prelude to tragedy (panophobia) wrote in thequestionclub,
prelude to tragedy

I never know where to go to for advice, so I'm going here. Again.

I need some advice, or tips, or tricks, or something. This is a long one.

Several years ago I opened up a wedding photography business. I kept doing other things on the side because I don't necessarily love wedding photography - so I have been teaching photography (at a high school, at an art center, and for hire) , doing artwork semi-professionally, and working at a portrait studio to keep my artwork funds up.

Well, turns out I'm awesome at portraits (I already knew that...), and the owners of the portrait studio I was working at on the weekends sold me their company. Said I could do a better job if I ran it, and they gave me a great deal to really get my foot in the door. None of that matters. I took it. I figure this is my ticket - this business model is incredibly worth while. Could be franchised, nationwide.

SO! Now I have A LOT on my plate. I let go of one of my teaching jobs, but still teach workshops for a local art center as just-in-case-funds and to keep my name up in the art world. I'm still running my wedding photography business (actually just brought on a co-owner to take some of the stress off my plate), and now really putting most of my energy into the portrait studio, since it has a lot more riding on it than just having good or bad years.

Even without the portrait studio I really haven't had a day off in like ten years. I always feel like I'm working. I give myself days off and make sure I have lots of ways to destress and detach myself (my water bill at home is through the roof, so many bubble baths). I vacation at least twice a year (a week on the beach, a week up in the air). No matter what I do, I still feel constantly overwhelmed. I can't get myself to stop. I'm at the portrait studio nearly every day of the week (I haven't been able to afford employees just yet). I'm addicted to replying to emails, returning phone calls immediately - I know if I don't do it right away, I will probably never get back to it. I feel like I end up spending most of my down time listing all the things out that I need to do when I start up work again.

But even worse, I'M SO LONELY. I hardly see my husband. I haven't seen my parents in probably about a month. I haven't seen any of my siblings with one exception since the New Year. While the studio keeps me busy, there are long stretches of time I talk to no one. I have phone calls here and there (or it rings off the hook, I never know!), but if it's slow I'm just.....quiet. I have to turn the music up so loud to keep me sane, I'm sure I'm driving the neighboring shops mad. And I end up not getting any work done because all I can think of is how badly I just need someone sitting here with me.

I don't know what I'm asking for. Someone want to volunteer to be my friend and just sit with me for like 10 hours a day while I do my work? Be a motivational coach for me while I'm miserably overworked? Tell me it's worth missing incredibly awesome things because the payoff will be so worth it?

I'm sure this is too much information. I'm closing in 45 minutes (or earlier to go have a drink with the hubby), and wanted to kill time instead of finishing cleaning up after my appointments earlier.

Any tips on how to get myself back to being awesomely self-sufficient and rightly ambitious? How to not feel lonely when I'm clearly not?

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