On Breathing In

The last few weeks have been absolutely insane, from photo shoots, to a fashion show, to coordinating warehouse logistics with my perfume line, all while adding in that everyday work life and my attempts at a social life when most of the time I feel like I’d rather be resting. I feel like I’ve been breathing in this entire time, and haven’t remembered to breathe out.

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The biggest thing about being a “creative” is being highly aware of yourself and your surroundings. I can read people pretty accurately, a natural born skill I’ve honed with many years working behind the lens of a camera. Watching a person, actually paying attention, can reveal so much — what are they looking at? are they comfortable in their clothes? is their body posture hiding something? are they smiling large or do they speak while trying to hide a crooked smile? I can notice all of that in about 2 seconds, and then I can imagine the whole world they live in. At this point it’s not even something I can really help anymore, it’s just the way I interact with the world.

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But sometimes it’s a bit too much. People love coming to me when they have a problem, and while I love doing whatever I can to help someone else feel better, sometimes I end up taking on their emotional drama. The downside of empathy is not always being able to keep all that energy separate. I’d rather feel too much than not enough, so I’m not complaining. But taking in all of that when I’m already feeling overwhelmed can crash the server, so to speak.

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I feel like I’m always starting over in New York, even as I’m closing in on that 5 year mark. Every few months I feel like I’m starting over in a whole new world. So here we are. I took a weekend to recharge and regain my bearings.  To take the time to just let myself be and enjoy the moment. I’m way to hard on myself — I see you lurking, flaws — and it’s something I’m working on, letting all of that go, bit by bit, breath by breath.

Photos courtesy Kristin Booker

Jeff Smith

Jeff started in photography and short format video, and he's been at the forefront of the web tv movement. He’s worked on haute couture shoots in Paris, shot street style in Milan, and is currently developing a steady roster of beauty, fashion, and digital clients in NYC.