Instant Life Photography

The big picture

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt

So, the future – what does it hold? Truthfully? I don’t know – not yet anyhow.

I’ve been waiting for some paternalistic, authoritive being to decree what my future should be; to tell me what it is I’ll ‘be’ when I grow up. This is ironic as I have a tendancy to do the opposite of what anyone tells me to do.

I’ve never really been encouraged in any one direction in life and have needed to feel everything out for myself – it’s got to a point now though that enough time has passed and experience has been lived through to deal me a ‘sort of plan’. There’s a problem though – the ‘sort of plan’ has been presented to me in jigsaw-puzzle format – I have all the pieces but no clue as to how they fit together or what it is I’m required to create!

I think I’ve got the corner pieces sussed;

  • photography
  • writing
  • community
  • recognition

That last one – recognition – I realise it sounds a bit self-centred. I was going to change it for something else, something that didn’t sound quite so me, me, me – but, well, you can’t cheat on this sort of thing, can you.

polaroid - me and a leaf

Yes, I yearn for a slap on the back and a well-done now and again (I would imagine we all do). To be honest I don’t remember it happening very often during my formative years which is probably why I hanker for it so much now. I’m not so self-centred though that I think I deserve any of this without doing something to earn it. I’m happy to work hard – I love a challenge!

So that’s what I’m up to; sorting all my puzzle pieces. Slipping the obvious, easy pieces into place; the photography, the blogging – wondering how I’m going to deal with that big blue area of sky (my day job) and seeing if I can’t work out what the heck the big picture is supposed to be!

For the first time in my life, ever, I am going to make a plan!

Do you have a plan?

polaroid - dungeness walkway

Photos taken with my Polaroid SX-70 (always part of the plan) and 600 film.
(Recognise that bottom one)?

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  • Reply
    8 March 2012 at 09:47

    I don’t have a plan – I often think I should though. I’m pleased you are finding your way and good luck with those puzzle pieces! Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    • Reply
      8 March 2012 at 21:54

      Thanks Eva :)
      Not having a plan is often the right thing for some people – there’s a lot to be said for living each day as it comes!

  • Reply
    8 March 2012 at 11:14

    I don’t have a plan, I really wish I did. My puzzle feels like it is entirely blue sky.
    I will enjoy reading about how your puzzle comes together though and shall plan vicariously.

    • Reply
      8 March 2012 at 21:56

      Even a puzzle that’s all blue sky is possible… a bit of a bugger, but possible! :)

  • Reply
    8 March 2012 at 14:41

    I’m not sure I have a plan. I have dreams. Do those count? I dream that one day my blog will become massively popular (I too crave recognition – not because I am self-centred, I don’t think – I hope not! – but because I’m pathetically insecure) and that I’ll earn enough money through photography to support the expensive habit that it is. I dream that I’ll become one of those cool older women that younger women look up to and think “that is what I want to be like when I’m older”. My next door neighbour is one of those women. She is very cool. And she looks amazing even at 7am and without any makeup. I want to be her when I grow up. I want to be respected for my actual work (i.e. the not-photography stuff). I want to have a leadership role in the company I work for. And I want to be able to balance all of that with grace, good humour and humility, whilst still being a good mother to my children. Hahahaha! Oh! When I write it all out it just makes me laugh! It sounds so silly and pretentious. Especially since I’m making absolutely no efforts to achieve any of that stuff (with the possible exception of my non-photo career). I read a post on Pinterest the other day. It said something like “Good things don’t come to those who wait. Good things come to those who work their arses off for them”. I believe in that. I can’t complain that no-one reads my blog when I make no effort to promote it (and hardly ever comment on anyone else’s to boot). I can’t be upset that I don’t make any money out of photography when I haven’t even vaguely tried to sell any pictures. And I can’t expect to be one of those cool older women if I keep on eating cake and avoiding “fashion” like the plague. So, yes, that needs to change. You’re right: I need a plan! Not to achieve any of those things but to feel that maybe, at least, I tried. See what you’ve done there? You’ve actually inspired me to try to do something with my dreams! Thank you x

    • Reply
      8 March 2012 at 22:06

      I was in two minds as to whether I should publish this post – I am so pleased I did – I have loved all the comments I’ve received and I’m so totally chuffed that I’ve managed to inspire somebody who I admire so much 😀
      Oh, and dreams definitely count!
      (Aaaaaand I love that quote – it’s so true! There’s another one I like that says ‘Overnight successes take about 15 years to achieve’ – it’s easy to forget that the successful people and work we see is more often than not the result of a LOT of grafting – you sound like you know this though so I am sure all your dreams will come true (you’re well on your way I would say).
      Thank you. x

  • Reply
    8 March 2012 at 21:24

    What a thought-provoking post, thank you. In some ways I’m similar to you – didn’t get much encouragement when I was younger – in some ways different. For the longest time I wanted to have a plan, to know where I was going, to be decisive. Now I’m just looking for a little wisdom, some peace and maybe an adventure or two. This from William Blake (and sung by Robin Williamson):

    What is the price of experience
    Do men buy it for a song?
    Or wisdom for a dance in the street?
    No it is bought with the price of all that a man hath
    His house his wife his children
    Wisdom is sold in the desolate market
    Where none come to buy

    I like that you say that photography is one of the easiest pieces, for me it’s one of the hardest, to do my very best, to push past my boundaries, to develop my own voice – lord that’s hard. Lunkhead that I am, I only wish I’d come to photography sooner.

    It’ll take you all your life to work out the big picture – if you’re lucky! But to want to do so is the best start you can make.

    • Reply
      8 March 2012 at 22:12

      Those are such great words – when I was younger I was so jealous of all the people I knew who know exactly what it was they wanted to be when they grew up, and how exactly they wanted their lives to pan out – and then even more jealous when I could see how everything was going according to plan for them whilst I bumbled on – buzzing from one thing to the next without any idea of where I was heading.
      I love your work – I hope you do too. Your voice is there, honestly!

      • Reply
        leonie wise
        19 March 2012 at 06:59

        {raises arm and waves it in the air}

        I was always jealous of those people too… But I rebel against such structure and came o realise that I’ll probably never know what I want to be when I grow up!

        • Reply
          19 March 2012 at 19:43

          Glad I’m not alone – I think the not knowing is quite cool – means there’s the possibility that ANYTHING could take shape :)

  • Reply
    9 March 2012 at 17:15

    Thanks Angie – you too and don’t be jealous of other people – no need! My experience so far – 45 years, 51 weeks and counting – is that life unfolds, zigzags, speeds up and slows down, raises you up and knocks you for six. I wonder if a plan ultimately makes much difference, but that’s probably just be me. Good luck with your plan if you do make one!

    • Reply
      10 March 2012 at 21:33

      Thanks Colin :)

  • Reply
    leonie wise
    19 March 2012 at 06:57

    Like cass, I don’t really have a plan either. I have a feeling about where I want to end up, how it smells and what I can see from my window. It’s the plan bit that is sketchy. I just know in order to have ‘that ‘later, I probably need to not have ‘this’ now. It doesn’t always work. Very often I forget about the ‘later’ and have the thing now. Which is not clever, as it very often isn’t really what I wanted..!

    When I moved to the uk I was terribly lonely and set about making a plan for how to find friends that shared similar interests. That tiny plan seems to have worked though, so perhaps more planning could be a good thing


    • Reply
      19 March 2012 at 19:39

      The thing with people and ‘plans’ is that it seems there’s no one way to do things and no way of cheating or short-cutting the process (unfortunately – would be quite handy to pass this on to someone else to sort out for me).
      At the end of the day, whether things are carefully planned or just happen accidently and get incorporated into the plan retrospectively, so long as we’re happy with what we’ve achieved, that’s what matters.
      Personally, I think the whole planning thing is the beginnings of my mid-life crisis!! :)

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