I hesitated to return to my computer. I left my keyboard, about 5 hours ago, covered in tears. When I walked into my office I could taste the bitter leftovers. Photoshop was still turned on and that one damn image was still sitting on my desktop... unedited.
What? Were you thinking my hesitation, tears and bitter taste in my mouth would be a little more meaningful than an argument with Photoshop? After my "breakdown" I kind of had the same thought. I was embarrassed to tell people why I was having a bad day. When one of my friends asked me what was wrong I actually did not want to tell her because if I said it out loud it would seem SO SILLY!
Of course my defeat with Photoshop lead to a degrading masterpiece. It started with "Why can't I figure out how to do this one step in Photoshop?" And ended somewhere between "You're the worst photographer, server, friend, wife, Christian, swimmer and you have no will power, no guts, no motivation... and you're fat." (Right? You all know that when you go down and out that word "fat" creeps right in and makes itself at home in your mind.)
The worst is when you start comparing. Geez! If we could just go through life and not compare ourselves to others I think we would be better off. Or would we? I guess it's one thing to dwell every day on the fact that you are not "so-and-so" (I had way too many names pop in right there) to the point where you give up. It's another thing to realize that you ain't quite there yet and you need to keep working your ass off. Hopefully you'll always have at least one person in front of you so that you keep hustling. I guess it's okay that once in a while I have a freak-out moment where I pretty much tell myself I suck. It has to be better than patting myself on the back and saying "you're the best" when in reality I have no talent or skill whatsoever.
I will say though that comparing myself to others reminds me that I'm mediocre. Man- I hate that word. I don't know why but I just don't want to be mediocre. The problem is I've been mediocre in everything. I knew how to swim butterfly and I was pretty good. I could throw one hell of a drop-curve too. But I was not great. I was a 3.0 student, not 4.0. I can take some nice photographs, but you don't see any award symbols by my name. (Don't even get me started on being a mediocre wife, friend and Christian!) I don't expect to be amazing and perfect at everything, but I would like to not be "mediocre" at at least. one. thing.
I want that one thing to be my photography career. (Unless God has another plan). In order to be great I actually have to remind myself that it does not happen naturally. I know.... you're thinking everyone has to remind themselves the same thing. I disagree. I think there are plenty of people where it actually comes naturally... you know that whole "natural talent" phrase... it does exist. It does not exist in me. So I have to remind myself to study, learn and practice. I have to go over things multiple times, not just once. I have to force myself to do things outside of my comfort zone. I have to spend hours starring at a computer screen, tears rolling down my cheek just so I can learn how to edit a little better. (With the realization that it might not even help me in the end.) And when I become complaisant or even big-headed I have to bring myself down and say "Aubrie, you are not great! ... Yet."
To come full circle... there really isn't anything embarrassing about driving yourself to tears in the name of improvement. Who cries over Photoshop? Someone, who deep inside, really wants to be great. She doesn't know of a better way to do that than with a little sweat and tears.
Hmmm... Sinking AND Skipping,
PS. I still have no idea how to accomplish this certain editing system in Photoshop.