October 11th 2014
A Crippling Fear
"I see very little, but my camera see all"
by: John A. Carlos II
After college I stopped making photographs, it would take me about five years before I picked up a camera again. When I did, everything I had known I photography had changed. This change was drastic, no longer was I going to be shooting on film, editing was going to be done in the light of the world behind a desk, I also found myself shooting mostly in color.
After picking up a camera again it was as if, I was saying hello to an old friend. And it was a friend that I never knew that I didn’t missed. Suddenly I knew what I had been missing in my life. It wasn’t merely a fact that I had stopped taking photos, It was that I had stopped making anything at all, no art whatsoever. I had no dialog in my life, there wasn’t a narrative of what I was or wanted. I simply existed in the world and it wasn’t enough, I wanted the satisfaction that I was more than, a zombie of life. I wanted to be more than the 9to5 slug that I had become I wanted to enjoy myself, I wanted to enrich the hours that I had on this spinning ball. It was art that always filled these hours in the past, what made me stop?
I didn’t blame others for me not making anything the reason was all me. It’s not anyones fault for me feeling like I needed to grow up and putting away childish things as the bible would say. I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to make money and finding a job and a career it wasn’t all a loss I did get a good job working for WACH Fox News at 10. I knew this was only a temporary job but I thought if I gave it my all I could work it into something more, I was wrong. I thought that getting a job was the main thing, I thought a job in my field would come in the future and after about six months I got a job that I thought would be my door into the field that I wanted to be apart of, in college I was really focused on getting in and getting out school. I guess you could say I wasn’t fearful of the future, I welcomed it! what was it that I was searching for?
I didn't really know... I still don't if I'm honest with myself, and maybe never will. All I know is now, I love what I'm doing, I love the interaction that I have with my clients, I love producing something that they will cherish for years to come. I do wish I had the confidence to have been doing this when I first came out of college. I didn't because, I believe that I was crippled by fear. This was the first time I wasn't confident in myself, I was having a bit of an identity crisis. I don't know why this was, but I was. It wasn't the fact that I doubted my abilities. Maybe it was because I didn’t have a sense of worth colleges can’t teach you everything, but how to utilize the knowledge achieved in school. It was as if I had become Tyler Durden, in almost every sense. I was working a 3rd shift job that I hated, if that wasn’t bad enough this job made me a social outcast, no one is supposed to be up at that hour.
I'm not great with one on one interactions, at least when it comes to trying to sell something. I've found that I'm good with people when I get to talk about things that I know about, but I think thats most people. I'm not very good at crowds, I've never really liked parties or large groups, however I do love going to sports games.
I think that life is a bit of a farce we are told that we can be anything that we want to be, but for some of us we can't be the conduit of our own destiny. Some of us are more talented no amount of practice will make me or you LeBron James, or Mozart... some people are just born better. That's not to say practice doesn't help... it's just not going to turn you into the best person ever in your particular field. Practice can only make you the best you that you can be! The best advice I could ever give someone is find out your talents and cultivate them learn from others inside and outside your field. Be well versed and listen and be friendly to those people around you. This will bring out the best side of you, be curious and find people that will challenge you!
Some how through all this I did what I thought others wanted from me, what I thought was the expected of me. I truthfully had no plan or vision of my own... and I still have problems following a path or listening to my own voice. I am sure I'm doing the right thing for myself, even if others in my life may or may not agree with what I do. I've never really shared these insights with anyone other than myself. It may come as a shock to some that read this... It hurts me at first when I told friends that I was going to start taking photos for money, and it may have hurt more when some said "Your a photographer?" as if I didn't go to school for this... it hurt that the closest people to me really didn't know me at all. I didn't understand, why they didn't know me. I hadn't I shown them that I was an artist? I went to school with some of them didn't they know I had a BFA in art, for crying out loud. I now realize that I wasn't being myself, I wasn't telling people about me. My narrative in my life was not being defined by me... I was being defined by others. I needed to define my narrative more, become more outgoing, show the world that I am a photographer and tell hey I'm an artist. I really can't be mad at others for not knowing about me. I don't socialize like I should, I don't let others know about me. I'm getting better, I'm starting to love showing my art and photos to strangers and I love handing my card to people and starting a narrative about what I love to do.
If I had been doing this since school I'd be further along with me development in life, in a lot of was I crippled myself not by fear, but by not wanting to start I really was saving myself from failure it was more a kin to not allowing myself grow. Can move on? Trepidation I know is a killer of motivation but, when is fear no longer a motivator? In my life the observation is that fear is a good thing, it drives me to strive to be the best I can be.
Fear is not an option that voice inside you, it tells you that you're not good enough, it lies to you. I'm not the person to tell you how to silence if, I can only tell you the truth of the fact that it lies don't listen to it. I know I'm not a good business person but I'm getting better, every day that goes by I get better. This is why fear isn't an option I may not be good at the day to day sales, but I have confidence in my abilities. things I need to get better at a lot of things, but I have confidence that I will learn and get better, I no longer want to life with a crippling fear.