I recently read one of HONY’s photo captions (Humans of New York) and felt deeply moved.
“I wish I’d partied a little less.
People always say ‘be true to yourself.’
But that’s misleading, because there are two selves.
There’s your short term self, and there’s your long term self.
And if you’re only true to your short term self, your long term self slowly decays.“.
I’ve always believed in the idea that “short term” pleasure leads to “long term” pain and “short term” pain leads to “long term” pleasure.
Short Term Pleasure – my daily £2 coffee from the canteen.
Long Term Pleasure – A daily £2 is a weekly £10 which is a couple hundred pounds at the end of the year that I could have spent on a trip to Paris or a new surfboard… (and/or if you’re reading this Dad, pay you back the infinite debt I have. haha)
Short Term Pain – Daily diligent trips to the gym, even when it’s cold and dark outside.
Long Term Pain – Not going to the gym throughout the winter leaves you unfit with a gross summer bod. (Been there, done that. Not worth it.)
This wonderful theory works alongside ‘time’, which is something I find even more value in. I have been through enough crap in life that I know time and the attention we give things is our most valuable commodity.
We value most what we give our time to. That I am certain of. Understanding this changes everything. It also explains why I am most productive and creative with my time when I value myself.
Recently a friend reminded me that a time, not so long ago, I would refer to myself as a photographer. I use to turn photos in to moving image or record moving image and create short films. This tag was removed from my psyche when I started university. I spent three years of my life studying for a “creative degree” yet I didn’t truly practice creativity. Perhaps not even for one day. My degree, perhaps becuase it was the wrong one, might have been one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made. So why you ask am I studying further for a masters degree? That’s another post, for another time. It is absolutely something worth discussing, and an important conversation to start having.
Back to the point of this post…
If I didn’t ditch the tag of “photographer” when I started university. If I had continued to take photos and make films that went beyond Instagram. Or if I simply turned all the footage that I have from some of the most blessed and spectacular days of my life, and then shared it with this incredible opportunity that is the internet, what might my life look like right now? With everything in life, cause and effect. One thing leads to the next, with one opportunity comes another. Ever catch yourself making snarky comments at other’s success, like, “oh I could have done that”…. Well. Why didn’t you?
This is what I am challenging myself to as I go forward. If you think you can do something, do it. I have let the fear of failure, the fear of rejection keep me from a lot of things. So for the sake of my future self, I’m going to start doing things that will cause good effect in the future. Open more doors and close others faster.
My inner perfectionist doesn’t like sharing work that I care about, or is remotely personal becuase I avoid criticism and more specifically, I have a crippling fear of rejection.
Very rarely do I put myself in a position where I might face rejection. And that isn’t life, or at least that isn’t the life I am prepared to live.
Although this is a very small step, publishing these far from perfect ‘vlog’ entries is a form of self growth. It’s something I have been thinking about for months, almost had the courage to do last year and then lost all heart behind it.
So here I am, living alone in a beautiful part of the world with some extra “down time” on my hands that I have no greater cause for. So with limited distractions I am going to commit some of my creativity to these little videos.
I am not vlogging to save the world with my ‘ideas’. But I am opening myself up for criticism.
I am not looking for affirmation, but I am pushing myself to be creative and find new ways of sharing stories.
I am not looking to become a “youtuber”, but I am looking to improve my film and editing skills.
It’s going to be silly, I am going to cringe when I rewatch these in a few months time. Some videos might be more fun than meaningful, but they will all be a reflection of something happening in my little world, all of which gets to last longer than a 4 second snapchat video.
So if you’re interested, commit the next 8 minutes of your life to watching this video. If you liked it, or didn’t, tell me why. If you’re don’t find inspiration in little things like this, maybe don’t watch it? Maybe rather go do that thing that inspires you?
Anyway, thank you to everyone who adds to my life in such wonderful ways, I appreciate you all so very much.
To my friends far away, that aren’t part of my daily life, you’re still very important to me and I hope seeing the awkward Ash in this video makes you feel a little closer to my life, I’m sorry if I haven’t been in touch!
Lastly, and always importantly,
may you never lose your wander,