Hard Times / Transparent Ramblings / by Jordan Hefler

I am having trouble staying focused.

I hate the summer more than any other season. I've always hated it. When I was little, I didn't know what to do with myself when I wasn't in school. I like having deadlines and assignments and goals and projects and collaborations. I get bored very fast. I hate how my legs stick to the seat of the car from my sweat in the summer. I hate carrying an umbrella with me everywhere for fear that it'll pour every day at 3PM.

In Louisiana in the summer, you can't do anything because it's 9,000 degrees outside, rains every day, and humid AF. Therefore, as a freelance portrait photographer, business naturally dies down during the months of May-August. Nobody wants portraits during this time. I get it. That's cool and all, but as a recently rogue businesswoman trying to navigate the economic climate while living alone for the first time ever and relying solely on her creative endeavors to survive, THIS SUCKS.

After my neck surgery last November, I realized that I would need to diversify what I do in order to save myself during times of "drought" in my portrait business. I would need to do graphic design, commercial photography, and social media management gigs to keep myself afloat during those times that I couldn't shoot. I've been doing these things for the past few months, so I'm scraping by (I have about $3400 outstanding from invoices that people have not paid me but hardly anything in my current bank account, LOL welcome to the freelance life!!!!) but this blog post is mostly just me coming out of the woodwork to be transparent about these so called "Hard Times."

Paramore came out with a new album a few months ago, and I've been listening to it a lot lately. I really love how transparent Hayley Williams' lyrics are on this new album. Especially in songs like "Hard Times"and "Fake Happy." But I think my favorite song on the album is "Caught in the Middle."

I’m just a little bit caught in the middle
I try to keep going but it’s not that simple
I think I’m a little bit caught in the middle
I gotta keep going or they’ll call me a quitter
Yeah, I’m caught in the middle
No, I don’t need no help
I can sabotage me by myself
I don’t need no one else
I can sabotage me by myself
— Paramore, Caught in the Middle

The recent suicide of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park really disturbed me and got me thinking about creative people and how they stay motivated and creative even with the pressures and criticisms of the public.

I would not consider myself a depressive person- I won't label myself as someone that struggles with depression because I know there are people out there who really do suffer from this disease and have harder times than me every day. I'm not worried about my mental state because I know this blah feeling happens to me the same time every year and it passes, but I will throw it out there that as a creative, times when you're not feeling creative (especially extended periods of time) can seem like what people say depression is. Especially when you tie your creative endeavors and successes to your financial stability (almost all my paid gigs that were supposed to happen this summer got cancelled or rescheduled.) That starts a vicious cycle of not caring or feeling unmotivated. Pair that fleeting feeling of apathy with stress about money and hot weather and you've got yourself a perfect storm of feeling like a blob.

I'm kind of just writing this blog post as a stream of consciousness. I was just in the shower thinking about how guilty I feel for not accomplishing anything lately. The back to school commercials are on TV which means summer is almost over. I have been teasing making an E-Course on how to take and edit photos on your iPhone for social media for almost a year now. I was supposed to make and release that before this summer ended. I was supposed to edit photos from a trip to New York I took back in May. I was supposed to teach my boyfriend how to drive my manual transmission car. I was supposed to post photos from my July 4th beach trip on Facebook. I was supposed to make "Do What You Want" hats and merch and I was supposed to update my website with new fashion photos that I've taken. I was supposed to put all my creative energy in my new blog Groove Slang. I haven't done anything on there since March. I was supposed to hang out with my best friends more often- now two of them are married and pregnant and moving ahead with their lives on a level that I cannot even comprehend being on. I used to be a morning person and now I find myself just wanting to sleep as late as I can and putting off the few projects I do have going on. Nobody is holding a gun to my head saying I HAD to have done these things before the end of August or else I'm a failure, but when you make mental goals for yourself in your head and don't make them it's easy to beat yourself up.

This is not supposed to be a woe is me, feel sorry for Jordan blog post. I'm not suicidal or anything. I just find therapy in putting my transparent ramblings out there in hopes that maybe someone else is at home on their computer screaming "YES! SAME!" at this blog post.

I plan on being horizontal for the remainder of the day.

A post shared by Jordan Hefler 📸 (@jordanhefler) on

For all the things I've said I was going to do- I promise they will happen! I always forget to live my own motto- Do What You Want. And sometimes all I want to do is not think about anything and watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians on my couch and have a root beer float. I just feel guilty doing that almost every day for a 3 month span. But this state of mind and terrible summer heat will be gone soon.

I wrote a similar blog post about this last year (it's like clockwork I tell you- the summer is the worst!) And just like last year, I'd love to ask for your opinions on how you stay inspired and motivated! Especially if you own your own creative business. Please comment below or feel free to shoot me an email- jordan@jordanhefler.com

Fall will be here soon :)


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