“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.” - Paul Kalanithi
I must preface this writing by explaining where these thoughts have come from. On Tuesday evening, as we flew home from Hong Kong, I read a book from start to finish. That in itself rarely happens. But this book moved me; it shook my bones. It had me in the middle seat, squished between Arky and a stranger, with tears stinging my eyes. The book tells the tale of Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon who, in his final year of residency, is diagnosed with terminal cancer. For years & years, he worked himself to the bone with the promise of a life he would never live. The sheer cruelty of the situation made me sad and frustrated and frightened and awakened. It wasn't just a book about a terrible story of diagnosis and impeding death, this is a story about what it actually means to be alive.
Over the last few days, passages have stuck in my head. I've thought for so long about why it resonated with me and what I can do with it. I suppose it hits me because I've thought about this very situation for such a long time. It's so ridiculous to imagine that life will unfold the way we think it will. It's silly to make assumptions, and think our whole life is promised to us, because that simply is not the way it is. Without being to dark, or too morbid, I just believe that we really do need to make our life great while we can.
When I thought about it, I believed that my life was divided into two aspects: work and personal. But really, I spend more than 75% of my life "working" at the moment so it is all one. I need to make the most of everything I do, work included. For me, there is absolutely no point in meaningless work. And that's why I strive to create 'meaning' in everything I create. I care so deeply about the work I produce for clients, and I care deeply about the fact that they will have it for the rest of their days.
I am not inspired to "reach the top". I just want work that my & I clients connect with. I want to work for people who understand how valuable life is; who want to keep it as it is now. If I can work for people like that, and photograph people like that, then I am living my own dream today. I am happy with today.