Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When I consider how my light is spent,

When I consider how my light is spent,
    Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
    And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
    My true account, lest He returning chide;
    "Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?"
I fondly ask.  But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
    Either man's work or His own gifts.  Who best
    Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best.  His state
Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed,
    And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
    They also serve who only stand and wait."
                             -John Milton, c.1652

Since sometime early last summer, I've felt the same words sort of throbbing from my heart.

Make Room.  Make Room. Make Room.

I realize I've already lost some of you.  But there it was still the same.

It didn't lessen.  It increased.  This deep, unclear but persistent ache.  And I didn't know where it would take me.

As the months passed, I've found myself here.  Not only did the ache not die down, but, it grew in depth and clarity.  And became,

Make a Decision.

After several conversations with Jim, who faithfully listened to my spoken thoughts while I fleshed this out, I felt like it was time to just cut to the heart of it and step off  the ledge I am now sure is right before me.

It's official.  I won't be accepting portraiture sessions for 2011, and as far as I can see, the portraiture side of my business has come to a close.

Before you have heart attacks, past clients, you can still order prints at any time in the future- my business, though shifting, is not actually going anywhere.

This decision has brought me quite a bit of heartsickness and debate.  But, I am certain now, this is how I should proceed.  So, though the experience of meeting so many wonderful people and serving them has been incredible, and my portraiture business has run incredibly smoothly, and has been profitable in ways I will miss- both in income and experience- I am bringing it to a close. 

Maturity is knowing that good things are not always best things.  I'm reminding myself that.

This has been decided, but on hold, for about 6 weeks.  And then Jim and I made a solid decision a couple of weeks ago.  Once I'd decided, I didn't know exactly how to proceed- but, I'm done for the year, and the holidays are here, so it's a good time-  quick like a band aid, I'm just doing it. 
I will continue to teach.  Teaching people how to do this for themselves is the direction Full Life is going.  Empowering people, inspiring creativity, troubleshooting problems, opening their creative doors- that's what I'll focus on.  Obviously, my business is going to get incredibly simplified.  But it will be more relational, more free, more flexible- much smaller.  Because I can't find a good reason to maintain a site/ web presence for this, as the work I'll be taking in will decrease dramatically, my business site and blog will close. 

It's very sad to see all of this go.  And I've enjoyed it so much.  To weigh the pros and cons of this business leaves a huge list of pros, very few cons.  It's been ideal, and a privilege.  But there's no peace in moving forward for another year of portraits.  And I've made peace with that. 

And so, simply, I'm done.  I will be teaching classes locally this year.  You'll hear about that on this blog from time to time, and occasionally I'll need models for class- you'll hear about those opportunities too.  I'll also continue to teach my JH and HS students.  I'll also accept many more of the opportunities I had to turn down this year, such as documenting more for The Ransom, and some other opportunities I'd love to make space for and couldn't before.

I am already enjoying the breathing room as I look to the next few months, and though it's been a hard decision, I'm trusting it. 

1 comment:

Danielle said...

I'm sure this was a hard, hard decision! I admire you for doing it. I probably will have to come to a similar decision once I start homeschooling the boys "for real."