Alaska, Life, Thoughts

From a Picture

Everywhere I turn, I see the signs.

“Not good enough.”

“Tried, and failed.”

“Incomplete.”

“Unfinished.”

The words taunt me, the unfinished projects haunt me.  The started, and stopped, tried and failed.  The things I haven’t done, yet to do, need to – even want to accomplish.  Yet cant.  Or don’t.  Or haven’t.  Or wont.  I stare in the mirror and find all the faults.  Both inside and out, and the words continue to taunt.  Except this time, they go further.  “Wont ever finish” “Wont ever complete” “Wont ever succeed.” “Wont ever be good enough, better, or best.”

The tears prick the corners of my eyes as I succumbed to the facts that I am a complete failure that hasn’t, and wont ever, accomplish anything of worth.

It’s an all too familiar scene.  One that plays itself out in the minds and hearts of so many around the world.  The thoughts of not being “good enough” whatever that may be.  Some self-proclaimed measure of success.

Earlier this week, I took the dogs out for a walk.

Ive been working on mastering my camera.  I set the settings to something other than manual, and haven’t looked back.  The pictures, they land somewhere in the middle of the categories of “Unfinished” and “Tried and failed.”  It’s a work in progress, and not something I will ever be satisfied with I don’t think.  The process of learning – it never really ends.  The continuation of bettering ones desires, and skills.

We walked up the hill, the sun beating down on my back.  Blue skies, bright sun, a light breeze.  I wore only a jacket, in January.  And fought both dogs up the hill.  I yelled too much, enjoyed too little, and by the time we got to the top of the hill I wanted to turn around and drag the dogs back down – much like they had drug me up.  Instead I let them loose and turn my attention to the view.

The view.  That so many people pay millions of dollars for.  The view that I refuse to take for granted.  The view that I will never get tired of seeing.  The snowcapped mountains that tip into the deep, cold, ocean.  The bright blue skies serve as a backdrop for the evergreens.  Layer upon layer of mountain.  It stretches on as far as the eye can see.  And is absolutely breathtaking.

As I look through the view finder, my spirit drops.  “Never good enough.”  The words come faster.  I snap once, twice, three times.  I readjust the settings.  And snap again.  “Not going to turn out” the voice whispers, silently at first.  I yell for the dogs, again.  Frustration seeps in, deep.  The picture just wont turn work.  Too many trees, too little space.  Too little knowledge.  Too hard to understand.  To difficult for me.  Beyond me.  Beyond stupid old me.  “Cant do it.”

 

I yell one final time for the dogs, and head back down the side of the mountain, watching as the sun bounces off the ripples of the ocean.

Once back at the shop, I toss the camera to the side.  Unleash the dogs, and sink into my chair.  Defeated.  Once again.

Later that day I plug the camera card into the computer and flip through the images.

Images, that arent anywhere NEAR what I would like them to.  But instead, I see them through a new light.  I look past the splotches on the camera lens from my absent mindedness.  My forgetfulness.  My “Never going to complete that.”  I look past the trees that take over the image, blocking the view I so desperately wanted to capture.  “Never going to accomplish that.”  I look past the mounds of dirt, the badly composed image, and look deep into the image.

I look past all the fears, and failures, and fears of failing.  I see past all the stupid stuff that blocks the view.  And finally.  Finally.  I see what I am looking for.  I see the blue ocean, the endless blue skies.  I see past all the words.  I see something I never really saw before.  I see a picture.  Stupid, badly composed, ordinary, one in a billion.

Behind all those trees, beyond the badly composed image that I could have done so much better with – there is something.  There is hope.  Hope for a better image.  Hope for another day.  Hope to try again.

“Not good enough; Keep trying.”

“Tried, and failed; Learn and move on.”

“Incomplete; Finish.”

“Unfinished; Complete.”

Keep trying.  Never give up.  No, it might not ever be “Good enough” but its something.  And something is better than nothing.  And something – can be more.  As long as the sun comes up, as long as I am given yet another day – I will keep on trying.  I will keep trying to do better, be more, give more.  I will keep trying to put others first, get angry less, slow down and listen.

I don’t think there will ever be a day where I am completely satisfied with what I do/don’t do.  But that’s ok.  Because as long as there is a new day – I will keep trying to do better.  And always aim for that goal of perfect perfection that can only be achieved by reprioritizing, and putting the important things in life – first.

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