I’m sitting here enjoying my second cup of coffee and admiring the shelf I put up last night. It’s a nice shelf I picked up at Ikea a few weeks ago. Thick black particle board with silver brackets. As of now the shelf is empty with the exception of the proudly placed level I left as a reminder of what you can accomplish if you plan ahead and put your mind to it. Putting up a shelf may not seem like much but it represents something important to me.
A few years ago when I moved into this apartment I asked a coworker if he could put up some shelves for me. He was a nice guy and a self proclaimed carpenter/handyman. I had two shelves that needed to be put up in the bedroom and a shelf to be installed in the closet. He asked for $10 an hour which seemed like nothing. Eight hours later he hadn’t finished the job and the work he had done was shoddy to say the least.
I learned a lot that day. What I learned most was “If you want something done right. Do it yourself.”. I always loved tools and carpentry. I’m a total sucker for those shows on HGTV and TLC but my fears of fucking up the job and putting a hole in the wall and messing up the measurement were overpowering. I’m a klutz by nature and don’t always go into things with a game plan. Over the past few years I’ve learned a lot about fear. Anyone can tell you I’m my own worst critic and my fear of failure had gotten in the way of a lot of my goals.
I’m on a path now. No more fear of anything. Everyone fails from time to time. Learning and growing from it is what’s important. In recent years I learned to DJ. I’ve become a much better cook and I’ve taken my studio lighting from dull and predictable to what some people have called “beautiful and elegant”. I like the work I’m doing now but I know there’s plenty of room for growth and there’s still so much to be learned. I’m using the gallery downtown to shoot during the early days of the week. The natural lighting is beautiful but it also presents it’s challenges. The walls are whiter than Barry Manilow and can all together wash out a subject and the success I’ve had in the early morning and around 2:00 pm only make the failures of 4:30 to 5:00 more frustrating. But it is far from insurmountable. I just have to figure it out and adjust. That’s what makes life great. Overcoming the challenges and making adjustments. Learning to deal with change and sometimes roll with the punches. In the future I’ll be putting up more shelves and getting to know and understand the tools that will hopefully bring me success. And when I fail I’ll try not to take it so hard and just learn from it.