I left Winslow this morning after taking a few “fun” shots for my friends back home. A couple inside jokes that will hopefully make them smile. I got onto the 87 and headed South towards Phoenix although I’m not sure I’ll actually go that far. I may resort to the coin flip again as I’m unsure where I’d like to go from here.
One thing I’m learning is that I can’t stay still very long. I also believe somehow that this is a product of my ego. My ego likes to be moving, it finds satisfaction in keeping the time I’m allowed to reflect to a minimum. I took a step in the opposite direction today. As I drove through the Coconino National Forest I saw signs for camping areas, one after another I fought the urge to go in. Then finally I simply instinctively turned left.
At the time of writing this I’m in my own little camp site, my fire is dying down and I’ve been rereading Stuart Wilde’s “The Infinite Self”. This book helps remind me which things really are important and I revisit it whenever I start to feel overwhelmed with thoughts that I’m losing my mind. Tonight, sitting by my campfire with nothing around me but trees and blackness after having made dinner and coffee on my one burner propane stove I read and thought about what it is I’m doing.
A part of me is scared shitless of all of this, a part of me is excited for what’s around the corner, a part is afraid of failure but not failure in the eyes of others, failure in my own mind. Over all I don’t really care what the general public thinks. Perhaps my ego does, but essentially I’m doing this for me. This also brings me to the double edged sword of promoting this adventure the way that I have been. I’ve been trying to use the adventure to turn people onto my photographs and similarly using the photos to promote the adventure. In that I’ve been getting people who are inspired by me and the idea that I’m doing this.
This, for lack of a better explanation confuses me. In my mind I’m not doing anything spectacular. Sure, I guess I’ve broken away from the herd so to speak, bucked the tribal belief pattern and gone rogue … but anyone can. Anyone can do anything they want to do if they want it bad enough. The aspect of throwing all my faith into myself and going for broke (since I pretty much am anyway) is nothing new. Film makers have maxed numerous credit cards to get a film made that they have believed in. People have put every cent they have into an invention because they knew in their heart of hearts that it would fly. What I’m doing is simply, on a smaller scale just following a dream, my dream. Granted, I’ve tried to bring people into the fold, to follow along, to even donate towards keeping me on the road, which I guess is where I’m confused. Am I doing this for me or for them. Am I doing this for the comments I get on my photos, or the kudos I get for “having the courage” to come out here and try?
I guess my ego likes those things, the look on peoples faces when I give them one of my cards and they see that I’ve left pretty much everything behind to do this. It likes the comments and the slaps on the back so to speak. My true self though is doing it for other reasons. I’m doing it for the feeling I get when I capture a great shot. I’m doing it for the feeling I get when I stick my hand out of the window and feel the warm air rushing over it as I’m driving. I’m doing for the sun on my face as I sit down after a hike to some natural icon that I must see. I’m doing this because I need to.
I guess in my silent time to reflect tonight I’ve come up with many questions. Some I’ve already answered myself. Some I may never know the answer.
All I hope is that I can and do keep doing this for the right reasons. That the blog, the videos, the cards, whatever else comes is seen as my way of sharing, not because I need affirmation that I’m “cool” for doing this. I think that if we still lived in the days before the internet I still would have thrown my film camera into the car and gone, sending postcards to my friends and family from the road. I guess, in reflection that’s all I’m trying to do here. Doing it daily to a wider audience but essentially I’m just happy to share. If by chance I am truly inspiring than I hope that I’m inspiring people to go out and do this on their own. Break away from the couch, the cubicle, the RRSPs, the fear. If you’re not living your life then what are you doing with it?
Anyway, I’ve rambled enough tonight. Perhaps I just needed to express some of these feelings I’m trying to corral into some sort of file system. Alone time always makes me ponder and I’ve had my share of time to let my mind mull over these questions, feelings and thoughts.
All I know is that I’m excited at the fact that I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I don’t know where I’ll go, I don’t know what I’ll see or who I may meet but I’m sure the day will hold something I haven’t experienced before, something new. I guess that’s why I’m out here.