“Life Is What Happens To You…”
“While you’re busy making other plans,” sang the late John Lennon in his tribute to son Sean in “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy).” It’s the seventh track off his last studio album Double Fantasy [New York, New York: Geffen] recorded at The Hit Factory with wife Yoko Ono and released November 17, 1980. What’s sadly ironic is that Lennon – who took nearly five years off from music and the limelight to raise his second son, Sean (his first – Julian – was with first wife Cynthia Powell) – never got to fully realize the words he penned. This record has strong domestic overtones and the lyrics to that specific song are heartfelt and meant to quell any fears of his son’s life and future. “The monsters gone, he’s on the run and your daddy’s here […] Every day in every way, It’s getting better and better.” Three weeks later, on December 8, 1980, he was fatally shot at the entrance to The Dakota (a co-op apartment building at 1 West 72nd St. & Central Park West).
What’s my point? Despite having the best intentions, LIFE DOES GET IN THE WAY. Monsters are everywhere. Unforeseen events take place that derail whatever arrangements you might have made and sometimes there is simply nothing you can do about the resulting situation. That is the case with me and the past several months – well, more like half of 2012.
As many of you know I started a 3-month-long “Medical Mystery Tour” in April – just a month after launching my business, Red Tess Freelance, LLC. After dozens of tests/MRI’s/ENG’s/X-rays and doctor/specialist visits I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in June. I had no control over that – it was my “monster” – life happening while I was desperately trying to accomplish what I was put on this earth to do – write, create, and communicate. I had to surrender. In doing so I somehow became stronger.
With summer and fall came dozens of concerts, festivals, weddings, and other events that I covered – handed out business cards, networked, etc. Burning the candle at both ends led to a couple weeks of strep throat followed by a month of bronchitis. Somehow I powered though it all and remained on top in terms of photographing, interviewing, and note-taking, forging ahead without canceling any obligations. However, there was no actual follow through with posts. The fact of the matter is, I’ve been writing blog posts every day and privately publishing until they are properly edited. I realize now that isn’t very effective and moreover, it’s easy to continue doing that and never get anything officially online. My audience is expecting material and I want to & WILL deliver.
In an effort to show potential employers my intrepid approach to news coverage, I decided to spend several days covering Hurricane Sandy. When the bulk of the storm hit Annapolis, I was out – camera in hand, documenting Mother Nature’s destruction – and fell in Spa Creek at the height of the storm. After saving myself from a watery grave and thanking my lucky stars, I ended up in the ER with a concussion, several fractured ribs, and a right leg that rivaled those of the horse of a different color from the Wizard of Oz.
While I’m working as hard as I can to put my own “ding in the universe” (as said by the late Steve Jobs) as a writer, I did not realize the cosmos already had enough “dings” – and so did my head. It wasn’t until I cheated death that I finally heard what the powers that be (and my body) were telling me: slow down; catch up; heal thyself; and REST – all words and concepts that are not my modus operandi. Change is a necessary “monster,” but if you embrace it and learn from it’s offerings you can grow – and I have exponentially. I’m stronger and more determined than ever to finish what I’ve started. “It IS getting BETTER and BETTER.”
Given that, I have over 5,000 photos and over 40 videos to edit and upload in order to publicize my drafts. For instance, just last Tuesday night not only did I see Social Distortion at the 9:30 Club, but upon learning of President Obama’s re-election I headed over to the White House to revel in the celebration (camera and recorder in hand).
The past two days I’ve spent “with” The Who, both at The National Press Club for a luncheon to discuss Teen Cancer America and the Verizon Center for their Quadrophenia Tour. I’ve met both Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend, as well as networked with fans and other photographers and writers.
In the next several days I will be uploading all of the content (most current first) I’ve compiled for you my followers and for my own personal portfolio.
Red Tess Freelance is and always will be an extension of an 18-year-old hobby (music & entertainment coverage, photography, and design). Its establishment has given me a forum to showcase my writing style and stay current with my craft while looking for work and provided something physical to present to people at professional, social, academic, and other networking events. There’s nothing worse than a missed opportunity! Hopefully this entity has also aided my effort to stand apart from the myriad of other writers/designers currently seeking employment. Hopefully a full-time job or paid freelance work is what “happens” while I’m busy making other plans as Red Tess.