All the Mistakes

I’ve taken 14,086 pictures with my camera since I purchased it nine years ago, and I’ve found something wrong with every single one. I do not have the brain that goes “oooh I love that one that I took… let’s blow it up!” I have the brain that goes “I wish the light had been from the right instead of the left” or “I wish I had shot higher resolution” or “the dust on the sensor is really noticeable there” or “that flower is past its prime”. This type of analysis is exhausting and difficult to shut off. Take that brain and have it paint a room and you produce a very dissatisfied person at the end of the project: seeing only the flaws and, for whatever reason, lamenting the inexpert hand that produced them. I do not know why I expect perfection when I am beginning to learn these things.

So then there’s my job: there I want and expect myself to be perfect. All the time. And by definition, that can’t always happen. That’s really difficult, because my sense of accomplishment and progress gets tied up with work, so I take it really personally when things don’t turn out perfect. Mykala reminds me that I have only been at this for a little over two years, and it takes a long time to get these things right. I had lunch with an area orthodontist and he said something quite helpful: “After a few decades, you get better because you’ve made all the mistakes there are to make and learned how to avoid them.”

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