I just got back from a two day girl’s trip to Sarasota, Florida. I’ll be writing about it soon and taking you all on a video tour. Before I get to that point, though, I might be found curled up in the fetal position sucking on my own toe for comfort (someone else’s toe would be disgusting). I don’t know yet whether my eyes will be wide open and staring off into some vague distance or squeezed shut to keep reality out.
You see, my problem is that I want to be a professional everything (at least everything that I love) and I love a lot of things. I decided for this trip that I wanted to make an awesome travel video. I watched countless hours of YouTube videos on how to make it happen. I took notes; I re-watched videos; I was determined; I was excited– now I’m home and there are what seems to be 500 video clips scattered between my camera and my phone. It may turn out to be dozens of man hours to go through them all, clip, edit and arrange with music. Am I ungrateful?
What makes matters worse for me is that I’m looking at the clips and they look nothing like the ones I envisioned myself having. Wtf? I’m a professional videographer. I’ve clocked in the YouTube hours to make it so. Why does some of this stuff look like it was created on my phone? Yes, much of it was, but it’s not supposed to look like it. And what is a professional videographer supposed to do when it’s high noon and there isn’t a single cloud in the sky and it’s so bright that I can’t even tell whether or not my camera is in focus as I pan the horizon? I should know these things. YouTube didn’t prepare me for that one.
You know how in the movies a woman will be in her house and the door bell will ring and she’ll answer it only to find that no one is there. And then someone will clear their throat and she’ll look down and find some kid trying to sell cookies? I’m the woman and that kid is my expectations. I was expecting it to be up here and it had to clear it’s throat and tell me to look down.
Have you ever felt like you would be way more successful at something only to end up staring at the half-formed product wondering where the hell you went wrong? It’s such a surreal feeling .
What’s important for me to keep in mind, what’s going to get me through the dark days ahead, is remembering that we all have to start somewhere. If I never pull out my camera to make videos, I’ll never go through the learning process and make improvements. I’ll have no material to study. I won’t learn which areas I’m strong in and which areas I suck at. It sucks to watch the suckiness, but it’s a necessary step for me to improve. Studying my own work instead of just the work of other people will be like having a tutor working one on one with me as opposed to sitting in a lecture hall of 200 people. When watching YouTube tutorials, concepts and practices will become less vague.
For example, I remember as a teacher telling my students that doing such and such on an essay wasn’t a great idea. Then I would assign them an essay and half of them would do that thing I said not to do and the other half would not do that thing I told them they should do. Then we’d review. In every student’s mind, they did what I had asked. Then I’d hand back the essays and be specific.
“Did you remember to do this,” I would ask. I’d get lots of head nodding.
“Look at your paper and highlight where you did it.”
Very few highlighters would move and looks of confusion would start sweeping across the faces of the students. They knew what they should do; they thought they had done it, and yet it was nowhere to be found. I think some of them would even check to make sure that they were holding the right paper.
My point is learning comes through action. We get better by doing stuff. It might be a long, dark, wet and rocky road. We may keep catching glimpses of others doing it well and making it look effortless, but remember that there’s no moving forward without moving.
Last year I went to Thailand with some friends and made this video which I split in two because of software limitations. I didn’t realize that I should always hold my phone horizontally to film, but I learned better for this time. Hopefully, when I add my next travel video to YouTube, it’ll be far better than this one. Whatever you’re striving to accomplish, just keep at it. Laugh and maybe shed a tear when it doesn’t meet your expectations, but keep taking action to get better.
Here we’ve got spicy food, Thailand New Year and an attempt at snorkeling with a bit of hyperventilating.
Here we have Maerim Elephant Sanctuary and more street food.
What’s a skill that you’re working on improving? Is it going as smoothly as you’ve hoped? Have you forgotten about it until just now? Let’s hear all about it!
My name is Lyz-Stephanie and I want to inspire you to be more connected to yourself and the world, to find beauty in simple pleasures, and to have more adventures. Every day we can do something to make our lives happier and richer, make our minds more active and engaged. I’m on the journey. Will you join me?