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Can success be harder than failure?


Last night I drove a couple of hours to visit with three of my oldest and dearest friends. They’re the kind of friends who remember those awkward, embarrassing years of bad hair and weird clothes and love me anyway. The kind of friends I see every couple of years, but who know me so well that we just pick up right where we left off. I love hanging out with them.

The beauty of a friendship like that, is that we have special permission to talk about those issues that are usually off the table. And so the conversation last night eventually turned to a topic I’ve been stewing over for the past few days. Each of us, okay well I take that back … three of the four of us would readily admit that we’ve met with our share of successes and failures over the last ten years. We’ve each conquered some big goals and we’ve felt the sting of rejection on a scale that we never expected. Growing up the four of us would have been lumped into the “most likely to succeed” category. I know that personally, I never really expected to taste failure. And maybe, after feeling like a failure for leaving medical school, I never really believed that I would taste success again.

As my photography business has taken off over the last couple of months, I’ve started to realize that there are a lot of similarities between this time of success and the dark time when I decided to leave medical school. Both consumed my time to the point that I couldn’t go for half an hour without my brain circling back to the topic. Both drew a lot of public scrutiny. Both put me in an uncomfortable situation because of the scrutiny. Both came as a surprise to most people in my little world. Both made me think about the importance of balancing time with family and time at work.

I am afraid that if I’m not careful, I’ll let this new business adventure consume me. It’s hard to know how many sessions to book in a week, because on paper the three sessions that I had lined up this week don’t seem like too much. When you add in 8-10 hours of editing for each session, my week ended up being jam-packed.

When I got back home last night, around midnight, I spent two hours editing. Then I got up with Bridoodle this morning at 6:45 so that I can finish up before my 11am session today. I’m burning the candle at both ends. I still feel that I should be in summer Mommy mode right now. We should be going to the pool, the zoo and on family camping trips. Yet here I am scheduling 35 hours worth of work for myself too.

So anyway, don’t feel too sorry for me. I am LOVING the thrill of this adventure. It has been an amazing experience so far. But be a little bit patient with my haphazard blogging for a little while. I am stretching myself thin these days.


4 Responses

  1. You know, it will probably take a while before you get used to all this, and then you’ll know what you can and can’t do. You’ll know if you want to work 35 hours, or if you would be happier with 20 (or 10!).

    Enjoy your summer with your little girl! They really go by too fast!!!

  2. Yes- it’s definitely much harder to succeed than to fail. Failure is very tough, especially from an emotional standpoint. But often times failure happens when we least expect it or as a result of one bad decision. Success occurs from a series of good decisions that require much hard work and analytical thought/planning.

    When you left medical school, I never thought of it as you failing to accomplish what you set out to do- no, you changed directions and have succeeded tremendously in your new path.

    However, if I may– a word of advice from one self-employed work-a-holic to another– Take time off! Your business and your family will be the better for it. You don’t want to miss precious moments with Bri. Also, your business will flourish b/c your mind needs to be stimulated in many different ways. If your brain is over-worked it can’t be creative– and you are in a creative line of work now sister-in-law!!!

  3. This sounds very familiar. Just letting you know I experience some of the same or a similar struggle daily.

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