Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Do the Thing

I'm about halfway through my photography class, which is hard to believe. I've learned so much in four short weeks, even if I don't quite use it all consistently yet. It's really coming together, though, and I'm starting to figure out the balance of settings and how they all can be manipulated toward a specific image.  I've been telling myself for years--since college, actually--that I was going to take a photo class, and now I'm 30 and finally doing it. A lot of that was fear, if I'm being honest.

I was afraid that I would be told I wasn't good at something I enjoy. 
I was afraid that I would be the worst one in the class, and that people would think less of me.
I was afraid that I wouldn't "get it" or be capable of learning all the technical aspects.
I was afraid of the subjectivity of art and how I would know if I was good or not.
I was afraid of thinking I was good and being wrong.
I was afraid of learning how to evaluate a photo from a technical standpoint, but then not be able to know how to make it better.

That's a lot of stupid fear over one little class, but that's what living with anxiety is like--every little possible angle can be broken down, analyzed, and feared. 

You know how many of those fears were valid? Zero. Not a damn one. Until about midway through my second class, though, they were real. I know from a psychological standpoint that the cure for anxiety is exposure, and I've know that for years, but the only way I could stand up to it was this:

I had to want more than I feared.

 I don't have it all figured out by any means. I still over-prepare, still take a long time to commit, still worry if I'm doing it right--but I do know that if you really want something, you have to go get it. My friends at The Bravery Board posted about a talk that Katie gave on creativity and one thing she said really stuck with me:

"Just make the thing. Talking about the thing isn't making the thing. Looking at Instagrams of other people making things isn't making the thing. Putting down people who are actually making things isn't making the thing."

And you know what else? You have to do the thing. Talking about the thing isn't doing the thing. Telling yourself you'll do the thing someday isn't doing the thing. Coming up with excuses as to why you can't do the thing right now isn't doing the thing. Worrying about everything that could go wrong if you try to do the thing also isn't doing the thing. Trying to prepare yourself for every possible scenario before you do the thing still isn't doing the thing.

Yes it might be scary and uncomfortable.
But it will also probably be incredibly rewarding on so many levels.
You just have to go do it.
Do the thing.

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