When I moved to Tanzania in May 2005, it was to have the job of my dreams. At the time it was all I wanted. Since, I have worked a lot and was given more responsibilities, more challenges and tasks. It was exciting. I was working 12 hours a day, not going out for lunch, practically not seeing the light. But, it was worth it. I worked with interesting people and I felt my work was useful. Then it changed and I am left everyday facing emptiness, no challenges, no interest. It is barely the same but something missing. The thrill is not there. The challenges are nowhere to be found. I am practically interacting with no human being all day long. I have been depressed and had several break downs for the past six months. All of this related to work. I have expressed my feelings about the situation to whoever is concerned but I have not seen any change. There is nothing I can do on this front so I have decided to take the most of it and enjoy my time outside the office hours to be the happiest possible and do what I want.
While I have been working far the last two years to establish myself in the future as a photographer in parallel with being a humanitarian law specialist, for the past several months this idea of being a photographer and only a photographer has been in my mind. My current contract as an international humanitarian law expert will end on 30 June 2012. As of today I have 100 days of work left (looks like I did not count accurately last week when I mentioned it on Facebook) before the end of June. That includes 40.5 days of leave.
I doubt I will find an interesting and challenging position as an international humanitarian law/international criminal justice specialist within the next five months. Though I have been looking. I am at peace with making a total change of profession at nearly 40. Though it is a scary decision, it feels so right.
Not so long ago I had a conversation with my mother who always seems amused by my interests in arts and photography. My mother is (obviously) from a different generation. In her time, people would get a job, most of the time in the same company until retirement, would retire and enjoy life. With the shift in economy and society, I will certainly work until I am 68 or 70 according to the current scheme. Well, I do not think I will be that fit to enjoy my life and do whatever I could not do before at that age.
This idea of being an entrepreneur has been in my mind for years. But now as I am moving slowly towards the reality of being an entrepreneur, I feel happy. I am smiling while writing this post.
I do not feel this weight on my back anymore. I am not even feeling sad just at the idea of going to work anymore. As I said I am still open to a position with more challenges and responsibilities, more work. But admitting that my decisions about my life were the best anyone could make, that being honest with me and having the courage to live my life beautifully and according to my principles is the best thing that I have done to myself. It is not about being selfish it is just about living the life that is mine.
so here it is. 100 days until I become an entrepreneur and show beautiful business cards where under my name, you will see photographer. I will be based in Paris (hey French Administration, you'd better get ready because I will showing up with a lot of forms in July...) but will be available internationally for weddings and portraits. I will make fine art photography (more on that soon). I have some projects which include books and teaching.
oh, one hundred, you seem like a magic number today! Keep your promises.