When the Warranty Runs Out
I bought my first digital camera when I was 13; saved up for it, same old story. The day after the warranty ended, something went wrong with it. I don’t remember. I won’t pretend to.
I turned 25 last week. It wasn’t an interesting day, and in fact it was a pretty shit day, but that’s not of much consequence — what is keeping me awake at the moment is how I feel now.
Rising. Broken. Wasteful. I feel my own mind, am aware of myself without having the need for outside approval, am held accountable. I feel my body, what I have done to it and what I haven’t; I have taken mental inventory of my physical form. I feel my surroundings, possessions, companions and note the choices I have made. I am the curator of my own existence. For the first time, time has truly become a factor.
I never took enough pictures. That camera broke before I did anything of merit; I spent it in trite ways and selfies and other synonyms. I wanted to be a photographer at this junction, something fierce, but it was a cheap camera and I was easily discouraged. Instead of making it work, I let it die — along with any serious notion of taking pictures for a living.
This doesn’t have a neat ending. What does?
“Nothing worth having comes easily.”
Having lulled myself into comfortable underachievement of my goals, health, and sanity has risen some interesting questions. This seems like the appropriate juncture to pull my head out of my ass, and make use of what I’ve purchased with my time.
I feel like this is the point where most people are what they are, or at least they decide to be that from here on out. To me, that’s depressing as fuck. A lot of things are. Does everyone else feel slightly hollow yet simultaneously full of squandered potential? There is one cricket in my house right now. He is driving me mad. But at least he’s doing something.
The change that I’ve thought about and talked about and made real in my mind has actualized. This shit is frankly terrifying. It’s the actual do, it’s the actual work (not for other people, not for my job) that becomes the intimidating part - and why? Because it’s already been mulled over and put in the cart, even though the currency to purchase it isn’t available.
It’s the spending of time. I’ve spent my time thinking about time and using up my time all the time. Time. I don’t have enough of it. I spent it all in the Internet and on cheap food and neglect so I could get back to my job. It’s weird how I don’t have enough when I never put any of it back into my own economy.
The time-space financial success I have plotted out doesn’t have money as an end goal, not really. Neither does yours I’m sure. It’s about something far more important and not for sale or loan. Happiness is not permanence, nothing is permanence, and there’s a surprising amount of comfort in that. With success comes failure, with nothing comes something, and with avocado is $2.49 extra. Regression to the mean.
I guess what I’m saying is I’ve bought myself a cheap camera with all my time. There’s a lot you can do with a cheap camera. You can even get good enough with it that you can afford a better one. Warranty nearly expired, time to start finally practicing.