Kanazawa, circa 2012
Today marks a full year of my full-time position. I have worked hard, and been lucky, and can honestly say that things are going well. Hopefully, after submitting my thesis at the end of the year, I will be able to slow down and make more time for stuff outside of work.
Physically, this past year has taken a toll on me. Sitting in front of a computer most of the day is not good for me, and especially when I am writing something, I tend to inhale snacks. It is a slow decline, but I noticed without the safety of a sweater to cover up, my belly pokes out a bit.
Mentally, I am all right. Making the transition was a little difficult at first, and it was hard to get a sense of my professional identity and the role I was expected to play. The euphoria of being selected for the position evaporated when I learned that being accepted into the small-culture of an academic department takes a little bit more time than I had thought. I think I have done well to stay clear of the politics, but maybe that is because I have been so busy sitting at my computer inhaling snacks. There is some stress, especially with research, but nothing that serious.
Creatively, I feel a bit empty. I am still not really comfortable with digital photography, although I do feel it is probably worth pursuing. The daily walks I used to take with my film camera are no longer possible due to work hours. The time to write anything other than academic stuff for work also became scarce. My only worry is that I will lose my soul and become a has-been, even though I never really arrived anywhere in the first place. For now, I am still holding on to the dream that the thousands and thousands of exposures I have made over the past 20 years, now all packed up in stacks of boxes, will someday yield something artistically valuable or at least be able to document the sentiment of honest creativity that I think I used to have.
No matter what, I am moving and not stuck in any ruts. I have come a long way in the past five years or so, and I know that if I keep getting behind the mule in the morning, the fields will get plowed.