Monday, August 11, 2014

Ruminating on Lost Jollity (that word I used to describe my mentality back in 2011)

Time is a weird and wary thing.

I've spent the last 2, maybe 3 months in what can best be called a "rotting" state. The ebb and flow of my day to day life has hit such an excruciating point of vast monotony that it has been a difficult process climbing out of the pitfall of negative brain space. It is that mental state that has at least encouraged my revival of this forum on which to speak my mind, much against the wallflower trend I've taken on most social platforms in the past year. I've become afraid of my own opinion, afraid of self expression.

In doting on the empty space of this blog, I took the time to read entries past to decipher where I was mentally, emotionally, at its inception, and to seek a potential causality to my ensuing motivational pitfall. Can't much find that source, that root cause, but it at least made me happy to realize I was once much happier and thus have the potential to be that happy again.

One post involved looking back on work from the year prior as a sort of gauge to my progress and development in photography. Taking that same concept and applying a small twist, I find myself ruminating over the photos I took at that time I was most innately chipper.

I look through these images and I mainly notice one thing. I was photographing everything. And more than that, I was sharing it. Sharing my day to day story. Above all else, I recognize that as something I have completely forgotten how to do. Anymore I am far too encumbered by standards, by expectations. I won't share an image if I don't find it compelling to an exceptional degree. And the impossibility of producing exceptional images every single time, as an unreasonable sort of new standard, has degraded me into a relative mute. No voice and only a disjointed story.

This is potentially an unfair comparison of mental states. I had just gotten over my car wreck and was operating on the high of jumping right back on my feet post-almost-mortem. Photography was the driver, the motivation to keep kicking and screaming and fighting on with my life, and it was imperative that I turn the passion into a business and reap rich rewards of success in the field. And I've done that, and continue to do it. Only I never anticipated that success becoming just another status quot, to the point where the passion has all but drained barring a short stint with time lapse photography like some last hurrah.

Fighting to reclaim my life pushed me to heights I never anticipated. But I've grown sloth and stagnant and stopped fighting. Fighting for my head space is unreasonable given that it's the homestead of the issue. I imagine many photographers have reached this point in their lives in which they lost the gusto of their ego-centrism and were left with a sharp choice - give up the trade or find a subject of passion to fight for. I'm still hunting for that passion, and I have a good idea of where it is. Just have to motivate the bones.