I am a quitter. If I had to tell you the one thing about myself that I find most embarrassing and dislike the most, this would be it. If there was only one thing about myself that I would change, this would be it. If I knew this would be my last day on earth and I had to state the one thing about myself that prevented me from living the life I dreamed, this would be it.
One of the great things about my journey into photography is that while I’m looking through the lens and learning how to adjust the aperture and shutter speed on the camera, I’m also learning a great deal about myself. Or maybe more pointed, I’m learning to face what I already know but don’t really want to see or admit. Now, before you start planning an intervention because you believe me to be lost in some depression filled abyss hear me out.
I have not always been a quitter and I have not ALWAYS quit. There are times and decisions and relationships in my life that I have not given up on and walked away from but I am painfully aware of the times, decisions and people that I have given up on and abandon. I am also sadly aware of how those moments have changed or shaped parts of my life and not for the better.
This is what has been on my mind over the past few months as I have struggled to follow through on this blog. I started this year with the hope (maybe a bit naive one) that come December 31st I would look back at a culmination of 365 photos that would somehow validate where I started and how far I’ve come. The fact that my posts have been sporadic, at best, has weighed on me for several days. Distracted and moody and just feeling out of sorts I have spent my drive to and from work trying to come up with ways to motivate myself and not let this be just one more thing I quit. The crazy thing is realizing how much I enjoy doing this but then allowing any little thing to keep me from it. I was puzzling over this thought as I walked out of the parking garage at work yesterday morning and came face to face with a man headed to the homeless shelter just a block away. Completely distracted I had almost walked right in front of him, making him stop and grunt at me. I apologized and was met with a solemn stare, then another grunt before he walked away. Frozen in my spot (not going to lie, I was completely startled), I watched him walk away and felt a rush of sadness for him but also a moment of clarity. That could be me. I do not mean to project my life on to this man, I have no idea what brought him to this place and what circumstances he has had to face but the look in his eyes was both angry and sad. The anger could have just been directed at me for not paying attention but the sadness was palpable.
I certainly have not had the worst life. I have everything to be thankful for. I also know that from a very young age I have had my own challenges to overcome and while, yes, I have not always crossed the finished line, I really have come a long way. That is why I posted the picture above. It is nothing. It’s actually quite bad but I took this picture several years ago when I first began my photography journey. It isn’t the same angle as my photo from the other day but it is the same location and for all intents and purposes, at the time, I’m sure I thought it was a decent shot. Now, when I compare it to my more recent photo, I can see improvement, growth and most importantly…that I have not quit.