High Expectations and Peace

by Jason

I am sitting here trying to write about something, anything really.  At present I have started about three times, each time getting to about one hundred words before I delete everything I just wrote.  The truth is, I just don’t feel any inspiration right now.  I could write about how my friend told me that I have become boring, about how photography has taken control of my life, about how yesterday I started to very seriously consider spending next year in the Middle-East, or about any range of things running through my mind right now.  But honestly, all of them just start to sound like shit when I begin typing.  So what am I to do?

I’m just not inspired these days or at least not consistently.  I mostly feel like what I have been doing lately is very mediocre.  My photography is terribly average, my writing is probably below average, and my dedication in my language classes is waning by the day.  All of these things are supposed to be the important things to me; at least they would be the things one would write if they were me filling out a Facebook profile.  It isn’t that I don’t care about that.  I do want to be an amazing photographer, a prolific writer and a fluent Spanish and French speaker.  The problem is that life gets in the way of all of that.

Lately, everything has been getting sacrificed at the altar of photography.  I keep telling myself that that is okay because photography is in fact currently what I am planning on doing with my life.  The problem is, despite all of my sacrifices and efforts, my photography isn’t the best.  And I feel like it should be the best.  I’m not going to be satisfied unless it is the best.

Or maybe if I just somehow find success and start making money, then I will be satisfied.  I’m not really sure.  I do know that right now, I’m not focusing on all the things that are important to me.  People are being pushed aside and ignored.  My school work is suffering, although I’m sure my grades will end up fine in the end, they always do.  It just seems though, that life shouldn’t be this way; that I should be able to be successful in all the ways I want to be or at least be at peace with where I am at.

So speaking of that word, peace; I was talking with my friend last night and she asked me if I had peace with where I was at.  I stopped and thought for a moment because I didn’t honestly know how to answer that question.  In a lot of ways I am completely content with my life right now but at the same time, I feel this disconnect this sort of dissatisfaction with my actions.  I seem to never be able to achieve the expectations I lay out for myself.

And speaking of expectations, I was talking with my friend on Friday about how we both set really high standards for ourselves and yet seldom achieve them.  She told me how she had really considered studying photography but decided against it because she felt she wasn’t that good.  That is how I feel right now; I’m not that good, just good.  Is good, good enough?  Apparently not for me and I kind of doubt good work will stand up in the real world where everyone is the best.

I encourage myself by thinking about how I have this incredible drive, this strong work ethic, and hopefully eventually, marketable language skills.  Except, like I said, my language classes are being sacrificed on this altar along with everything else: my job, my friends, everything.  So in the end will I even have those advantages?

The only thing to do is live.  That is what I have always done and somehow, it has always worked and I have always been pretty successful, at least I seem that way to the outside observer.  But as for the toughest critic, the one that knows everything, well he isn’t usually at peace and seldom is he convinced that his expectations have been met.