In one of my initial conversations with the Psychiatrist responsible for signing off my diagnosis and approving treatment, the following question was posed…

“Is there anything you do now, that you won’t be able to do post transition.”

I gave this some thought and replied that I really couldn’t think of anything. She pushed me a little, urging me to think harder, suggesting “Perhaps Work, or a Social commitment  may be difficult post transition ?”  Again I responded that I really couldn’t foresee anything I would not be able to pursue during or after my longed for transition.

That question popped into my head last night, as I walked down to the Perth Arena, struggling with a couple of cameras, a handbag, and a camera pouch full of spare batteries, memory card,  and a couple of lenses.

Over the past few years I have done a fair bit of volunteer event photography for my employer. From celebrations and team videos through to a day with colleagues packing Christmas hampers for Foodbank WA. I have turned up with my camera and laptop and snapped away having lots of fun.

I had more than a few moments yesterday where I found myself wondering if I was doing the right thing, volunteering to photograph a very important event, so soon after my return to work.

My desire to remain true to my belief that I would continue as I always had,  is what propelled me onwards towards the venue, where I would be taking pictures of  an annual awards event for my colleagues in the retail division.

I’m well into the transition phase, so why shouldn’t I do what I have always done….

Once inside the Arena, I began to feel incredibly uneasy. The scale of the venue alone was daunting, however before I had chance to fully get to grips with the venue, I was hastily introduced to a number of very senior leaders within the organisation, which also raised my stress levels a little.

Bang on time at 18:00 the doors opened, and in surged, at least a couple of hundred, hungry and thirsty colleagues.

The Bold Confident Snapper in me  retreated, and I was left struggling to speak confidently, which is a problem when you need to attract attention of excited and energetic partying people in a room that is  flooded with swirling lights and loud music (well sort of music)

A role that previously I filled naturally and with much confidence, had reduced me to a bundle of nerves, awkwardly engaging with colleagues, who were for the most part, complete strangers.

After an an hour or so, and literally unable to continue, I found myself a quiet corner and discovered that fresh tears were  rolling down my cheeks, where they were mixing with the Anxious sweat that was pouring from my forehead.

It was, to coin a phrase, “One Tough Gig.”

This morning I finished off sorting and tweaking the images. They are not too bad, there are nowhere near as many casual shots as there should be, but the all important award shots are in the bag.

What this means, in theory at least is, I managed to keep my word. I didn’t let my fear get in the way of the task. But it came close, and to be completely honest,  I’m not sure if they asked me to do it again tomorrow if I would say Yes, or Maybe……