Having seen this with my own eyes living in this big ‘ole rotten apple of a city and working at an institute of higher learning, witnessing first hand what students leave in dorm rooms and on the street after the school year ends, I can also confirm that sadly, this does happen. Tons of
shit new or gently used items get tossed every year by these kids. I did not know that certain schools set up donation areas for this stuff, which is a good start but it makes it even more unfortunate that these kids would rather toss items in the trash than donate them to someone who would appreciate this stuff. Happy hunting…
So here we are, 3 months into the new year and days away from Spring…SPRING! I feel like just yesterday I was putting together my action plan for this year and we’ve already knocked 2 months off the calendar. So far, how’s it going? How’s the year been treating you? How have YOU been treating you?
I’ve been busy. Not busy for the sake of being busy, not fake busy, not busy for social media…REAL LIFE BUSY. The kind of busy that I imagine new parents are who also work full time jobs or are in school. The kind of busy that you don’t brag about. The kind of busy that you don’t even have time to brag about. One of my newest favorite phrases that I’ve come up with: “A lot of times, when you’re really busy, you don’t have time to stop and tell the world how busy you are.” And that’s the truth, Ruth.
I’ve actually spoken a few things into existence early in this year and being busy is one of them. Last year I decided that I wanted Visuals By Shavon Meyers to be my full time priority. I changed my approach and decided that my business would not only focus on photography but other creative services as well. I’m multi talented, why not offer more than one service? I redesigned my site, added additional services and put myself out there. I was feeling great at the start of the year and then, I lost my newly hired manager…actually she was a lemon and I didn’t lose a thing, I gained, a lot. Nevertheless, not having that extra set of hands that I anticipated having forced me back into solo dolo mode and it was probably the best thing that could have happened. I starting finding small opportunities for my business and making a few connections. I started feeling like I could actually do this again…then…I got sick.
No, I didn’t get sick. I was knocking on death’s door hoping it would answer sick. For the entire month of February. Yay. I haven’t been sick in a looooooong time but I somehow managed to get the flu from one of my day job coworkers (Thanks!). Not only did I get the flu, I got pink eye…in both eyes, a chest infection, an ear infection and a foot injury. I can’t make this stuff up! All of that stuff actually happened at the same time (the first 3 and a half weeks in February), the foot injury happened a few weeks after all of the illness occurred. FEBRUARY WAS THE BEST MONTH OF MY LIFE!!!! All sarcasm here. It was the fucking worst. I was quarantined to my apartment with no physical strength or mental capacity for anything other than getting well. It was the first time that I didn’t care about anything business related, could care less about picking up a camera or having anything done for anyone. The worst.
Then something amazing happened in the midst of all the madness, I got a new weekly gig! A voiceover gig, which is right in line with the additional creative services that I now offer. This additional gig falls into my “I want to work as much as I can for my business this year” affirmation. I can CLEARLY remember telling my mother that I wanted to fill all of my free time up with gigs and opportunities for my business and the universe/God was like BOOM here you go. In order to properly execute my plan
for world domination to take my business to the next level, I also need to get my funds in order and that includes paying off my credit card debt. While I was sick, I managed to pay a credit card off a whole 6+ months ahead of schedule. BIG DEAL. Paying off that card early was a HUGH step in the right direction. BOOM 2X! Eventually, my body began to heal and reality starting setting in that, I have to WORK. Oh yea, there’s also school. That’s happening as well. So I now fall into the category of adult working two jobs and going to school part time ALL FOR THE SAKE OF FUTURE FREEDOM!
I need freedom and flexibility. The type of freedom and flexibility that does not come with a traditional full time 9-5. I’m just not built for it anymore. Not being able to use my talents and gifts on the daily is super wack and it feels like such a waste of time and energy. It’s actually draining! I don’t want to waste anymore time and energy on something I’m not in love with it. So, I’m busy. Working away to stack and put things in order so that I can one day soon do what I love everyday and not only at night and on weekends.
This is the stuff you don’t hear about. The long work days and nights, the weekends and “days off” spent working and studying, the sacrifices, the unexpected naps when you planned on working but your body just gave up and the fact that you still have to make time to LIVE. And I’m not even talking about the extravagant stuff like hanging out on the weekends with friends, going to brunch or to the movies, weekend getaways, watching tv etc. No, I’m talking about the basics like going food shopping, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, eating, sleeping…just making time to do the things necessary to live. Here’s the bat shit crazy part about all of this, I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m thrilled with my progress and excited about my journey, realizing that these are the important steps necessary to get me where I want to be. This is my shooting in the gym phase.
And I ALMOST wanted to complain about it, but I can’t and I won’t. What can I complain about? Being busy? Ha! Nah son, I can’t do it. Luckily I have people in my life that are empathetic to my journey. The handful of people that know my ultimate plan, get it. They understand why I have my phone on silent after a certain time in the evening dedicated to Visuals by Shavon Meyers and why I have “school days/nights” and why my weekends which used to be filled with uncertainty and freedom are now very structured and filled with work. They know that it’s this work, the evenings and weekends worth of my homemade concoction of creative services and education that fill me and allow me to make it through my days of unfulfilling and often draining work at my day job. Again, it’s about the freedom and flexibility to do what I love everyday and these steps are getting me closer to that goal.
So if you don’t see a tweet from me in a few days, or I don’t blog as often or I don’t post as many IG pics or I don’t do one of those GAWD awful daily life updates on FB (I really hate FB and only have a page for business purposes so it’s honestly the very last thing on my list of priorities) don’t fret. Do know that I’m here, working. And by all means, SEND ME MORE WORK! Yeah I said it, because the goal is for this to be a full time operation and the only way that this can happen is if I consistently book meaningful paying creative gigs. If you don’t know what I’m capable of other than film and photography, I invite you to check out my services page for a full range of services currently offered and my pricing page for a list of prices as well as a contact form for quotes. My portfolio page provides samples of all of my offered services.
If nothing more, I hope this serves as inspiration to you, because I know that I’m not the only person on this sort of journey. Keep going, it will pay off in the end. Even if the pay off isn’t a room filled with riches, it will be with happiness and freedom that can’t be purchased. Keep going, keep hustling, get those multiple streams of income going and don’t be afraid to try something unconventional. If you’re around my age you grew up with the notion of working one job for a certain amount of years, hopefully getting a decent retirement package and THEN living life the way you want to. And while there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with this way of life, I’m discovering that this idea is not the best thing for me. So, after over 15+ years of doing it the way that I’ve been told I should, I’m trying something different. Something that I haven’t necessarily been told is right but something that feels right, for me.
Keep going 🙂
As you may or may not know, I’m back in school finishing up my bachelor’s degree. I’m attending Southern New Hampshire University and have been selected as one of the finalists in their first ever Art Exhibition. 1st and 2nd place winners will receive scholarships to be used towards our education so… HELP A SISTA OUT AND VOTE FOR ME! You can go here to cast your vote: http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/ba-in-graphic-design-and-media-arts/art-showcase. I’m in the photography section with a photograph of a graffiti artist from Spain tagging the legendary 5 Pointz space. The photo is called “Defiance”. It’s SUPER easy to vote, will only take a few seconds of your time and could help me win one of these much needed scholarships. Thanks in advance and as always I appreciate your support!
A while back I left college early. I was a college dropout before Kanye West made it popular. I never had any intentions on leaving early but the financial burden did not appeal to me at such a young age and without the support of one half of my parental unit, I decided to leave school in my freshman year and begin working. I promised myself that I would one day return and earn my degree. Over the years I did receive my certificate in Radio Broadcast and Audio Production which lead to my career in radio at Sirius XM and the success of my independent podcast The B Side Show. I enrolled in universities offering continuing education classes with the intention to master my craft in photography and film. The education that I received from college level courses, seminars, workshops and independent studies lead to the start of my visual arts business. With extensive film and photography work in the field, studio and wherever possible I immersed myself in the world of photography and film. During this time I also ccreated 3 short films which have all been recognized by various film festivals. I travelled, worked for big named companies and small independent brands. I wrote and published a book of poetry. I established a home for myself, loved, laughed and LIVED. I am of course still learning (and working, traveling, loving, laughing and LIVING) and while still on my journey to master my craft for myself and to provide my clients with the best product possible, I have finally decided to fulfill the promise that I made to myself over 10 years ago. I have officially enrolled in college and am on track to finishing my BA in Communication…at 31…shit happens. Life happens! My path to finish my education is a a realistic one and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes, I often wonder how my life would be if I had that piece of paper in my possession now rather than a few years from now but I don’t regret my decision to do this thing called life my way. I could name a million reasons why I chose to go back and they are all valid however the one that trumps all is the fact that I want to finish school for ME. I need to do this for myself and now that I’ve officially signed on the dotted line, taken out the loans and have already started my first course, there’s no turning back now. Even as I sat and questioned myself, my decision and my intelligence while taking a quiz that began with mathematics that I haven’t seen in 10 years, I chose to keep going. I’m not quitting. Not this time. I’m walking across SOMEBODY’S stage with a diploma in my hand and you’re all invited! You’re invited to the process, the journey and the celebration because please believe when I do receive my degree it’s getting tattooed on my BACK! Not really, but it will be an important milestone. Enough talk, I have homework to do.