Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Looking up 5th Avenue

This is another one of those photos that I just like for some reason. The arch stanchions (can I call them "stanchions," or is there some other term?) aren't centered, I'm not quite sure what's going on with the composition, but all I know is that I likes what I likes. Maybe it's because I also developed this one, and am happy with the say it turned out. Who knows, I might get this developing thing down yet. You tell me:

But now, a bit of self-discovery.

Well, maybe not so much self-discovery, but today I had a realization. I can't say it was an epiphany, it wasn't that strong...maybe it was more like a "moment of clarity" as the 12-step crowd calls it. And it also relates to the long entry I made two posts down, the one about going to school, going through the motions with school, not quite sure where I'm headed, et cetera. But the simple thing I realized is this.

I create.

At my very heart, I'm a creator. I express myself through whatever means I can, be it with words, music, and maybe even photography (I see that as a work in progress). I've always created. I've always made things. I used to get such a high from creating. But somewhere along the way I forgot that high, that feeling, that rush of enthusiasm that comes with nurturing an idea. Every so often it would rear its head, only to go hiding somewhere so I'd forget.

It's too easy to get so wrapped up in yourself that you don't even realize what brings you joy in the first place. It's not just my own creations, but the creations of others. It's me at the opera last night hearing Juan Diego Florez hit those 9 high Cs in a row, the same ones that made Pavarotti an international superstar. It's me watching virtually anything by Kurosawa, but especially Ikiru. I first saw the movie when I was 19 or 20, in a film class. I only liked half of it. I really didn't have the perspective or an open enough mind to see it any other way. I saw the movie again a few years ago and it really struck me. I got it. I understood. Though maybe not entirely. Maybe today was the last step in that understanding.

I like learning. No, I love learning. I don't know where I'd be today if I hadn't decided to go back to school. I'm privy to so much that has enriched my life that I'd never have known if I hadn't been in school for the past four years. Though there's an emptiness to school too. You're only as good as your last achievement, and those are fleeting. Last semester I took two classes. I got an A and an A-. When I got my grades, I can't say I was happy. I mean, I was glad I did well, but it didn't really mean anything. All I knew was that in a few weeks I'd be back in school and would have to do it all over again. I can't screw off on an assignment under the aegis of, "it's okay, I've gotten As before."

Even though I did well last semester (and well mostly over all over the past few years), I'm still trying to figure out that formula of how can I do well without driving myself totally insane? It's like the reward (such as it is) isn't worth all the mental hassle. It's like, "I worried myself sick over that?" I told myself during the winter break that I would try to do well this semester but somehow spare myself the attendant stress. I'm not sure how that's been going. Actually, the past two weeks I've wrestled quite a bit with getting schoolwork done. I guess that was some of the background noise that was filtering through in that earlier post.

But today changed things, I think. I hope. I'm still wrestling with my willpower, I think I can ease up on myself a bit with school, now knowing, re-getting in touch with this side of me that needs to create and express itself. What's more important, good grades or my own sanity? Good grades or my own happiness? Am I going to go on that track and graduate and then go to grad school and maybe get a masters and phd so I can then be a starving academic with mountains of debt, tolerating my job and wishing I was doing something else? If that's the case, I might as well go back to driving limousines. Or will I embrace this learning experience, do the best I can without breaking my brain so much, and never forget that at my very heart, I am a creator.

I'm not the best creator, and I'm certainly not the worst, but I am a creator, and I'll never let myself forget that again.

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