Lemme Snap A Pic Guuuurrrllll

Now that I got my camera I’m going to go crazy.

Of course, the one day I get it, the one day when the sun is out and I have energy and I want to go and hike and walk and snap shots of shit, it has to be windy and cold as hell.

But I’m not going to complain. I’m going to get up early tomorrow morning, see what there is to see, and snap some shots and have some fun.

Meet Charlie:

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Casually ignore the GTA 5 game down there.

As you can see by the bullshit quality in this horribly positioned photo, I do not own another DSLR. That’s my 8mp phone camera. Can you feel my pain now?

I know the D3300 is not the best DSLR (don’t tear me apart with all your impressive camera knowledge), but for right now it works perfect. Besides, does it look like I have the money to pay for a three thousand dollar camera? I’m even stuck with a 18-55mm lens right now. I’m not rich. But I feel completed. I’ve wanted a camera like this since I was in middle school. Photography isn’t just about taking pictures. There’s lighting, there’s angles, there’s objects, there’s effects . . . there’s so much creativity and so much eye for natural beauty that goes into it. Not to mention all the interesting things you can manipulate with Photoshop. Now, I’m not into making people’s faces look more “beautiful” or taking a shit ton of cuts of random women and putting them into one face photo to make a woman who doesn’t exist and put her in a magazine to sell my Falafel mix. But I am interested in what you can create with your photos or illustrations.

There’s more money in it than you think. If you’re lucky and talented.

Money isn’t my focus, as you can guess. It’s highly unlikely anyway. I enjoy doing what I enjoy, but if mobs of other people happen to enjoy it as well, then hey, pay up. Happiness isn’t free motherfucker. Some people have to pay for Medical school.

Looking at this computer screen, listening to this sub-woofer by my feet shaking the apartment complex, and now petting my new buddy Charlie (Eh, lame name, I gotta think of another one. No offense if your name is Charlie) makes me extremely thankful that I’m able to buy what I want, what I need to fuel my passions, and thankful that I have the time to nurture my talents. Days like these I think about all the children fighting just to survive, whether it be against disease or starvation, the ones who won’t live to my age to find their passion. I think about the adults who also fight to survive and won’t live to continue their passion or see their children grow. It’s for their memory and their spirits that I don’t ever submit to the darkness, and I don’t ever forget about how resilient I’ve been up to this point. It’s not about being selfish, it’s about being strong for those who’ve lost the fight. Not just your mother, not just your nephew or your sister, but for everyone, for the ones you don’t know and you’ll never meet.

Many of us have lost a lot in our lives and as much as people like to claim they’ve gotten closure, that loss will always be with you. It doesn’t have to drag you down, but it will be there. Therefore to recreate and capture the beauty in life, to describe it in words, to strum it on a guitar, to play it in video, to snap a shot of one moment out of a million others, is making art out of our loss. Making art is appreciating and appreciating is remembering the value of who we are. To remember the value of who we are is to align ourselves with our soul and to find the ultimate truth. It’s not a coincidence art is so prevalent and valued in our society.

I notice a lot of people focus on the negative. That sounds cliche, but it’s not. I mean they spew it out of their mouths at a constant rate. But let me tell you something that should be fairly obvious: what you put out is what you get back. If all you ever talk about is negativity, that’s all you’re going to receive. From yourself mostly, but from others as well. You’re going to attract other people who are constantly negative and you’re going to see a mirror image of yourself and you’re not going to like it.

Sorry, I had to.

Yes, I’m talking about depression too. Don’t blame depression for your negativity, that’s playing a victim card. I’m depressed more often than not but I don’t always write about it. If I do, I try to avoid saying “Ug, life is so horrible, no one cares about me” and all that kind of stuff. It’s one thing to get supportive feedback. It’s another thing to constantly remind yourself that no one cares about you. If you’re constantly saying that than you must not care much for yourself and if you don’t well, there’s your main problem. Fuck depression, you have an issue with yourself.

If you’re thinking like that, you’re in some deep pain. Focus on loving yourself before you start wishing other people cared about you. Other people do care about you, it’s just hard to care for someone who doesn’t ever care for themselves and who blatantly expresses that fact.

Life is so amazing it makes you feel as bad as it’s made you feel good, and not many things have that power. Appreciate mental health issues, they make you stronger than your neighbor without mental health issues will ever be. They make you see life through a different lens (a 70-300mm perhaps?) and that makes your views spectacularly valuable. As much as it beats you down, it teaches you how to stand tall, and the harder you fight it that harder you fight against yourself. Just like there’s a particular way to fall to avoid serious injury, there’s a particular way to struggle to avoid serious injury; learn how to struggle, not how to not struggle.

I’ll just leave you with a few words from Paula Gunn-Allen:

“We all know who lives near the railroad tracks: the cast-offs, the unmodern, the traditionals, the ones who cannot belong to a society that has no time for things of the spirit, and whose attitude toward human and animal life is one of exploitation. But a warrior does not forget, even in the midst of devastation, where she comes from. She does not forget that beauty is what we have, what we share, what gives human beings diginity.”

Be a warrior, not a victim.

Depression and Irritation Goes Hand-In-Hand

I haven’t been out of my house (except for a brief period in time at 2am) since last week and I fear I’m reverting to old habits. What is there for me to do outside? I have no one to interact with (and don’t really want anyone to interact with). The two people I know have jobs and lives to attend to, I’m not going to interfere with their moment of being token citizens. I wouldn’t be happy with a nine to five or a part time position that doesn’t require me to do anything else than service people. Not help them or aide them or even bring joy to their lives . . . just service them. That doesn’t enrich me as a human being and it doesn’t enrich the customer as a human being.

I’m grateful for people willing to do those service jobs, however, because I sure as hell couldn’t do it.

Social anxiety is one thing. Dissatisfaction is another.

Everyone is so proud of themselves when they get their first or second job, I’ve noticed. I was proud when I got my first job; I know now that pride was artificial because I figured I was supposed to feel proud.

They’re proud they can provide for themselves, they’re proud that their parents see them as a part of normal society, and they’re proud that they feel useful. But I don’t understand why: I’m not capable of understanding why. Why do they feel useful? They’re servants. I mean . . . I guess that’s useful, but not in my eyes. They’re making money, yes, and can buy their own gas and their own food and some of them might even be able to move out . . . but isn’t that all a little selfish? You get a job so you can make money so you can do things for yourself. I . . . I don’t understand.

Maybe it’s the logic side of me, maybe it’s the creative side of me, maybe it’s the arrogant side of me, maybe it’s the depressed side of me that’s about ready to put a gun to my temple, maybe it’s the dissatisfied part of me, or maybe it’s the socially anxious side of me–maybe it’s all of them combined, but for myself I see no reason to conform to any of that. When I find another “job”, I want one that I’m satisfied with, one that has a creative side to it, one that enriches people’s lives in some manner, one where I have control over what I’m doing and if I have to interact with people it’s through collaboration, not an authoritarian-to-submissive-being type relationship.

I know I want to volunteer at the homeless shelter downtown, eventually. Bagging food or putting it on a tray for those people is kind of a service but it’s a little bit of richness to their life: they’re getting food they probably wouldn’t in a different setting. I know many of them have mental issues and I know many of them cope with addictions. These are people that don’t have your white-picket fence, your neat little family, your trip to the amusement park, you vacation in the mountains–these are people who make due with what they have. Whether or not they put themselves in the situation is irrelevant: they’re starving, cold, alone, most likely hopeless, and food is probably a moment of comfort. I enjoy providing that moment of comfort.

I wouldn’t mind tutoring high school students whose second language is English. Shit, I’ve been doing that since I was a freshman. Even college students asked me for help. It’s fun, it’s something I love, and in the process they gain a skill that will help them better communicate to the people around them.

I wouldn’t mind dedicating a significant portion of my life to writing again. In fact, it’s one of my goals and once I get a goal it might as well be etched in stone.

Analyzing petri dishes in a lab. Assisting a researcher. I can’t do it this coming semester since I won’t be able to finish my chem class . . . but later I can and later I will. That’s useful, it’s fun, it’s got meaning–to me.

Photography, flash animations, videos, music, things that appreciate the joy in life, things that bring joy to my life and to others: that makes sense to me. What is life without a little bit of joy? I see nothing joyous about being stuck in a restaurant waiting on some customer who thinks she’s the shit and demands you bring her the spicy mustard rather than the regular mustard even though she asked for the regular mustard then leaves you a penny for a tip claiming you had attitude. I see nothing joyous about being stuck behind a cash register listening to some customer bitch at you about the APR on the credit card you have to try and sell them. Does it look like I fucking made the rules? Does it look like I even know what I’m selling you half the time? And most importantly, does it look like I give two shits about whether you sign up or not?

Some people enjoy these tasks. It’s easy to them, they get money, they get to do what they wish without restriction and you know what, if that pleases them than who am I to judge? But it’s not for me.

I am extremely grateful for my mother who works those kind of jobs so I don’t need to. She doesn’t enjoy the hours, but she enjoys the work she does. She actually likes a lot of it. I was the one who promoted her to leave her bullshit job (of which she worked for 25 years) because they were under new management and weening out the old people. They wouldn’t give her commission that she obviously made and then rang her around for months saying “oh, we’ll look into it”. I told her to leave that fucking place because they’re a bunch of incompetent, corporate bitches.

People started quitting left and right. I told her they should all get up and report them to the labor board. No one would. I told her they should all get up and walk out, let the business fall to the ground–they’d get their job back. But no, people let themselves get put down, dragged around, and beat into the floor by this company. I wouldn’t let it happen to my mother.

It was hell trying to find a new job for her, of course. I started looking for jobs too, even though there were none that fit with my school schedule. I’m sure it would have been hell for anyone from that place to find another job if they quit. I ask her now whether she thought it was worth it all and she always says yes.

But this is what I don’t understand: who let’s a corporation, a leader, an authority figure, degrade them to that level? Who? What makes you people submit your entire life to getting shoved in the ground?

One of her coworkers has a husband who is a lawyer and makes 400,000 dollars per case he wins. She pays for his health insurance through the job she worked with my mom because . . . who fucking knows? She said the reason she wouldn’t leave is because she wouldn’t be able to pay for his health insurance.

They’re fucking rich. They go to Paris, to London, to India or some shit all the time on his fucking salary!!.

What the fuck is wrong with people? You’re going to give up your happiness, your identity, your self-worth to a motherfucking corporation that treats you like a piece of shit on the ground, abuses your talents, blows your stress levels through the roof, because you don’t want your rich husband to have to pay for his health insurance? I’m so confused!

This is why I refused to get a nine to five. This is why I want a job that appreciates who I am not because “I’m a good worker” (who gives a fuck? What does that even mean?), but because I have something to give back to society, I have something creative, something unique, something that enriches others lives, something that I can live off of and something that can simultaneously give me a life. And when I get there I can give back to the people who sacrifice their happiness for the sake of money and for the sake of family.

Call it arrogance if you want.

Maybe it’s this depression talking.

Maybe I’m so arrogant that it’s impossible to be selfish,

Or maybe I’m so arrogant the only thing I can be is selfish.

The Beauty Of Life

I wasn’t feeling good today. I hate having no energy and feeling so useless. I cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen (at least that dog is gone so no more hair or vomit), so I guess I’m not completely useless, but I’m still feeling like a failure. I can’t wait for this depression to pass, it’s really putting salt in my game. And my game was already shriveled up as it is. Rather than deal with that, I ate some chocolate, smoked a little relaxation and, of course, started reading about aliens.

I’m sure everyone’s heard about the object circulating around some star. It’s got an irregular pattern or something, so it’s not a planet. Honestly, as much as I love science, I didn’t read the articles, I just skimmed them and got bored because my mind doesn’t really feel like thinking about a lot right now. Instead, I found these ufo shaped clouds:

Beautiful, aren’t they? It just helps remind me how amazing life is.