Hey there, so I guess I still have a lot to share about going to school because my two posts were very generalized. I’ve got a couple other things I’d like to talk about first, though, so I’ll come back to school stuff in a couple days.
Today I’d like to discuss photography.
When I was a kid, probably 11 or 12, I remember coming to the conclusion that getting a camera and taking pictures would help with my depression. Of course, I didn’t tell anyone this– that would have been embarrassing– but I did tell my mom that I would like a camera so I could ‘take pictures.’
I did get the camera, and I did take pictures of things for a while, but because I couldn’t get over the silly embarrassment of mine, it didn’t last so long. I was too afraid to just take the camera out and take pictures of what interested me– I didn’t want to be questioned about it. I was too afraid to just go outside and look for things that I wanted to remember. I was too afraid to capture memories with other people because there were other people. So anxiety sucks, I guess.
I’ve thought every now and again that I’d like to give it another shot, and until a year or so ago that little camera was still around taunting me. Over the last two weeks, I’ve been seriously considering buying myself a fancy new camera and just going out and taking pictures of everything. I had one picked out and almost bought it, but I stayed my hand because I actually couldn’t really afford it.
I’ve been taking a lot of pictures lately, just with my phone. Of people I’m with, of myself, of random shit that catches my eye. It’s still somehow quite therapeutic. I don’t really know why. I guess there’s just something about experiencing that perfect moment– be it alone or with someone else– and then having a picture of something you can relate to that moment. Not all pictures are of perfect moments, of course… there’s the occasional shitty pic that reminds you of something bad, and then there are just pictures, ones that don’t really make you feel anything.
Maybe it’s strange to think of it this way, but I guess depression is kinda like experiencing the world through a layer of fog. Everything’s a little darker, you can’t see very far in front of you, and everything seems dangerous and scary. When it was like that, everything sucked, I didn’t want to remember the last five minutes let alone what happened yesterday. But after my recent stint of worse-than-normal depression, it feels like the veil of fog has lifted a bit, and that I can see just a bit clearer. Just enough to make a difference, and that difference is enough for me to want to create moments for myself, and then capture them so I can almost experience them again later. Kind of like catching a firefly in a jar so that it can be admired on your own terms.
I don’t tend to take pictures of shit I don’t care about. That’s just not my thing, I guess. I’ve posted a couple of my pictures on Instagram, but a significant portion of the pictures I take don’t make it there. Not because they’re bad, not because I don’t want to share… But mostly because the reason they were taken is just a little too personal to show to the world, even if the content of the photos is rather mundane. Like I said– special, perfect moments that I want to hold onto and look at later. Maybe that’s strange. Maybe that’s normal. I don’t know. I just know that a lot of the pictures I take stay close to my heart.