Not too long ago, I decided that it was pretty ridiculous that people held so tenaciously to their love of celluloid film photography when digital photography had reached some very impressive levels of quality. A train of thought ran through my brain earlier, however, that made me realize a number of things that justify the value of anything in the hearts of us people. We grew up loving pictures of ourselves, and they were special because resources were spent to capture an image of us and subsequently help us remember that time. They said "Mom loved me, so she used her expensive film and paid to have it developed so she could see this special moment again," or whatever. They were rare. If you kept a photo, it was because it gave you an emotional reaction. If you threw a photo away, it was therapeutic. A picture was worth a thousand words.
Now, everyone has cameras and computers and unlimited space to save pictures of what-the-fuck-ever. Nobody would dream of taking a picture of their spaghetti and Ragu, then sharing it with everyone they know. If someone did, it would be for a damn good reason. People just take pictures because it's what you do. Hell, some people go out to do things just to share some pictures. It's all backwards! Many times, I see a picture someone posted and I build a (probably dramatically false) story behind the picture. Granted, this can sometimes be very entertaining, but I'm not the only person who has come to suspect some pretty inaccurate things about people largely because I still consider the image to hold more meaning than it is supposed to.
There's also the devaluing of what you're trying to capture in the first place. I have been to concerts and spent lots of time stressing out and running around trying to frame up the right shots or record an entire concert, only to realize I didn't pay attention to my favorite song. With film, you took a shot or two and hoped for the best and enjoyed your time. The following week, you'd get your pictures back, and have at least one exciting moment when a good picture brought you right back.
My Instagram account is full of sixth attempts. It is an open door into everybody else's edited best side during down time at the bar or whatever. It's where everybody shares a picture of what they're listening to, in hopes of reminding other people that they have the same interests. The shit is no longer personal when it's there for everybody. I rarely get any joy from seeing someone repost someone else's picture, and I'm sure it does no one any good when I do it myself.
I confess that I only use my Instagram account to advertise that I am enjoyable and to remind whatever girl, at whatever time, that I exist. My Twitter, and possibly every other social network account I have, will probably follow suit. There was a time that I would make that declaration hoping for a reaction, but now I am hoping that it will make sense to other people who will step away from the whole "share myself with the world" thing, and get back to the "call the person you want to meet up with" thing. It infuriates me to try to gain a feeling of validity from how many whomever's clicked "like" on my post.
I know I overthink things, or at least that people tell me I overthink things. I express my feelings about things more often, openly and honestly than most people do, and it makes me look weird or whatever, but I think there's a part of everyone that feels a little bummed when She liked His picture, but not mine, or She posted the pic with Him, but not the one with me. Well, if you've ever had that feeling, it can be entirely valid, entirely invalid, or anywhere in between. The picture is no longer worth the words. The story isn't really being told. Almost every picture has been taken several times and doctored for presentability. In the end, I personally feel that I can't place any value in what I see, and there's no reason anyone should value anything I share, so the whole thing entirely lacks value. The reason I am sharing my assessment is that I hope some people will take some valuable pictures, and show them to me because I am special to them.
I am strongly inclined to execute a pretty drastic and likely negative, however honest action in hopes that something better will come as a result. When I think about it, the inclination to stick it out and be positive comes to mind. The see-saw of this particular situation is levelling. There can be no perfect balance though. Either story will play out as an honest and manly decision. The question, I suppose, is whether I'd prefer the idea of a girl who has really done a number on me to wind up a friend or a fading memory in the worst case scenario. The positive action would win me the friend, but honestly, I have a bounty of friends I was smitten with, and they all hurt me severely and frequently.
I don't know if I'm just venting or reaching out or what, but I'm just stuck in that ol' holiday depression. I love my family dearly, but I can't do this anymore. I think I get lonely around this time of year, when togetherness is the big thing going on. When I'm with the ones I love the most, it really stands out in my mind that I don't have someone special. I'm not someone's special someone. I'm nobody's daddy or boyfriend. I'm an uncle, friend, and bandmate, which are all great, but I'm nobody's world, and I have no world. Believe it or not, I don't usually get to feeling this way. I do write about it when it happens though. I wish people could understand why I'd like to opt out of the holiday celebrations. I wish someone would just say "ok" instead of trying to tell me how much it would mean if I'd be around. Maybe I should retort that it'd mean a lot if they'd respect that this ruins me every year.
I really wish I could convince myself that the feeling in my gut had something to do with my diet. I'd possibly prefer it be sickness over what I know it is. I like a girl, and there are several life conditions that make the situation... less than optimal, I guess?
Sometimes I feel like she likes me too, and is as subtle about it as a parade with a fireworks display. Other times, it seems like, at best, my being around doesn't bother her. Unwarranted optimism has been the lurker in the shadows for me forever.
I've often said to the kids I babysat "You know better!". I feel like I should listen to my own words. I'm not lonely. I enjoy my alone time. I'm productive on my own. But dammit, I get really happy when she's around. I've been happy anyway, but this is the kind of happy that eats away all the bad feelings, and will never be sated. If emotions traveled in herds, this kind of happy would thin a person's emotions into the strongest, most solid phalanx of a herd imaginable.
Do I know better? Something like that would leave tremendous, slow-healing wounds if it ended. I'm pretty learned about that. I'm not known for my ability to bounce back from that kind of thing. I'm running pretty efficiently at the moment, and every time I trust someone with my heart, I put my entire life machine at risk. What am I supposed to do? Be a rock n' roll monk? Am I playing it too safe if I let this one go? If I don't? Does it really matter, as long as I live and learn?
I only get to live out my own story, I suppose. What would the audience like? What would make my story a bestseller?
I'm going to drown these butterflies.
I'm really happy with me at the moment, and I think I owe a lot of that to being single. I'm officially raising my standards to a ridiculously high level. Every girl I've dated before has been above and beyond what I felt I deserved or wanted, so I'm mentally constructing a woman of unachievable beauty, intelligence, and badassery, with an ass that is not only bulletproof, but sends incoming missiles into orbit, who won't underestimate the methods of my madness and dump me for someone with a conventional career.
This would be a difficult choice, but I realize that it takes being single for me to be this satisfied with my life. Only perfection will do. The only risk is all the girls who are so damn good at faking it, but usually they go for guys cut from the same cloth.
I was happy sitting at home, doing computer shit, clearing email alerts, and ultimately coming across a number of old messages which quickly sent my brain to places darker than the inside of my skull usually is.
The Reverend Horton Heat is playing tonight, and I'm going. It'll be nice to be around people, as they're a great distraction from the magnetic memories and what-ifs I'm far too inclined to give in to in solitude. I also expect, unfortunately, to end my venture into the public focusing on the fact that the friends, great as they are, will only intensify my want for something deeper and the lack of a girl that sets me on fire.
Thanks, email, for the unneeded dose of pessimism.