Contrast

“I’ll be honest. I just saw what you call “your best shots” and I haven’t even been able to detect your definition of “good”. You have had no real practice, and it shows. None of these really jump out. I know that’s why you are here, but I have other students to occupy my time with and helping you would be a time consuming process. I suggest just starting classes next year, but not this class- the beginners class.”

***

“Let’s see here… All fours and fives (out of five)… Even from our sound practice teacher, who generally gives lower scores. Says here, “Most technically capable individual of the group”. Well-motivated, helpful.

In general, it’s a real pleasure having you around. You are correct and punctual –in most cases, and you are pretty much what we were looking for.

I have a flawless method for accomplishing success, and it goes like this:

  1. Be a failure. Fail at everything, even (especially!) at the things you have a natural aptitude for. Do everything half-assed and whatever you do, do not show motivation. For anything.
  2. Sit and wait. Let your failures sink in. Crush all expectations people had of you. Don’t allow them to project your successes onto themselves by accepting all help, and proceeding to still fuck up royally. Seem bottomless.
  3. Kickstart. Do something no one expected of you, that tears you loose from their image of you. A reset, of sorts.
  4. Pick what you enjoy and do it, and do it well. Expect no help because others have given up on you; succeed without it.
  5. Receive praise for things not even remotely as impressive as the things expected of you years and years before. A father could never be more proud of anything other than his 30-year old son learning to walk, after all.

Ever since arriving at step 5, things have been a little touchy-feely for me. Combining work with school is something 20-year old students do on a daily basis, but I have proven myself so incapable of it, that is utterly shocks everyone when I finally manage something of the sort. What I do seems impressive because I set a frame of reference far below average. And that is the trick.

I recently shot photos for two artists, and they were thrilled. Not because they were amazing photos, but because they were above average photos- for free. This isn’t quality you normally get for free and that makes it awesome: The frame of reference.

This of course changes drastically when that frame shifts. Sure, I might seem motivated as a student in showbiz (I’ve been working onstage for 6 years, after all) but when my photography is criticized by a (honest!) professional photographer, my charade is uncovered. He expected of me what he is shown on a daily basis from his students, and I couldn’t deliver. Busted.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m bad at everything. I too have talents, and in fact I can handle photographic equipment a hell of a lot better than most of his students can, but I am easily 5 to 10 years behind on the learning curve, putting me at a serious disadvantage compared to “normal” people. My low frame of reference, established in the past, saves my image, but not around those who weren’t there, back then. With them, I have to rely on actual skill and talent, which, as you can read in the first two paragraphs, produces mixed results.

Such is life.


I promise this is the first and the last time, but I’d like to mention a few things about this site.

I first started writing when I was sixteen or so, mostly spewing foul language (moi?) and cynical frustrations. I put them online (Windows Live Spaces) but made no mention of them, leaving it up to those who cared enough to discover. About 2 years later, I got into a fight about them, with someone I cared for too much, considering she was an American mother of two I had never met. I deleted everything I had and swore never to write again, but, like today, just couldn’t help myself.

What I miss most about those lost logs, were my letters to my girlfriend when I was in boot camp, that I copied and saved on my computer. All those are gone now. And then this happened:

Yes, I started writing again. Reason? I just like to. Helps me clear my mind, and spill things I don’t get a chance to tell others. Don’t expect to see names here. I don’t think the people in question would appreciate it.

Don’t expect me to watch my language. If I want to post about fisting choir boys (which I don’t) I very well do as I please. Feedback is nice to get, but critisism is unnescessary.

Typos and everything.

Around that time, I had about two visitors per week on my site, which left me wondering who would care. Now, no less than six years later, Microsoft outsourced their blog service to WordPress and while initially I mostly just found that annoying, it now allows me to observe much more closely which pages draw the most traffic, and where they come from. It turns out, I get about 10-20 visitors on a good day (near 30 on a very good day) and people are subscribing all the way from Germany and the US.

I still write for the sake of the memories. It fits my way of dealing with events perfectly: Analyze, over-analyze, drop it, move on. But I have other reasons, too: To try to improve my writing style, and to share my thoughts with others. I do watch my language a little more (most of the time) and have to skip many topics for the sake of privacy of those involved, but who says I’m not putting that up elsewhere, hmm?

Either way, thanks for reading, I really appreciate it. Thanks for commenting too, I can always use your insight. Just watch your fucking language.

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