26 April 2007

investing in myself

if i am going to do anything, i need to invest in myself.

i used to think this meant buying a better camera, or getting a graduate degree. last night i realized that i have been thinking for a long time that when we have more money, i will buy a better camera, take a photography class, and then maybe i can be a photographer.

but the truth is, i haven't invested any time into simply learning to use my camera. i take a lot of pictures and often complain that i'm not recording what i am seeing, but i haven't read a book or tried to experiment to figure out why that is. to learn how to make what i see be what i record. i haven't invested time and work into what i want to do. i've used not having money as an excuse for not just doing what needs to be done. i want to fix this.

this is not original, even to me, i think i've said or at least thought all of this before and more than once. but i've never done it. maybe i won't now either, maybe this is another temporary mind-clearing, that i'll forget when jack come back into town. i'm going to try to change my approach, to just do. that's what i haven't tried yet.

money is the easy way out. also the least effective. in the past, whenever i've been in ass-kicking mode, i'd go to the bookstore and buy the book i thought would make me into something. i've just gathered these books from around the house, all unread, and it's quite a little collection: the backstage guide to stage management, starting your career as a freelance writer, graphic design portfolio-builder, digital photography handbook, introduction to magazine writing. all unread.

buying isn't the answer, work is. i've been saying for so long that i don't know what i want to do, the truth is i do, i just don't know how to do it. and i'm the only one who can figure that out, and it's going to take hard work and dedication. maybe i should start by reading these books?

like i said, this is not original, i'm not the first to go through this, but i'm just starting to admit it in my own life. for years i thought i would follow my dream, become someone different, after graduating, when i had time, because i was so busy with work and school i never had time. so here's my fancy journalism degree, and i still have no idea how to be a writer.

and i've had so much time in the last year, and i filled it with other things, taking care of my boyfriend, and keeping a clean house. visiting my family. watching movies. anything, i am disappointed in myself that i did this, essentially wasted all that time. so many people would love the opportunity to not have to work and i've squandered it. i felt selfish, felt like since i was able to stay home, it was my duty to always have the sink free of dishes and the clothes washed. since i moved so far away, it was my duty to spend a week a month back home. i want to change, i want to start.

i want my mindset to change. i need to stop being embarrassed of my dreams. i need to stop being embarrassed and scared that i won't accomplish anything. that i won't be any good at what i try to do and that it has taken me so long. i need to own up to my dreams and pursue them and also own up to my fears. that's the only way it's going to work.

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