This, again, is for me.
I say this because I'm amazing at starting things, but I've been quite the disaster at any follow-through. I'd have given up on myself by now, but this is the only me I have and I'm just stubborn enough to truly believe that failure is not an option.
I remembered a talk I heard once about truly prioritizing your life, about sorting your true passions from the distractions around you. I listen to these things because I am always swirling among so many thoughts and projects, always competing for my time and attention. She challenged me at the end by asking the question, "If you had to give up everything else for ONE THING, which ONE THING would you choose?" As this question landed in my mind again yesterday, I wasn't struggling with God vs. Family. They are solidly in their places. But I have been working thoughts of time spent pursuing the two things I desire most outside of the other two (God and Family). I am in a place where I realize that real change concerning my weight will require serious project status. I need to lose over HALF of myself. It means devoting planned hours and attention to changing habits, tracking every single thing, and exercise. Lots of exercise. I'm also working furiously (have been for a couple of years, now) to expand my photography business. I am in a place of discovering that this IS who I am and time is badly needed to learn, work, and perfect the 20-year vision I've nurtured. If left to myself, I could easily and happily work ten to twelve-hour days on this alone. The dream is THIS CLOSE. I feel that my age is intensifying the urgency I feel. The thing is, I know that my physical self is not working at all toward my professional dream. Two immediate needs are constantly battling for 100% of my attention.
So the question appears again in my consciousness and asks, again, then again, becoming somewhat relentless: "If you could only have one of these things, if you were to wake one morning five years from now to find that you were able to accomplish ONE of these goals, which one?" Would I rather be an accomplished, known photographer, making a living doing what I love (but still rather unfit and still unhealthy)? Or would I be more fulfilled if I were to wake that same morning as a smaller, definitely fit (if somewhat saggy) version of who I am now, and all that would include, but working as a teacher's aide or something similar and having a fun photography hobby? Which one thing would I sacrifice for the other?
It became so clear. SO, so clear.
I will defend my passion for photography to the end. So many creatives seem to measure their devotion by how obsessively they shoot, work, present. I will NEVER give it up.
But I choose me. I choose a shot at a longer life. I choose to spend my extra efforts, at this time, making myself fit and healthy.
Because I will never be fulfilled in the one without the other. And how long would I live, anyway, to enjoy the beautiful things like God, my family, or a lovely portrait?
It is not the fun choice. Or the dreamy one. It is definitely the least comfortable choice. Facing myself and fully absorbing what I've allowed myself to become has been the hardest thing I've ever done. I started a video project yesterday based on one I completed last year called 1 Second Every Day. This time, I'm using it to document myself over this next year. I feel something I've never felt before. It's not a giddy flighty motivation, but a mission, a resolve.
I will still work toward the other dream. I know that life doesn't always demand one thing at the expense of all others. But I will no longer skip my fitness/health plan to attend a class or to pull an all-night edit session or to knock out a deadline. I will order my life to accommodate my first priority ahead of the other.
I'm not even kidding, guys. I mean to do this. This place where I am today? The one that has been a prison for WAY too long? It's going to be left far behind me.