Why Do You?

No, really - why do you?I was originally going to write this as a more specific question of “why do you take photographs?”, spawned by the post image that a friend of mine (Anita) took of my youngest taking photos at Volleyball Beach for one of the recent tournaments and focusing on asking all the amateur (or professional) photographers to haul their cameras out over the summer and fall and capture some of the best shots that they think personify what life at Volleyball Beach is.

On that particular topic (as an aside) he does it because I make him (or, more accurately, tell him “you’re taking pictures; get to it”), although he has been asking for a camera of late so hopefully there’s some actual “I want to” sinking in there.  I take pictures because I really enjoy it; things just catch my eye and I want to capture them forever on the medium of film (or 1s and 0s as it were) so I can go back and look at them.  I still enjoy the occasional foray over to Paul Gillespie Photography (here) to see some of the shots I’ve taken in the past that stand out to me.

But after I started writing and tossed a title on it I thought it was better served as a more general “why do you _______?” kind of post.  Introspective, as it were – and very appropriate for me after the last couple of weeks.

Everything we do has a reason underlying it.  It might be as easy as “because it’s habit” (which can be pretty subtle … and powerful) or as complex as a real-life chess game (although, in reality, when you boil it down to the essence of what’s driving your actions it’s pretty simple – but we’re going to ignore that for now).  The reason may be completely unconscious to you or may be as apparent as a red wine stain on white silk (no idea why I used that metaphor since I don’t drink wine, nor do I own anything silk).

But regardless of all that everything we do is for a reason, and the real challenge (should we choose – or even care – to accept it) is figuring out what that is so we can make the best use of our time and effort.

I’m dealing with that a lot lately.  I’ve got so much stuff going on in my life right now (I know – “join the club”) and I don’t know really why I’m doing some of it.  Am I doing it because of the reason I tell others (or myself) that I’m doing it?  Or is there something else at play underneath it that I’m not telling or seeing or (more likely) intentionally ignoring because I don’t want to admit/don’t like/don’t want to face it?

I know there’s some of the latter going on for certain (which I suppose means I’m not really ignoring it … but whatever).  Which really makes being happy – a pretty damn big goal of my life – that much harder when I know something’s there that needs to be addressed head-on and I’m lying to myself about it, trying to pretend that I can convince myself it’s not there and then it will go away.  I’m really struggling to get myself over that hump.

I know – awful ponderous for a Thursday evening (especially one where there’s volleyball involved), but it’s been weighing on my mind and thus I needed to get it out on paper (because that’s just what I do).  In reality this is probably a really brief preview of a longer post I have stored up based on the overwhelming culmination of all those thoughts/questions/criticisms (imagined and real) I’ve got bouncing around in my noggin, but hopefully it’s at least thought provoking in some sense.

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What do you think?