Alone. Radio on to chase away the silence that echoes in the empty house. Anxiety runs through my veins, I’m restless and want to do unhealthy things to calm myself down. Don’t. Tomorrow is the decisive day. I’ve been brushing it off, thought that portrait and fashion photography is what I want to focus on, but only now I realise how much I want to continue with my documentary photography and thus get into the course. Of course, in the worst case, there will be other ways. But this course would be perfect.
Calm down. You’ll find your way. Things will turn out the way they have to, so you’ll get where you’re meant to be. Look back, all the bad things that have happened so far have led you here, right where you’re supposed to be.
And I keep stumbling over amazingly talented young photographers and feel horrible after looking at their work. Monika, you’ve been on this journey for less than a year, give yourself a break.
Things will be fine. Trust yourself, keep your head high.
To distract myself, I do some research on the topics “photography in favelas” and “street photography in dangerous places”. There are no slums in Uruguay, but some barrios [quarters] are impoverished. It’s a challenge, but I’d love to do a documentary project there. Get to see something I wouldn’t see if it weren’t for photography, use the camera as a means to talk to people I wouldn’t know how to approach without my camera. Bring an instant camera and give photos instead of just taking.
And just like that my focus is on something else, things I can control. The next day, I play with the twins and sometimes forget that I’m waiting for an email that decides over so much. The internet connection dies a couple of times, a red “1” appears at the email icon more often than usual, and every time I brace myself for the dooming message and rejection – only to notice that it’s just another insignificant email.
Finally, the kids are taking a nap and I open the email program once again. Another red “1”. My eyes spot the word invitation in the “re” and I greedily devour the rest, breathless. I’m in. Not fully admitted yet, but in the second round. I’m stunned. I was prepared for rejection, but the admission means for me that I’m going to go for it now. I’m putting all my hopes into it. I didn’t dare to imagine that I would get so far and there’s no way I’m going to ‘fail’ so close to reaching my dream.
And I didn’t want it to happen, but of course I feel some kind of acknowledgement because of their “approval” of my work. But it shouldn’t be that way. My worth doesn’t depend on other people’s opinion. Letting others judge it will lead to my downfall. I have to believe in myself even when nobody else does – I’m lucky that they see my potential, but it doesn’t change anything about it. So if they decided I’m not good enough for them, I should be able to walk away, knowing that there is something else waiting for me.
Anxiety has chased away the initial joy. My sleeping schedule is messed up, I hardly get anything done. I’m so afraid. I see the finish line. If I tripped and fell now, it would break a part of me that probably will not recover quickly.
First I was stunned and wanted to let my friends know that I’m in the next round. Congratulations, cheers! Happiness and joy. I thought that I’m through the hardest part. But I have no idea how many are left to compete for those 15 spots. I’m not there yet, so I don’t want any congratulations anymore, afraid it would be for nothing.
These days are driving me crazy. For now, I can at least prepare for the interview. But after Thursday, I have to endure three weeks for their final decision. Maybe new projects like street scouting with my new business cards will help. We’ll see. First comes the interview. Let’s hope for the best.