It seems like an oxymoron that a photographer would be such a private person. Here we are spending our time giving people a peek at other people's worlds through the images we capture. But not all of us particularly like having the same lens on us. In fact, it may be the reason why several of us enjoy staying behind the glass in the first place instead of in front of it.
I am certainly no different.
I go out of my way to keep my private life private. I don't discuss a lot of things on the social networks because it's either family business or people just really don't have any right to know. Or maybe it's because I keep too much bottled inside. Whatever the case may be, I felt like it was time to give everyone a little insight to something that I consider personal. Mainly because it has been affecting me personally and subsequently, also my photography.
Those of you who have been with me since the beginning, or at least since the name change, may remember that part of the reason for the revamping was I wanted to have the 'Fleming' name as part of the legacy I was attempting to create. This beautiful woman is one of the main reasons why. I wouldn't be the man I am (or at least trying to be) today if it weren't for the wisdom, grace and knowledge passed on to me by my mother and father. So to get the devastating news that Mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer was earth-shattering to say the least.
As much as I hate to admit it, I tend to be very selfish. I don't drink, smoke, do drugs, have an ink (tattoo) fetish, drink coffee or any of the standard addictions. Therefore, my selfishness is my vice of sorts with which I struggle. Where I see it happening now is I selfishly only care that out of everyone suffering with cancer that Mom is the one who beats it. It has carried over to my personal life where the social interactions I used to have are now no longer as important.
Sure, I still maintain a certain facade online. I will tell a joke or two. I will still make the occasional sarcastic reference here and there. I will always do that. Those are personality traits that I can't shake. Wouldn't want to if I could. However, even those have become more infrequent. And I can't honestly say if its for the better or worse.
The biggest area that has become affected by this at least from my end is my photography. I have noticed that the passion I once had has dwindled. My competitive spirit to better myself while being challenged by the work of other photogs has diminished. I find it difficult to invest the same time, effort and energy I used to when part of my inspiration for doing so is in the fight of her life.
One thing I learned from Mom though is anything worth having is worth fighting for. So although I may currently be in a self-imposed hiatus of creating new work, I know it won't last. This too shall pass. Mainly because I know Mom would want that as well. Still, the process of getting to that point may be a gradual one. I will be out of pocket here and there. My responses may be slow. In some instances, they may even be unintentionally curt. If there is even a response at all. Know that it clearly is nothing personal. And know that you can never keep a good Fleming down.