I intentionally mince no words on the fact that I fail a LOT. Okay? I'm not that guy everybody knows who can start any task and have it go according to plan. From business ventures to relationships to hobbies, either I directly screw it up, the life situation I'm stuck in screws it up, or circumstances that intervene screw it up. It would not be too difficult to basically label me as a screw-up. I'm not quite good enough at screwing up to be labeled an outright fuckup, but I'm never too far from that category.
The reasons? Varied and variable would be the best way to describe it. Either things outside my control intervene, or I get cold feet, or it's the classic two-fer and both strike. In the last few months it's been mostly things miles outside my control that intervene against me. I could load up the .38 and ship a hollow point through my hollow head or I can roll with what happens and try to make chicken salad out of chicken shit. I prefer the second option as the first option isn't my style. I may rarely succeed but I will not allow failure by default. Hell, you get some guy who's seven feet tall and weighs a quarter ton, and the guy wants to beat my ass? Okay, he'll probably do that because there's no real way I could win, failure is the most likely outcome for me. I will endeavor to make sure his "victory" celebration is marred by discomfort from as many kicks, punches, bites, scratches, stabs, and gunshots as I can.
I stand on the precipice of an opportunity, a recipe that may well convert my chicken shit into a salad which may be able to "pass" for chicken salad. It truly feels like standing on the edge of a cliff whilst wearing a flying contraption. When I jump off the edge, one of two things can happen: I plummet or I soar. I've been in this situation... around forty times since I turned 13.
Often, I plummet. Hit the ground like a ton of spuds and splatter over a large area. I've seen me do it before. So, why do I keep trying? I don't know. I truly don't know. Maybe I'm hoping that my next jump will see me go up instead of down? Maybe I'm just too damned stubborn to accept that I will have no legacy if I don't finally succeed? Maybe I just want to shut up my critics who have said that I'm just another fuckup? I don't know which it is, it may be a compilation of all of them plus a dozen others I don't even realize. I do know one thing: I hate failing by default, and I hate anything that seems futile. Endeavoring against something that's futile, it's wasting time I feel I do not have. Let's face it: people with my heart condition, they don't often get to be old farts. If I'm going to do anything with this trainwreck I call my life, I gotta get moving. Soon. Immediately or sooner.
Today I put the finishing touches on a new idea. Yeah, I know. You needn't bother telling me that I am that guy who has a million and seven ideas that are all completely dismal. I know. It'll probably fail. Still it feels better to fail whilst trying to succeed than to just do nothing and let failure happen uncontested. As I see it I will fail by default if I do nothing. My efforts can only change that, meaning that if I try and fail I'll have only made an effort to the contrary but that failure was already the end result regardless of what I do/did. Basically, I'm going to fail if I do nothing so I have nothing to lose by trying. It's not like I'm running the risk of screwing up a bulletproof plan. The golden goose lays unfertilized eggs, so any effort can only improve that. Yup, I just segued my way from "failing" to "screwing a goose" in a single paragraph. It's called "creative license".
Recently I've been seeking a way to fulfill my family obligations without losing my marbles. There's a lot of stress and a lot of killing time. The treatments are not quick and I am totally powerless in the process. My job is one that sounds simple but isn't: stay out of the way, wait, and be ready to catch a ball if one is hit unexpectedly. If something goes wonky with her treatments, I may be making a quick haulassage to the hospital. If her body isn't feeling the whole dialysis vibe, I may have a truncated wait time. If her stuff isn't working right I may have an extended wait time. In all events I have to be available to field the ball as the dialysis center hits it. Usually it's a 4:45 wait thrice weekly for a total of 14:15, fourteen hours and fifteen minutes, not counting an accessory stuff. There's always accessory stuff but I can usually bank on at least twelve hours of doin' nothin'.
Books, music, a guitar, those are ways to occupy oneself and they work. The problem is that... no matter how much I do them the end result is that it's wasting time, not spending it. I'm throwing hours, minutes, and seconds away three and sometimes five days a week. I've reignited my interest for photography too and am actually enjoying it.
Today I've signed up on Shutterstock. I figure if I'm gonna be taking pictures, why not maybe try to generate a tiny bit of income off it? Every penny will help at this point as we are hemorrhaging money. I sent them a copy of my photo ID, all my paperwork done (paypal, etc) and I also took a huge gamble: I submitted my ten photos for evaluation for inclusion. As I understand it only seven of the photos has to be good enough to get me in and any that fall short aren't a demerit for inclusion. So, I have ten baited lines out and only seven of 'em needs a bite. Still... it'll take 'em two days to evaluate my stuff and I gotta say that I am miserable at waiting. Kind of funny, you'd think the last six months and two weeks in the dialysis circle would have taught me but it's only reapplied my hatred for waiting. Until I hear back from them I will likely be a crabby sumbitch, or highly resembling a bear with a sore ass.
My perspective? I kinda screwed up 'cause I did post the best pics here in public so I couldn't use them due to public exposure, etc. So I went with ten of my "second cut" photos. That's not a great thing but I figure if my second cuts are good enough, my first cuts will surely make the standard. Still, of the ten I submitted I would be willing to buy six of them and I'm cheap. I sincerely believe I'll be allowed to participate on the merit of my photos. If not, I'll work harder, try harder, fight hard, and shoot better. Plus, if none of 'em are good enough, a new week of treatments starts tomorrow and all three of my battery sets are fully charged.
Will it make me rich? I severiously (it's a word now) doubt it. The stock photo business, ever goofball with a camera is trying it and I am a grain of sand on a huge beach. I'm a guy trying to get in and there's room for me but there's a lot of competition. I don't have the resources or desire to do a lot of what I call "posed process" pictures like a German Shepherd using a laptop but I still see a few photos kind of like mine in Google linked back to stock sites. I'll have to succeed by bulk rather than by singularity. What's that mean? Bulk it out and put out as many pictures as I can. If nothing else, I'll have a huge portfolio to choose from and hopefully two or three out of every hundred will have that undefinable "it" that folks want and I'll make a few cents.
If it works, yay. If it flops... yay. I'll have occupied my time, perfected a skill, and wasted time in a way that felt meaningful. I suppose it's better than half-mastering another fingerpicking pattern on guitar that, thanks to hand deformities, I cannot play correctly or re-rereading another novel I've reread four times already. At least it's doing more than just wasting time with no end goal.
With a little bit of luck and a favorable headwind I might finally get somethin' going for me.