On my three year anniversary of going freelance and "living my dream," I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Tromsø alone and as unsure about the future as ever. Here are some things I do know:
- I can't imagine working for anyone again
- but carrying this weight alone is taking its toll
- I have relentless guilt over this privilege
- but I hope being able to choose to live this way is an act of resistance in and of itself
I spent so many years dreaming of being here, of reaching this point, but now I'm here and don't know what the next step is. I don't know how to bridge the gap between work that pays bills and work that matters more. I don't know how to keep going in an industry that's willfully ignorant of its own biases, that refuses to change and lift up the very people it continues to exploit.
I'm proud of the work I do but I'm tired of insisting it deserves a place in the world.
But I'm still here, and I'll keep making space for myself because there isn't another option. I'll keep asking for diversity and representation from the same publications I'm asking to hire me. I'll keep challenging the ethnocentric lens we're asked to use and insist on using my own instead.
I really believe that our community is the key encouraging change in this industry, and accessibility goes a long way. Please get in touch if you're in the Portland or San Francisco areas and identify as a woman/femme or GNC person of color and need:
- photo work (headshots, collaborations, small projects)
- advice or encouragement about freelancing
- networking or contacts with any publications/companies you've seen me work with
Finally, if you're in the creative industry and need help sourcing POC to hire for work, or need direction on diversity and intersectionality, I'm offering consultation services to help bring POC voices and representation to the front.
Photo by Ben Please of The Bookshop Band in the Isle of Whithorn, Scotland