Sunday, June 8, 2014

Become Original

You may or may not have noticed, that I've basically been silent here for almost 6 months.

No snarky, biting or cynical quips of insight into the depraved mind of a man who commits television for a living. 

No insistent reassurances that what we're doing for a paycheck directly affects the cosmos.

No signs of remorse for acts carried out when one pushes glass for a living.


When I started this thing almost two years ago, I had no idea what type of monster I was creating - both in this blog, and in myself.

I didn't honestly think anyone would legitimately read about the crap that goes through my head while I'm at work.  I didn't imagine anyone would become upset if I ever stopped.

And I did stop...  I took a writing hiatus after my last post at Christmas.  Whether or not it was a conscious decision to stop writing remains to be revealed, even to me.  But I knew that with the coming New Year, the amount of time over the holidays I'd worked, and the crippling self introspection I tend to have, it was time to take a hiatus.

I had quite honestly become obsessed with news, and more over, with being a news photographer.  I let my job become my identity.  I became fixated on getting my story right and doing it my way.  I'd stay up late to watch the 10 & 11.  I'd catch the A block on the weekends... and this eventually ruined the facets of this job that I love so dearly.  

A week after I posted my last blog back in December, a series of events unfolded as I sat quietly in the back seat of an SUV while it wandered through the winding roads of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.  My entire perception of our profession was flipped on its head.  If you want the rest of the story, find me and ask me in person... (In the business, we call that a stealth tease!)

And in the coming weeks and months, I would begin to rediscover myself, both professionally and personally.  Sure, I'm a news photographer... but that does not define me. 

I'm a lot of things.  I'm a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, and an aspiring amateur chef.  I've worked production on a nationally televised teen soap opera.  I used to be a lumberjack.  My first job was waiting tables.  I look just like my dad did when he was my age.  I didn't have a bank account until I got married.  I've only been clean shaven 4 times in 10 years. 

If that laundry list seems gratuitous, I assure you that writing it was more for my benefit than yours.  The moral of the story is this, kids: it's easy to become entrenched in this business and let it consume you. But it will only do so, if you allow it to.

C.S. Lewis said, "Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."

And I think that is what I've been doing the last 6 months or so.  Slowly becoming original.  Not writing about work.  Not becoming entrenched in it.  Not allowing my occupation to determine my level of happiness.  

It's a job, and alot of times it can be a damn fun one to have.  But it's not everything.  It's simply the machine that allows you to do everything else that makes you happy.