Well Liked

Probably one of the hardest things about the human experience is liking someone who doesn’t like you back.

I think everyone at one point or another will experience this in their lifetime.

You meet someone – friends, family, special someone, whoever, that you really adore. They’re great! They’re fun, cool, nice, smart, funny, etc etc. Insert your favourite adjectives here. You want to spend a lot of time with them, tell them they’re great, do things for them, you like it when they’re happy, hate it when they’re sad, you like the feeling they give you. You like how happy they make you. The world is a better place because they’re in it.

Unfortunately…. You don’t light up their world.

They’re just not that into you. They don’t really want to see you all the time, they don’t really want to hear about your day, hear about your feelings, they don’t think you’re great. They think you’re fine. They like you, sure! But you’re not well-liked. You’re not liked as much as you like them. They’re your friend/family/significant other, but sometimes you’re left feeling not as appreciated.

And that’s pretty hard to deal with.

This isn’t to say the other person is terrible or mean or unappreciative. They just don’t like you as much as you like them. And that’s fine. People are all different (as cliche as that sounds).

It’s especially hard when it’s someone who you used to be close to who you thought liked you just as much but over time they became distant and seemed to care less. But how you feel hadn’t changed

It’s just a rough experience.

Sometimes it feels like maybe if you change the way you are they would like you better. And that never really works out well. There’s no real point to that. You can only be who you are. So you kind of box on and deal with it. You care about them and that won’t change because they don’t care about you that much. You’re not likely to give them up because you get the same happiness from them being in your life. And that’s important.

There’s no real way to deal with this except acceptance. But it should make you aware of others in your life who you may not realise you don’t like as much as they seem to like you. And that’s bound to happen too.

Because people are bound to like you. A lot. You’re likely to be very well-liked. But maybe you don’t necessarily feel that way about everyone who likes you. But knowing how that feels, I guess it’s important to be aware of those people. And try to do something to show you appreciate them. Maybe never as much as they appreciate you, but something small can make a lot of difference. And that’s very important.

I Wish For Understanding

Don’t know how to start or talk about this. I just wish for understanding. I wish someone would understand me.

I wish I would be able to understand myself

I didn’t get the jobs my family wanted me to get. I am relieved by that which makes me guilty. It makes them sad. I don’t want to make them sad. But I don’t want to go along with their plans.

Some part of me wants a happy family. But I don’t want to give up what I have.

I’m averse to change. That’s wrong. But there are some things I yearn for.

I threw myself into my work. I find happiness in it. I find solace it. The little annoying things are part of what makes it.

I threw myself into work and career to escape the gaps in the rest of my life. Now I can’t give up what I have because it’s become too great a part of me.

I did the same for some people in my life. They’ve become too great a part in my life. I can’t give that up.

But they tell me they like me because I understand them. I make them feel good.

But it never occurs to anyone that I want to be understood too. That I want to feel good.

Nobody seems to get it.

My chest often feels heavy with too much emotion. Guilt, regret, fear, love, sadness, loneliness.

I imagine telling someone about my thoughts, but I keep hearing them feeling sorry for me. Not really understanding me.

But then I break down and actually try to tell someone but they often don’t have enough time to reply or are caught up in their own feelings. And I feel guilty for burdening them.

I want things I shouldn’t want. I do and say things as though I already have those things. But then I get angry when people don’t confine to the things I want or think I have. And that makes me angry. I’m punishing someone else for an idea I created in my own head. I’m trying to sabotage it myself.

I don’t know what I’m doing

I look at myself and I don’t know what I’m doing next. I don’t know what I’m doing now. I want to stop feeling this way but I don’t know what I have to do when virtually everything scares me.

I don’t understand.

I wish for understanding.

Part Of Me

I’ve had a rough year. And it’s only July.

Understatement of the century of course. Everyone is having a really tough year.

I’m sure nobody’s plans are working out and a lot of people have worries and concerns and stresses that they can’t really see an end to.

And yeah me too. I won’t bore you with my COVID era sorrows though. I’m sure you have your own.

But in the face of adversity, especially one that seems long and relentless, I feel it’s important at some point to stop for a second and reflect.

I reflected on myself in the face of adversity. I realised that I’ve spent so much time being low and stressed that I’ve forgotten the parts of myself that are important to me.

I think it’s always important to think about the things that make up who you are. And hold onto that.

For instance, I’m usually an avid reader. I LOVE reading. My happy place is literally me and my kindle lost in some corner of the world facing much greater adversities than my current ones and ultimately coming out stronger.

But in the last few months my reading has been woefully low. And forget about studying. I just sit and stare blankly at something for hours on end waiting for something to happen.

I don’t want to lose this part of me. There’s nothing quite like the experience of starting a new book and devouring it and learning something new. In every single book. Each book is a fantastic experience.

Another part of me I had forgotten recently is my imagination. I’ve always felt blessed when I think about my imagination. Growing up I loved thinking up stories and scenarios and events that were weird and wonderful. Castles and dragons, going to Jupiter, seeing the things around me and imagining it to be so much more than it is always brought me great joy. As I grew up I imagined other things, where I would live, what I wanted to see, even how it would be at my best friend’s wedding.

I found during these tough times my thoughts are rarely abstract. They’re stunted and box-like. More robotic like here is another problem today. May as well dwell over how to solve it with what I have. Rather than imagining bigger and better things than this particular inconvenience.

My imagination is the source of my creativity. I can’t lose that. It’s a big part of what makes me, me. I tried to imagine good things. Bright and colourful. They’re quieter than before. As though there was a screen between me and my imagination.

And then there’s music. These days I just listen to music on the way to and from work. And that’s more to keep me awake rather than for my enjoyment. But with the arrival of the new Taylor Swift album, I realised how much I had missed listening to music and actually enjoying what I was listening to and singing along. That’s super important to me.

Passion for work. Since COVID, my work has become so mechanical. The daily frustrations have become twice as annoying and work is extra exhausting. A useless call from a nurse causes a physical reaction in me and brings me down. I barely notice the things I used to. Like how important it is when a patient thanks you for what you’ve done for them or learning something new from a patient’s condition. The other day I fought all day long for a patient to get a scan she needed. And when she finally did, my diagnosis was correct and she received the treatment she needed, and I learnt something new about her condition and the scan she had. I felt satisfied that day. It reminded me why I love what I do so much. I need to hold on to my passion.

Photography. Since being in lockdown, I’ve struggled to take my camera out and capture the world around me. But when I did, I realised how important photography is to me. Especially macro photography, and seeing the little things and making them look amazing.

But perhaps the most important part of me that I don’t wish to lose is being able to appreciate small things and find joy in them. Like a sunset, like watching a TV show from my childhood. Like helping a stranger with something or a stranger helping me with something. Like being able to tell my friends and family how much I love them, doing something to make them smile. Like a perfectly made cup of tea. Like a good conversation. A good joke.

Like a good hug at the right place at the right time when it was really needed.

Life is full of these little moments that can be so significant. They are the ones that you have to hang on to in times of adversity. That’s who I am as a person. Someone who focuses on the little things that make something or someone so amazing to me. 

These things are a part of me. And these are the things I need to remember. That will help me get through it all.

lavender with bee

Here’s a macro shot of a bee doing what it does best when I finally got my camera out. Little things with significance. 

Photography: Art, But Not Really

So the other day I was talking to one of my friends about cameras. He had just upgraded from his Samsung Galaxy S9 phone to a 1+ phone. He boasted about how fabulous the camera is on this new model of phone. He told me his photography skills were about to improve ten-fold.

I laughed openly.

I told him the camera doesn’t decide how good you are at photography. He countered my argument by saying that with a good camera, anything captured can be made to look fabulous.

We continued to discuss this. It got me thinking about whether photography is even a valid art form. My interest in photography began back when I was in school. A couple of my science teachers ran a photography club and taught some of us the techniques and practice of being a good photographer. They thought I was pretty good. My parents thought I was pretty good. So I went out and bought myself a DSLR.

My DSLR is super amateur level. I’ve been using the same 2 lenses that came free with the camera 6 years ago. But I still put up some decent photos.

But honestly, I know I’m not very good. I don’t have what I perceive to be good photography skills. For example, my idea of angles is pretty amateur. I’ve seen lots of people take photos from angles I wouldn’t have thought of looking in. I also don’t care much about lighting. I need my subject to be visible with as much detail as possible. But I’ve seen people toggle with lighting for ages before even taking a picture.

But I take photos and people tell me they are good. But am I just lucky?

When I go on instagram, the people I follow usually put up pretty mundane photos. But every so often, some of them will put up something that makes me go “Oooh”. Does that make them “good” at photography? Or does it just make them lucky to have been in the right place and the right time with their camera lined up accurately enough to capture something fantastic?

A few people I know have opened their own photography “companies”. Not one of them is super impressive to me. They deal a lot in portrait photography of people they know. I can’t say they’re very good. Even edited, none of them made me go “ooh”. I have a sneaking suspicion that these people were also told by their family/friends that they’re super good at photography and so they should have their own company. Or in the case of one of my friends, he has all the camera tech possible and just went for it. Needless to say, he didn’t get very far.

One of the people I know who does professional real estate photography, had trouble capturing some people in good lighting at a house party. But that’s not to say that his real estate photos are bad…

I think landscape photography and wildlife photography, and to a certain extent, portrait photography requires a whole lot of luck. The landscape never changes. But at that point when You visit the landscape (sunset/sunrise/dry/raining) changes how your photo will look. Same with wildlife photography (is the animal moving/sleeping/positioned correctly, etc). When I see the Natural Geographic photo competition winners who have captured a bird flying or a herd of animals running, yes you need a good camera and a good position, but you didn’t ask those animals to charge into your frame to capture. That was all them. Portrait photography requires luck because even though you can have models, capturing that exact expression you want requires some luck.

Macro photography is probably a bit different. It requires a lot more thought and skill. You need to see the special in the mundane and go close enough to see it and draw attention to it. That is one field of photography that I truly think needs skill. Because you can’t just zoom into anything and expect it to look good or convey a message you want it to.

So on the whole, is photography an art form? Or can any idiot with a good camera capture something stunning from time to time?

I think it’s a mixture of both.

I think you can’t take good photos without some luck. And I think anybody can be a photographer. But skill in photography is a very specialised subject. But I still think it has very little to do with what kind of camera you have.

Interesting topic. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?