Is the grass always greener?

We tend to think, especially when we are young, that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. An idiotic idiom, aye? The truth is that the grass is rarely greener. Whether it be relationships, jobs, or locations on this crazy rock we call home, the next person, job, or locale is rarely better than the last.

Let’s discuss careers. I was in a job that was incredibly dangerous. The pay was decent, but I worked crazy hours. I never knew when I’d get off of work. It had its positives, but the money, although good, wasn’t good enough to counter the risk. The job I have now is consistent. I work the same hours every week, but the money is laughable. I go into work before dawn, but I get off at the same time every afternoon. It definitely has its positives, but like anything in our lives, it has its negatives as well.

Let us now discuss locations. Since I was a wee lad, I dreamt of a mistical land, called Hibernia. I read every book I could find on this phantasmal  island on the edge of Europe. I read of myths and legends of yore. As I got older, I read of rebels, rebellions, and political and religious upheaval. I still love Ireland and will love it until the day I die, but I am not Irish. Genetically speaking, yes, I am majority Irish, but what is it to be genetically Irish or Irish at all? A question for another day, perhaps?

Now, let’s discuss the elephant in the room. Perhaps you didn’t pick up on it, but I placed relationships first for a reason. My heart is heavy. I’m sitting in my office with a hot cuppa Earl Grey. The sun is setting below a layer of ashen clouds as blackbirds fight for the scraps of summer. They know, as I do, that mother winter is near.

When we are young men and women, we tend to jump from one relationship to another like we’re playing hot potato or musical chairs. It’s hilarious, really, but it is how we learn what we like and what we don’t. As we get older, we grow as people and we hopefully gain a wee bit of wisdom along the way. Some people never learn.

I can, of courser, only speak from my own male perspective, so I’m going to stick to that instead of wrongly giving examples for both sides. In my younger days, I’d be with my girlfriend and see another woman with a bigger butt, longer legs, or red hair, and think that I needed that woman. I’ve always been a sucker for a redhead. It’s in my DNA. As I found out the hard way, that other woman with a different physical attribute or a better personality wasn’t always better. Sometimes, I’d wish later on that I’d stayed with the woman I had been with.

These are things that we should learn in our teens. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. That new job is not always better. That magical place that you think you can run away to will not solve your problems. Your problems follow you wherever you go. Face them and keep moving. Life will knock you on your arse. Get up, dust yerself off, and keep moving.

The girlfriend and I are going through a bit of a rough patch. That would be putting it mildly, but I’ll refrain from airing our laundry in public. I met a friend for supper the other night that I’ve known for about a year. I needed a night out. She obliged. I had no other intent except to talk and catch up. I am an honourable man. At least I like to think I am. Nothing happened between us. In fact, I spent a lot of the evening talking about my little lady.

There’s only one woman that is my heaven on earth and my Oppenheimer. The woman terrifies me. She could destroy me with a sentence or raise me to the highest mountain with a word. She’s as bold as brass but fragile as glass. I’d travel to the end of the earth for that woman. There’s a lot going on in my life, but the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing on my mind as I fall off to sleep is her. In some ways, she is my world. That’s something you have to be careful about. You can lose yourself in a relationship. No one wants to date themselves. A subject for another day, perhaps?  I’ll leave you with a wee poem.  Until tomorrow?  🙂

Diamonds

Eyes that sparkle with brilliance,
like brilliant diamonds carved
from the purest of azure seas.

Dazed by your light,
I staggered into the shade
to admire your exquisiteness.

Now, in the darkness,
I relaise what is absent
from my existence, you.

Free Agent

A camera has been my constant companion for over a decade. I started my own photography business in 2015. As expected, it was slow at first but it gradually picked up. By the winter of that year, it had slowed down to a trickle. I was desperately seeking work, and quite frankly, income. The only things free in life is the air we breath and light from the glorious sun.

At that time, I started working as an IT Consultant for my families business. I enjoyed working for them. I love my family and was grateful to get out of the corporate environment I had been in for years. I sorted every IT problem that I could and wasn’t really needed on a daily basis, so I wished them well and am now a free agent.

When a person works for someone else, their income is usually consistent. When you work for yourself, it is rarely consistent. It was time to go. I’m a much stronger and better person, when I have to be quick on my feet. I don’t have the option to sit back and pick and choose projects or clients. I am willing to work with anyone. I don’t have the benefit of a large surplus of cash to sit on, and I don’t believe in taking welfare from the government when I’m able to work.  In other words, I better get to work!

What do I do?

I am a landscape, architectural, and portrait photographer. I cover several areas of photography. You have to today in order to survive. I sell landscape photographs on several stock photo sites, but I also do local portrait sessions, weddings, and events.

I also do photo retouching that usually consist of removing blemishes and color correction. I have been a constant user of Photoshop since the days of MS-DOS.

With the help of friends, I produce a weekly podcast about life, liberty, and the unending pursuit of happiness. That consist of setting up mics, setting up and managing the software and settings, audio editing in Adobe Audition, and publishing on the site as well as producing a video version for youtube in Premiere Pro CC. The podcast taught me about time management and logistics. At one time, we had co-hosts from the East Coast of the US, Ireland, and Australia. As you can imagine, managing the time table and getting everyone to show up at the same time in three different time zones can be a nightmare.

In addition, I have also written and published five travel photo books. Four of these are about Ireland, a project that took years to complete. I am still working on the last piece of the puzzle, a book of my adventures across the Emerald Isle and the misadventures I managed to get myself into over a decade.

My academic background is varied. I started out majoring in IT Security. I love all forms of tech, so it was right up my alley. After a few years, however, I started to hate the idea of spending the rest of my life in a dark room staring at monitors. I love the outdoors too much to dedicate the majority of my remaining days in a cubicle or server room. That may sound vain to some, but it is a matter of choice. I passed every class and certs with an “A”, so it wasn’t a matter of failing. I was minoring in Art at the same time.

At that time, my family was having some problems, so I did somewhat of a 180 and changed my major to Criminal Justice. I minored in Forensics, so there was still technology involved. I graduated with honors in less than two years. It was a great decision. I had some of the best professors you could ask for. Though we had heated debates, most of them always welcomed debate on the Constitution.

Convoluted English

Linguistics is a fascinating study of how our ears decipher syllables and audible cues and transform them into imagery our minds can retain.  As a Southern American boy, I regularly butcher the English language.  Quite frankly, it’s a wonder any of us can understand each other.  If you can understand me on the podcast, you’re an amazing specimen of human engineering.  🙂

What I lack in verbal skill, I make up for in the written word.  As a photographer, I talk to other photographers, writers, and editors all over the world.  Over a decade ago, I started expanding my own knowledge base by reading hundreds of old books from Irish, Scottish, and English authors.  Because of this and learning the structure of old English, I know words that I can’t utter because no one else uses them.

I tend to adapt my spelling and writing style depending on who I’m writing.  I don’t do this to deceive people.  I’m very proud to be an American.  I love our Country!  But, for the odd person that doesn’t watch much American TV, they may not understand some of the terms I may use.  I do this to make it easier on the other person.  It can backfire, however.  When I was in college, I wasn’t thinking and wrote an entire five page paper in what we would consider British English.  I received a fat “F” on that sucker.  The professor was under the impression that I couldn’t spell, but after explaining my mishap, I was able to make it up.

The other day, I was talking to a guy(Would use ‘chap’ here, but I’d get yelled at for that.) and used the word, “Row”, instead of argument, fight, or kerfuffle.  He was clueless, so I had to back peddle and explain what I meant.  Some may perceive using another form of English as unAmerican, but it isn’t in my case.  I have little use for the modern shortened version of American English.

Noah Webster set out to standardize American English, but in doing so, we lost the parts of English that make it adaptable.  If you look back to Anglo-Saxon English, for example, the letters, vowels, and their organization within a word may tell you of the original linguistic background and sometimes geographical origin.

Knowing the original spelling of words and the history behind them also helped me understand other languages.  “Auld”, for instance, is a Gaelic surname.  It means old, but it is also a surname.  Interesting stuff, aye?  There is a story behind every word in every language..