You've Made it This Far

Getting tired is natural. We work hard to make something what we strongly believe in, and our energy drains out during the process.

When I was playing in a band in Tokyo, I often experienced this quite painful emptiness after the stage. I didn’t really know what to do the next day when I woke up. I could still hear the music in my mind, but the people before me had disappeared somewhere. Food had lost it’s taste and all I wanted to do was to return back to the stage. Play one more song and hang out more with my bandmates.

I put myself to it so much, I really loved to play for audience with my band members. It was great! And I suppose after the live, I always felt I had done something what I needed to do. Kind of burned myself away a bit, like a candle.

Doing my own photo shoot with a model in some location, somehow reminds me of that time in those smoky small live houses in Koenji. I still get same feeling of painful emptiness when the job is done; when the works are finally out of my hands. There’s really nothing you can do. You’ve put yourself to it, and you’ve got to release it; set it free.

It’s like giving a painful birth to a child, only to watch the child to mature and leave you alone. I’m talking about that kind of emptiness.

But what I notice now, after all these years, is that it does get easier every time.

If you are professional of your craft, you have to earn your living by what you do. You know how it goes and you will be empty at times but you learn how to ignore that feeling, and keep doing your job. Because your income depends on it.

Like in life, we shouldn’t ignore the emotions that arise, but still we must keep them in check somehow, because there are practical things we have to take care of.

Buddhist detachment might help in this regard. If we get distance, we can act more professionally. Doing something emotionally powerful will always bring up emotions in us, like it or not, and we must deal with them, but if we learn how to take distance to ourselves (sort of stepping away from the equation) it gets a whole a lot easier.

When it gets really hard, when under the weather, I tell myself: “Jaakko, you’ve made it this far! Look at yourself!”. Indeed, I’ve made this far. This is who I am and this is what I am. I was born this way, and I’ve chosen this path.

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