Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What is good enough?

Open Door

The other day my model, Katie, asked me a very subtle and almost flippant question, of why nothing was ever good enough for me. She knows me as well as anyone who models for me can, and though her immediate question had to do with editing out the best images of a shoot, she also was commenting on what she knows of my life.

Many people who know me well enough for me to consider them my dear friends have echoed that sentiment countless times through my life. Why am I never satisfied? Either they are commenting on my social life and interest or lack there of in a certain person, my urge to create something better than what I have recently finished, or some other tangible thing that would eventually land my already established skills or desires squarely on a fixed and final target.

Usually I smile and shine on them on because I know that deep down, for as much as I have let them in, they are wrong. I can think of maybe two people in this world, who by word but more importantly through only eye contact have accused me of being the opposite, accused me of being lazy. It is a word I have fought my whole life, be it lazy in a physical, mental, or emotional way. It is one of the worst of the four letter words and it is something I see in myself constantly.

Sure, things would be easier if I settled down, got married to someone who didn't stimulate me mentally but was a nice enough person whom I could share some laughs with. Sure, I could go down to city hall and get a maintenance job with benefits and a pension. Sure, I could rest on the laurels of my skills of drawing and painting and studio lighting and keep reproducing the same technical works ad infinitum. That would be fine and good, and it would be easy.

But why the hell would I ever want something easy? It is another one of those ugly four-lettered words. My dad always told us "nothing worth having comes easy", and I have held those words close to my chest for as long as I can remember. Maybe its the inherent Catholic upbringing, the need to suffer and punish oneself, but frankly I don't think I'm ever doing as well as I could or am. I could exercise more, learn a new language, put more in my savings, help my parents more, visit my nieces every day, call distant friends more often, do just one more take...

Its true, nothing worth having does come easy. The few times I have truly gotten something that I have worked and fought desperately for, wow, let me tell you, the feeling is unnameable. The success and amount of pride is so sweet and intoxicating, how could anyone not want to experience that?

This is just one of many things I think about when I can't sleep, of the things I need to do and all that is left undone. To sum up my opinion, I leave you with one of my thousand favorite quotes:

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)

Couldn't have said it better myself. Goodnight, all.

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