Normally I dread reading break because you end up doing a million and one things just to have a couple of days of freedom (that go by in what feels like mere seconds), only to be greeted by a bitch slap of papers and another glorious five weeks left to term. However, this reading break was different, yeah it had its highs and its lows, but overall reading break gave me a positive outlook on the next five weeks as well as the months after.
The weeks leading up to the reading break were tough, I started slowing down on weekly photoshoots and working more on video production for my Youtube channel. As much as I love shooting, editing and producing videos, it’s an extremely timely activity which leaves in my dorm room up until strange hours of the night, isolating myself from society. I do love the process, I really do but like everything in life, there needs to be a balance. As a creator, I want to produce the very best content for my audience and sometimes that means sitting in my swivel chair until my butt goes numb. To add onto that, recently I’ve been getting unbelievably stressed out about what’s to happen after grad… what will I do for work? Where will I live? Will I be broke on the street? You know, the typical questions one would ask themselves. Going into this semester, I didn’t have the best outlook for it- which is pretty unusual for me, but honestly I think it’s just bad timing and my current living situation that have got me down. Normally on reading break, I go home for a couple of days- see the family and my best friend, and escape the stress of the city. So as tradition goes, I did just that, or at least attempted to.
I started my venture home having brunch at Piva in New West in the morning and then rushing my way to catch the 1 o’clock ferry, meeting my brother and best friend on the other side. The minute I took in a breath of that island air, I felt stress free and ready to sail back to the city, but instead I hopped in a car for three and half hours to my lovely hometown. Like I mentioned before, going home is a place I visit when I need to get away from the city, even though I love it, I get stressed out and need to escape but unfortunately this time around, going home didn’t provide that stress free environment.
I went home with several problems that I needed to solve, and I thought by “running away” they would get solved, when in actuality it just made them worse. I soon realized within my couple of days of being there that I wasn’t running away from the stress of the city, I was running away from the stress that I inflicted on myself. I was supposed to stay on the island from the 15th until the 19th, but my running caught up to me and before I knew it I was packing my bag one hour before the last bus left town. I needed that, I needed to be reminded of what it was like to escape and to run away from my problems, because as soon as I returned back to Vancouver I got to solving them… well not right away, but coming back was the first step in the right direction.
As soon as I got off the ferry, I was greeted by the beautiful skyscrapers and dancing city lights, but also that bit of stress I left behind. When I get into these sorts of moods, it’s hard to get me out of them- I start spending more time in bed, laying around and having naps which honestly only make me feel sick, which in turn, make me super unproductive. After a couple of days of moping around my door room, I eventually forced myself to break the cycle. I took a shower, put on some makeup and headed downtown to get my creative juices flowing again.
I’ll be completely honest, I had a horrible attitude about creating that day. It was rainy, I was cold, and I wanted to crawl back into bed, but that would only keep my vicious cycle going. So I sat in Tim Hortons at Pacific Centre until I got in contact with the photographer I was shooting with. In the end, I had to go find them which only made me want to go home more- this makes me sound like I’m unbearably impatient, but I was just having a bad day. After walking up and down some well known streets, I found the photographer and his friend who also happened to be a photographer! We got to talking and I found out that Andre was 15, and his friend Josh was 17. I’m not one to judge one’s age when working in the industry, but it completely blew me away that I was working with high school kids who knew their way around cameras and had better attitudes than some industry professionals.
We shot at Mary’s on Davie which is a cute, retro little diner in the heart of Vancouver. I’d always wanted to shoot there, and there I was given a chance! The three of us sat down and got lunch, sharing not only a meal but several laughs as we told the stories of who we were. My mood changed, I realized that the two boys weren’t high school kids, they were young creatives just like myself. At that moment, I flashed back to when I was seventeen dreaming of producing Youtube videos, living in Vancouver and making it big. Andre and Josh might not have known it, but they definitely reminded me why I’m here and why I do what I do, even on my bad days. Since then, I’ve been slowing things down on the video side of things and working more on modelling as that’s what got me into the creative industry in the first place, and made me realize what I love doing.
Looking at it all now with a clear head, the problems that I’ll face in the future are ones that I can’t tackle now. It’s really hard for me to sit tight and not fix what I know is to come, but this time I need to put myself on autopilot and create in the moment because that’s what I do best. My dad also made a good point- I still have a year left before I graduate. Anything can happen in a year, so it’s best to just enjoy it right now.
Special thank you to Andre & Josh for reminding me that I’m right in the middle of what I used to look forward to. It was a pleasure working with you two. Please never stop creating and never stop being you.