Working through seasonal onset FOMO.
From the end of August until just before Christmas, friends and family know not to expect me. I have caught myself talking about this time in a number of ways, usually by being preemptive, and often times vague. “September isn’t the best,” I have said to friends who reach out about buying tickets to shows, or renting a cabin Upstate. In group texts, I am the one who "will let you know when we get closer" to the date of some proposed event, unwilling to make plans I may be forced to cancel. But more so I refer to this cyclical busyness as simply the season, the onset of autumn a natural container for my unavailability.
Freelancing is complicated in this way. The freedom to choose your own work schedule is probably the most lauded aspect of a freelance career, but untethered flexibility is a misconception. At some point, we are forced to answer to someone, to comply with the normal coming-and-going of the industry. Ask a landscaper, a personal trainer, a wedding photographer. Ask a tax preparer if they would recommend taking off in the month of March. A factor of what is required of work is the thing that makes it necessary - that a task be completed at the right place, at the right time.
My affinity toward fall is marked also by the sadness of unfulfilled expectations, a feeling of missing out.
Here in New York, if you work in television, fall is that time. The historical contexts of why this happens is tied (of course) to advertising, influenced primarily by (of course, again) the release of new car models. The manmade television season follows the season directed to us by the natural world, a waning summer sets up a rush of broadcast production events: show premieres, festivals, award shows, televised concerts. Despite the model being disrupted by any-time streaming endlessly suggesting the "death of broadcast TV," the phone keeps ringing, the calendar keeps filling, time rolls on.
Autumn is bittersweet. Think back-to-school, think cooler temps and darker days. Think apple cider donuts and Halloween. My affinity toward fall is marked also by the sadness of unfulfilled expectations, a feeling of missing out. Perhaps this is the come down of summer, the price we pay in return for time spent in the sun. Maybe my sobering only feels stark because of its proximity to work that cannot be easily turned away. In those moments, I relish in knowing that regardless, the feeling is not permanent. The seasons will change, regardless.
also, it’s AFI season. Go see them next week:
I started Susan Rogers and Ogi Ogas’ This Is What It Sounds Like before seeing Susan’s keynote at the AES convention, and all the music/audio/academia feels have me reminiscing college (I told you, bittersweet.) Also, articles on this topic: Musicians like me can no longer afford to tour, which is destined to become an essay of its own. Big topic!
Thanks for reading! If you’re into this, please subscribe.