A mix of conflicting emotions come over me whenever I think about my journey into the strange world of modeling. On one hand, there's the adventure, the travel opportunities, the spectacular images, the admiration, the joy of success, and the chance to meet so many amazing artists...then there's the disappointments, the failures, the repetition, the detachment that sometimes occurs, the constant time away from home, the jerks/creeps, the sleep deprivation, the stress, and the nagging feelings of doubt always present in the back of my mind...the dark moments where I occasionally question my own sanity.
It gets harder and harder to top what I've already done, and to live up to my own expectations. I tell myself I should be proud of what I've already accomplished, which is more than I could have ever hoped, especially considering my age and stats. I *am* proud of how far I've come, but somehow it's never quite enough. As long as I'm modeling, I can't help but try to surpass the work I've already done, and as it gets harder, the pressure seems suffocating at times. I can't just enjoy it--I agonize over everything, I tear apart every image, I lie awake at night thinking of what I can do next, and I worry that I might be a disappointment to the next photographer I shoot with. My life is completely unbalanced, and modeling has become an obsession....I really hate that I love it so much.
The truth is that I'm rather addicted to the adventure, and the uncertainty of it all--the emotional rollercoaster that is modeling. The idea that I could end up climbing the staircase of an abandoned building, shivering in the freezing cold water of a beautiful lake, or dangling off the edge of a rocky cliff, and all for the sake of art. The fact that I can be completely overwhelmed with happiness on one day, and then crying by myself in a hotel room far away from home on the next....I never know what the outcome of a shoot will be; but the unknown is what excites me, and causes me to simultaneously fear and crave the next experience.
What if I've already peaked? What if my best work is behind me? How much longer can I possibly keep doing this? My modeling days are indeed numbered, and soon it may be time to return to a more normal life.....but not now....not quite yet.