If I had a dollar for every mistake I've made I'd have $136million at least by now. Thankfully the vast majority were honest mistakes or came from a good heart. Many were easy to remedy or not particularly grave, the classic "no harm no foul" type mistakes. The type of mistake you can move on from and no one has been hurt except maybe your own pride; an injury that's not a major concern
If it was a dollar for every regret I'd have a few bucks. Regrets to me are the mistakes where you can't go back, you hurt someone or it took way too long to recover. There's one I'll struggle to ever get over...it wins the "greatest mistake of my life" award. Amongst the others, one stands out. It was leaving Sydney a few years ago.
I didn't grow up in Sydney but I started my adult life there. I went on an 11 year personal journey around the country and around the world but found myself back in Sydney and ready to stay. I was comfortable with a good job and I'd just started this photo lark. Unfortunately I was on the wrong end of heartbreak and I struggled big time. I'm not the first person to battle after a break up. But given I was in a city I loved, a house I was comfortable and had lots of friends and family around, I should have stayed put, battled on and I would have come out the other side soon enough. But for some reason the fight or flight response in my brain said fly. My solution to the problem ended up way worse than the problem. All those comforts I had were gone. I struggled with work, my social life, loneliness, sleep, health and my self belief because I wasn't in a part of the world that made me happy. That was 100% my fault. My self inflicted wounds were much much deeper than the relatively minor one inflicted on me. It took a long time to move on and I'd say it was 90% my fault for taking the word "move" literally.
I started photographing city lights and city nights in that period and the jewel in the crown was always going to be Sydney Harbour. It took nearly 30 months but finally the opportunity presented itself. In a funny way I wasn't just making sure that jewel was firmly in place, I was making my apology to Sydney. The grass wasn't greener and the problems weren't too great to overcome. I regret the decision even though...eventually I found my mojo and headed off on the adventure I'm now on. Garth Brooks sings the line "I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance." Well in my case I walked away from the dance & gave the pain too much room to grow. And these photos are my way of saying "sorry for leaving Sydney."
When this crazy trip ends I'll be back.