven't worked a 9 to 5 job in many years. Like most, I have worked many jobs in my life, one of my first being a "gas jockey" at the local Chevron and a server at a Chinese Buffet Restaurant (but in truth my first job consisted of a lawn mowing and leaf raking contract I had with some of my neighbors when I was about 10). I worked different jobs through high school and university, including two summers at the sawmill on the clean-up crew. That was very "character-building", as my father would say. After university and before I picked up my camera again, I worked serving jobs that were more along the hours of 9pm to 5am... but no, I haven't had a normal 9 to 5 in many years.

Now that I have moved back to the city and am more settled, I feel the pressure to get a more structured job. Why is that? Is it something that is pummeled into our heads by society and media? I have to admit that I feel a little thing called guilt when I compare myself to other members of society. I've never been one to really fit into that box. When I started my photography company, I worked hours that way surpassed a normal 9 to 5 day, but it felt different in that I was working on something I loved and felt passionate about... and I was working for me. But with the way the economy is heading, where does my future as a freelance photographer lay in a career that has little structure and little consistency?

But I think the real problem is that I am feeling guilt when I compare myself to others. First of all, why do I allow the feeling of guilt to enter my consciousness at all? Am I doing something wrong? I think not... And secondly, why am I comparing myself to others when we are all completely unique individuals with different strengths, goals, dreams and life paths? I think this is a common problem. We look to others for direction and affirmation, when really, we should be looking within.

For the last week, Vancouver has been immersed in fog banks, sometimes lifting and allowing the sun rays to penetrate to the sidewalks and the upturned smiling faces. It creates a mystical atmosphere. I can only imagine what this fog looked like in the cedar forests that once grew in place of the skyscrapers...