Randomly, people will pop into my head. Friends. Family. Previous acquaintances or relationships. Usually, I feel inclined to either reach out or inquire if they’re okay. I suppose I see this as some sort of sign. Often, it’s a chance to catch up with a friend or family member I haven’t talked to in a minute.
Recently, a few photographers popped into my head. I followed their work early on in my business but drifted from since. After some inspector gadget ish on Google, I found they all ended their photography businesses.
For the most part, I was a little surprised, but we are talking 10+ years ago when I was checking their blog on a regular basis. Part of me felt a little disappointed not to see their beautiful work anymore.
Often, when we hear someone closed their business or quit something, it’s thought of or considered a failure.
If a friendship ended, a relationship drifted apart; a divorce happened…they were failures. They weren’t “true” or “real” because they didn’t last forever.
And honestly, I think that’s bullshit.
Perhaps this is hard to read from a photographer who documents relationships between people and the celebration of chapters. But perhaps that’s even more reason to live in those chapters while they’re here.
“I just think that something can be good, and also end, that thing was still good. And it’s okay to be sad that it ended, too. But the idea that anything that ends is automatically less than this hypothetical eternal state of success…I don’t think that’s doing us any good at all.” – brightwanderer on tumblr
Everything ends at one point or another. All relationships will end either by death or other reasons. Your job, your friendships, your business, hobbies…all if it comes to an end at some point. And that’s why being in the moment and enjoying what life is for this chapter is so important.
I’ve had relationships and friendships that ended years ago, but I still look back on them and know they were still good. Whatever the reason they ended, it doesn’t make them bad or a failure.
I believe most of us enter into friendships and relationships with the hope of them lasting. There are people in this world, I believe, who genuinely want to care for and support others. I don’t think it’s fair to ourselves or those we were once close to if we add the expectation that things should last forever. Relationships, hobbies, jobs, businesses, careers, friendships…and things in between: they can end and still be good.
So, when I think about the photographers that I followed early on in my business, I’m so thankful for them. I’m sad to no longer experience new work from them but appreciative of the time they shared it with the world. It certainly made a positive impact on me. Whatever they are doing now, wherever they take their next chapter, I can imagine the courage it took to end something that no longer worked for them to find something that did.
Success doesn’t equal something that lasts forever. You change, grow, and shed parts of yourself to become who you need to be…and that’s good.