Last Thursday, I turned 42.
As you may already know, I’m going to spend approximately two years as a 42 year old.
I know. I’m a time traveler.
Last Thursday, my wife and I were on a job in Wisconsin. It was three days of corporate headshots, video production and some event photography for a large, international executive head hunting firm.
That’s why it was so quiet last week here at Le Café Witteveen.
Even if it was only a couple hours away, it was still exactly what we like to do: travel to work on the things we love: motion picture and portraits. Had we done environmental portraits, it would have made my heart swoon.
I was on a six-mile run yesterday thinking about life.
The easy things to point out were that I can run longer and faster than even when I was 12, 22 and even 32. Yesterday’s pace was 7:30 minutes per mile. The day before I ran five miles at 7 minutes per mile.
I imagine there were times at 16 to 19 where I was a great runner as that was the peak of my soccer career. I could run/sprint for 90 minutes easy. But at 22, I was graduating from college. I wasn’t directing attention to physical fitness. I was pouring my life into career and floundering about who I was as an adolescent.
Ten years ago I was 32. Unmarried, but living with Tina. I was doing a lot of photography, but not at the level I am working now. I was more motion picture back then. And even that was far inferior to what it is now.
I was a few pounds heavier. When I got married in 2008, I was 180.8 lbs. For the past few years, I’ve been around 163. I had issues with blood pressure. Now none.
At 32, I had no fucking clue who I was in the world. At 42, I have a little more understanding of who I am, but I still fear actually being that person. I feel like the me I am in my head is far too scared to actually come out. And by out, I mean, be me: which is an artist without hesitation. Without insecurity. Without allowing others to squelch or stymie the creativity stirring around in my head.
I still have no idea what is actually true. I think I’m more of a doubter of all things rather than a cocksure asshole. Although that doubt side of me comes across so cocky that I think it gets mistaken for arrogance. So there’s that dichotomy of perception.
Last week, an artist I look up to told me I was too tense to understand the true love potential that surrounds me. He, on the other hand, has recently found clarity of being and unlocked answers to the universe that seem to make him, perhaps separate him, from the average joe.
And while his statement destroyed me at the time, I’ve since re-placed the hurt that resulted with a fuck you and a “you can’t tell me I’m tense and don’t know how to love” while being critical of another artist.
I personally feel that I have an amazing love affair with my wife. And the clients and friends who I surround myself with, even him, are the best, most diverse and loving version of a network than I have ever been surrounded by.
Really what happened with my artist friend was a microcosm of a
religious intolerance that I criticize. Who am I to tell someone else that my views and I are superior to yours? Who are you to tell me?
There lies the rub, though. Because we all find ourselves in many situations in which without this one-up-manship, we find ourselves with insecurities or some shit.
What’s important to me is mulling where I’ve been and how it plays into where I’m going. That often means being critical of my past, sometimes at the expense of criticizing others.
There’s nothing like turning 42 again to inspire those thoughts and feelings.
Below is a quick video I put together about our week last week. Enjoy.