Just imagine this: since you were twelve you have been passionate about a sport, let's say soccer. Every time you've met someone new, you told them about it. You were so damn excited about it and you wanted everyone to know about it. It became the thing everyone associated you with. "You know Tom?" (Let's just pretend your name is Tom for this bit okay) "Tom? The one who loves soccer?" "Yes! That Tom" And suddenly, you stop loving soccer. It's not exciting anymore, you don't feel passionate about going out for practice anymore. So you slowly stop going to practice, or big games. What do you do next, how will people see you now?
That's exactly what happened to me, not with soccer though. Everyone who knows me a little bit knows that I've never been a fan of soccer. Anyway, let's back to the actual story I wanted to tell. Ever since I first got my hands on the little point and shoot camera we had at home I've been drawn to photography. It started out with taking photos of tomatoes and vegetables in my grandfather's garden to doing somewhat conceptual self portraits. When I entered secondary school that's who I was, the guy who takes photos. For a very long time it stayed that way, I loved taking photos and sharing them. The Flickr community played a huge part in that.
Around three years ago things started to change, I forgot how to enjoy taking photos. So I took a break, for a few months. After that I felt guilty because I hadn't missed it. I forced myself back into it and took some photos, shared them online and enjoyed the buzz of the lovely feedback I got. After that wore off I went back to not taking photos. So far, I haven't gotten over it.
After all of this, I don't identify myself as a photographer anymore. Maybe it was childish that I ever thought that highly of myself to begin with, I'm not sure. I stopped putting it in my social media profiles and stopped telling people about it when they ask about my hobbies. I still take photos but not in the same way anymore, it doesn't have a purpose. They're not for sharing, they're not to fulfill some kind of artistic side of me. The photo's are memories, experiences and a personal library. I've finally come to peace with it, I'm not a photographer. There, I said it.