Please introduce yourself, what’s your name, where do you come from, what do you do for a living?
Hi my name is Krzysztof Gajewski. I work as a director, operator, photographer and graphic artist. I am from Warsaw, and have a base in Warsaw.
Briefly, what was your lifestyle like before?
I had a great life regarding friendship and fun because I was always curious about the world and breaking the barriers and rules.
Professionally, however it wasn’t the best. Dealing with bosses, desks, payment every month and a sense of senselessness. All this time I was accompanied by the thought that I give my life (something that I have that is the most precious) to some stranger and company. The company benefits from it like a vampire and I’m a slave.
Was there an event or moment that actually propelled you to make a change?
Yes there was a signifficant moment. I really wanted to be free from working in the company, but I was still lacking courage, I was afraid if I was freelance I would not make the same amount as my monthly salary. The breakthrough came when I was passing the bungee lift, I was damn always afraid of this bastard. I thought if I could do it, I could do anything. So I did it. I went up, the guy counted out and I jumped. The next day I was in my corporate at the head of the office with a resignation speech in my hands. I will never forget his face it was one of the best views in life!
I felt that despite uncertainty and fears I was simply free and that I always want to be like that.
How/what did you do to change your life?
So everyday after the work I was developing my passions and profession. I was attending schools and courses. I practiced, and practiced and practiced again. Also at the same time while working with different companies I tried to persuade the bosses to let me use equipment that interested me so I could learn my skills while working on this equipment. It was a good move because I did not have to invest my own money at the start.
Were there any obstacles?
Obstacles that I had have never been impossible to pass. The biggest obstacles were people with too big egos, I’ve learnt that the bigger the ego is, in fact, the person is weaker. I have a saying “ a big dog does not have to bark” and that’s what I’m holding to. With that I’m able to do everything I want to do. I also had one very serious obstacle that was my girlfriends’s cancer disease. I was with her until the last moment, I went with her through all operations, chemotherapy, paresis, paralysis and dependence only on me, but it was very beautiful and I saw what unconditional love really means and how much it is worth. Now I know that maybe at that moment I did not do what was normal, but unconsciously I did the work of my life. I just turned out to be a human for myself and I am very proud of it now.
What was the hardest thing to let go of from your previous lifestyle and how did you overcome it?
The most difficult thing I had to let go, to do what I do, was my fear of whether I can make it. Of whether I will be able to live from what I do. Of whether people will want to look at my videos and art. In my opinion when you let fear go slowly, along with obstacles they going away or become much smaller.
Can you describe a typical day of your life now?
Well, due to the fact that I am a bit of a moth and go to sleep mostly around 3, I get up quite late, around 11.
I wake up, I go with my dog, I drink yerba or coffee, I smoke my pipe. Waking up usually takes about an hour and these are peculiar rituals that let me start the day. The next stage is the”but what’s going on” emails, text messages, messengers, missed calls. It puts me in the real world. Then photos or assembly (work) and time for my girlfriend.
What is the best thing or the best moment regarding your new lifestyle?
The greatest value for me is freedom, joy and meeting new people around the world. Due to the fact I am connected to the camera, so much so that it is almost a part of me, I travel all the time, experiencing what I think is meaningful. When I made my first documentary “Ska Delight” I traveled 63 thousand kilometers, which resulted in a result of 1.5 times around the world. Another time I traveled with the Venezuelan band Gypsy Ska Orquesta after 11 countries of Europe which lasted 2 months (now editing).
Doing things like this, I meet a lot of great people along the way and I make a lot of great contacts that later pay off in other productions in the form of video clips, reportage etc. I guess I’m addicted to adventure. Even if when we are traveling with my girlfriend, we never stay in hotels and swimming pools. She’s also travel and experience hungry. For us the greatest value is freedom.
How do you feel about your lifestyle in regards to your mind, body and soul?
I think that thanks to what I do, I’m happy that work is not really a job, it’s just fun and joyful, because I’m lucky to do what I’ve always dreamed about. I have new tattoos on my body related to the life that I now lead. When it comes to the mind, just filling it with good impressions makes me fulfilled and calm.
Do you have any regrets?
I regret that some very stupid man came up with the idea of creating borders and creating money. I imagine how beautiful it would be without war and hunger. I know, it’s cliché, but it’s beautiful. How wonderful the world could look without greed, jealousy, violence and all these things. We have conditions for this, but unfortunately politicians, corporations and companies do not allow people to simply be inhabitants of the world instead they invent further borders, prohibitions, orders, prices, manipulations and all this crap.
What do your friends and family think? Has your change inspired anyone else to change anything about their lives?
At first my family was very skeptical. Everyone told me that they also wanted pilots or doctors, but they were doing something completely different. I thought then “Have you ever gone to the airport to sign up for the course? did you fly the hours on the glider, or did you finish your medical studies? Were you doing something to try to? ”
Now everyone is cheering for me and telling me that I have chosen the right path. But I do not think anyone has been inspired to change what they do. Rather, everyone lives their lives conservatively, safely without risk.
What advice would you give to anyone who was thinking about making a life change?
Get rid of fear, believe that you can and try! The costs are small if you fail, and the profits can be so great that you do not even expect it.
You will always find another ordinary job. Only a few will win a life – those who are not afraid to follow their heart. I did this and thanks to this I have a number of photo exhibitions, film productions, publications and other priceless things giving meaning to my life.
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