Your First True Love
Do you remember your first love? I am not speaking of your first fling, but of your first true love. While studying engineering, I fell in love with corrosion engineering and wanted to do my PhD in corrosion. If everything had gone my way, then I would have flown to the USA, studied, and become a professor or joined a company to continue my research in this field. I can speculate but, maybe my life’s path would have diverged from the world of photography.
A few years back, when I made this comment on Merilee Mitchel’s site, she replied and said photography would have found me. She is an excellent photographer, and you will find her at The Gravel Ghost.
I stumbled upon photography quite by accident. While I loved corrosion engineering and did everything possible to maximize the possibility of achieving my ambition, I didn’t go all the way. Yes: I could have, I should have, and I would have. But I didn’t. That’s why I ended up in the industry, and that’s why I set off a chain of events leading me to photography.
Photography & Storytelling
I didn’t realize it, but photography is my first true love. My roots lie in black & white photography and street photography. If I am going to be truly honest with myself, then I must realize my primary skills in photography lie in street and travel photography, then in landscape work. When I combine this with the narrative I enjoy writing, I create something I feel happy to put out into the world.
As I type this, I discovered I hadn’t saved it earlier, so I am crafting this post again.
Yes, I remember now where I left off earlier.
The Boot on My Bum
When my corporate bosses decided they were tired of me, they booted me out of their halls. I remember my anger at their behavior, and this stayed with me for a long time. However, when I informed a few partners of my imminent departure, one of them congratulated me, saying I was too independent and creative for the corporate world.
I confess I didn’t appreciate what he said that day because I seethed from the manner of my abrupt departure. My achievements did not matter. All that mattered was my boss’s impression and his incompetence.
The Maze of Confusion
Therefore, when I left, I was determined to become a consultant and didn’t focus on photography and storytelling. However, I also did not see my growing irrelevance to my previous world, where your business card determines your worth. During the next period of my life, I read many motivational, inspirational, and entrepreneur-focused literature. Even though I perused literature advising me to focus on ‘the one thing’ and applauded the Russian proverb which advised me that the man who chases two rabbits catches none.
All this time, my first true love seemed buried underneath a mass of confusion. In addition, as I chased two impossible dreams, I was conscious of my past status as a senior corporate executive. This is an impossible burden for anyone to carry and one day, I threw it off.
During the lockdown imposed on us two years ago, I started writing a journal. Over the last two years, this has become a part of my daily routine. I also write, in longhand, every day and I find this helpful.
One day, a month ago, I slapped my head and asked me what I was doing with my life. All my past conversations with my family and a few good friends came back and hit me hard. I doubt Mike Tyson could punch me harder, and I rocked.
It was at this moment when I dumped all pretensions of becoming a consultant. I realized I had wandered through a foggy maze of my making and carried a weight no one asked me to lift.
Whilst at lunch a few weeks back, I photographed a corporate tower, which looked like a prison from the outside. It looked like a panopticon, and I sent the image to my good friend and amazing photographer, Jenny Cameron. When I sent the image, I misquoted Edgar Allan Poe, with the line, “Quoth the Raven, Nevermore”.
Find your first true love, nourish it, and it will reward you. In conclusion, that’s all I can say.
If You Want To Go Back
I don’t usually use pink in anything. But, my good friend and talented designer Michelle loves it, so I decided to make her happy!