Mistakes happen, what will you learn from yours?

A few posts back…actually here…I discussed how hard it is to pick up the pieces after a depressive episode. In the past, I didn’t have to perform much damage control because it’s easier to cover a month or two of neglecting, making excuses, and isolating myself. Years of this type of existence are much much more difficult to explain away.

Why should I explain? Why is it so hard to answer the question, where have you been?

I would like to scream, I HAVE BEEN DEPRESSED, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT? I know that a good portion of the world’s population doesn’t understand depression, so I make excuses for my behavior…I’ve been a hermit, this and that, haven’t felt like doing things….

My excuses do not come from shame, but from the stigma attached to depression.

While the scramble to make an excuse for my behavior is difficult, it is even more difficult facing the people I have blown off for two years. In this instance, my fellow photography club members.

Sometimes, a person has to pull up their britches and jump in feet first. If the actions created by depression aren’t corrected, they can perpetuate themselves during recovery, leaving an environment ripe for another episode. As I have said, while stable, I plan to move outside my comfort zone and bombard myself with positive people and thoughts.

Last night, I attended a meeting held by my photography club. I came away with more than photography tips.

The speaker for the evening is a professional photographer, and is a larger-than-life character. The kind of person who has an extreme passion for photography and his enthusiasm was infectious. He is one of the fortunate who makes a living through his passion.

One of his first comments was to embrace our mistakes. Mistakes are great lessons. Something I know, but hearing it from someone I’ve never met greased the rusty gears in my mind. There are no mistakes, they are lessons….something else I have said in the past.

Words are easy to type or speak. Believing what you’re saying is important, otherwise your words become hollow. He believed each and every word he shared with us. Not that it was unusual, but I had a kind of light bulb moment applicable to my approach to photography as well as life.

Another observation I made was that life doesn’t end until it ends.

Who knew I could learn so much in two hours from an enthusiastic 65-year-old professional photographer, wearing a cowboy hat and a trench coat made of bison fur?


About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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20 Responses to Mistakes happen, what will you learn from yours?

  1. Elouise says:

    Outstanding post. Thanks!

  2. mewhoami says:

    He sounds like a wise man and he’s right. The way I see it is that a mistake isn’t a mistake at all as long as we learn from it. How easy it is to write than it is to do though. I sometimes look back over my old posts and wonder why it’s so hard for me to take my own advice.

    • April says:

      Yeah, I don’t listen to myself either, but listening to this man share his passion with us was a breath of fresh air.

  3. Loved this, “life doesn’t end until it ends.”

    • April says:

      I don’t know how many times I’ve convinced myself that I can’t do something because I’m getting older. I need to quit standing in my way.

  4. aviets says:

    I’m so glad you went! That must have felt really good. 🙂

    • April says:

      The hardest part was getting in the car. By the third where have you been, I learned to quickly change the subject toward them and what they have been doing. I wish I had taken my camera because that man is one I want to remember. Not only did is coat amuse me, but his enthusiasm gave me the kick in the rear I needed.

  5. Your observation about life doesn’t end until it ends was revelation. Sure we ‘know’ that. But we don’t live that. And your comment above about stop standing in your own way smacked me between the eyes. We DO stand in our own way. What a great night April!

  6. Glynis Jolly says:

    You have given me an idea for a post of my own with this one. Sometimes the easiest lessons are the hardest ones to learn. I have no clue as to why that is though. ❤

  7. It’s the shame isn’t it, and the notion that we think we owe everyone an explanation. One day at a time my lovely x

  8. Gallivanta says:

    Hooray for inspiring folk in bison trench coats. I stand in my way all the time. 😦

  9. suzjones says:

    It sounds like the sort of photography speaker I would love to hear from. Some of the ones I’ve listened to have been dry and lacked passion. The one I remember the most took this photo http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/12/article-1346374-0CBB03C0000005DC-768_634x441.jpg
    He talked about how he stayed in the drenching rain long after the other photographers left and how the rain started getting into his camera but he held on because he believed in what he was doing. It really left a mark on me. Just as this photographer appears to have done to you. Funny how photography can be a metaphor for life hey?

    • April says:

      Most of the speakers I have heard are promoting their work, not sharing their knowledge. The man I was referring to shared so much. He was so animated, I could listen and follow him around all day…heck, all year. If not for his photography knowledge, but for his views on life–which whether he knew it or not, his actions and the way he spoke were much more than a talk about photography.

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