I have entered into fundraiser land. A strange and dark land filled with excessive emails, phone calls, answering machines, followups, schmoozing, sales pitches, late nights, and giant grins with outstretched hands. This land is ruled by a giant monster clock named Time. I stumble through through this strange land with the appearance of a cool demeanor. All the while a snotty nosed 5 year old is throwing a temper tantrum inside of me, screaming and crying “I wanna go home!” Perhaps this is too dramatic, or maybe not… The monster Time tightens its sweaty palms, squeezing my heart to make it beat a bit faster and raise my blood pressure just a bit.
“Tick tock” Time has a deep and methodic voice. “You have two weeks left. Will you make it? Will you get it done?” Then time laughs its rhythmic chuckle “Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick….”
So I’m not really being attacked by a giant monster clock with pointy arrow hands. It’s just that Halloween is around the corner and it is my favorite holiday. I am in fundraiser land though and it is scary. The deadlines are approaching and the stress is building. I have two weeks to pull together an event to benefit that will help me continue photographing and documenting the history of mental illness in the U.S. I am putting myself out there, asking people for help, trying to raise awareness and funds so I can continue on this path. I am making myself vulnerable with much room for failure. There are monsters that haunt me. Time is one of them, doubt another. The biggest monster is the “What if” monster. What if I fail? What if I don’t get enough support? What if people don’t take me seriously? And then, what if they do take me seriously?!
Perhaps this is what makes it all worth it in the end. Pushing through the doubts. Harnessing the power of time to motivate instead of scare. Doing it, even though its difficult. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and everyone is not doing it, I am. So here I am, two weeks before my fundraiser. Nearing the end of a big push. And also nearing the beginning of an even bigger push, continuing to photograph and documenting. Continuing to interview people. Continue so that I can complete this project. But, that is too far away to imagine right now. I have two weeks.
It’s like the roller coaster rides I love so much. One that takes you on that death defying drop and twirls you in its upside down loops. One that make you scream and your stomach lurch. One that terrifies you, but when you get off your face is plastered with a giant grin. Again! I have two weeks… best that I enjoy the thrilling ride of it all. We’ll see what next week brings when I have only one week to go. Will I still enjoy the ride then?