Controversy & Perfection

Flickr image by annais

I get in controversies sometimes because I don’t shy away from getting into controversies. Here’s a new one — it’s a blog post that doesn’t name me but it’s about me and I show up about 100 comments into the discussion. Even if you like following my controversies, this one is pretty confusing if you don’t know the context.

I’ve been fretting about it for a couple of days but now I’ve decided that it’s just the price I pay for pushing the envelope sometimes. If I let it slow me down, I’m doing anybody any good..

I’ve gotten so many nice emails & twets about this brouhaha and they far outweigh the negative ones. I got one surprising, thoughtful negative one and I appreciated that, too. (It was from someone kinda well known who I respect a lot and I didn’t think I was on their radar, really — hence the surprise.)

“Some people will like me and some won’t. So I might as well be myself, and then at least I’ll know that the people who like me, like me.” — Hugh Prather

Here’s what I’m stuck with: I’m me.

I’ve got plenty of faults. I’m not afraid to take risks and I screw up frequently. I don’t like being misquoted or misrepresented and when that happens, I say so. I’m not afraid of a fight. I don’t go down quietly. I can be off-putting. I can be divisive. Sometimes people find that my negatives outweigh my positives. I can go on like this for a while but that’s who I am and I’m coming to grips with the fact that it’s okay.

It’s perfect, even. That means accepting the reality that I’m perfect. You’re perfect, too, by the way. No, really — you are. It’s really hard to accept and humans are the only things on the earth that even give the idea of perfection any thought. Rocks and kangaroos and ferns never worry whether they are good enough, much less perfect. They just do what they  do. And once you accept that, you can accept that perfect doesn’t mean it can’t get better. Weird, I know.

If I’m going to worry about putting myself in the best possible light or just being comfortable in my own skin, I think the smart bet is on comfortable. I write this in the hope that this message finds someone who needs it. Maybe even me.

The Next Episode….

I’m sitting in a Starbucks in downtown Los Angeles with Jack, who came out in this trip wipth me. Our train ride out was extra long. We kept Albuquerque close to 2 hours late and then around Flagstaff the train had to stop for another cowpoke of hours because we got word that someone had gotten killed by a freight train on the tracks ahead. This all meant that rather than getting into Los Angeles at 8am, we rolled in at noon. But that worked out better for us than that poor dude in Flagstaff.

taufht the VFX course all day yesterday; great guests and really great, motivated students.

Today, Jack and I are kicking around LA all day. They are predicting record heat – 107, they say. Our hotel room downtown has no air conditioning.

We move in a week and I have no seminars on the schedule right now. I’m moving into that “writing” portion of things. That probably means I should write today.

At Least You Know You’re Alive

Crossposted at Question The Rules | | Flickr photo by Behrooz Nobakht

I’ve been going through a rough few weeks but in tough times, you sometimes hear people say “Well, at least you know you’re alive!” and I know exactly what they mean.

Here’s what today was like foe for me; my wife woke me up at a little before 7am because we’re having a moving sale since we have to be out of our house in a week. We tried to move our couch upstairs to sell but we couldn’t do it and gave up, leaving it wedged sideways in our hall.   We did the yard sale, sold the two huge, heavy TV sets (yay!) and the couch (the new owners will figure out how to get it home) and a few smaller things. Now, I’m at Starbucks using their Wifi and I get on a 15 hour train ride to Los Angeles in a couple of hours to teach a visual effects class tomorrow then another 15 hours back to Albuquerque for the final pack up before we go to live in a hotel for an unspecified amount of time.

But at least I know I’m alive!

I’m not stuck in a rut. Every day is a new adventure. It’s a bit stressful but it’s also exciting and I’m making sure to keep it fun and interesting. There’s a lot of drudge work in packing but I’m keeping my eye on the new places we’ll be exploring in about 8 days.

Adventure is a choice. If you aren’t risking anything, you probably have very little to gain. I certainly understand the drive to dig in and hold onto the what you have but I also know that staying in a holding pattern eventually makes you run out of gas.

The Passenger

Yesterday, I found out that my eyesight has degenerated to the point that I can’t drive a car anymore.

I went to renew my driver’s license and I had hoped that I’d be able to squeak by without my eyeglasses. That was my hope but when I stuck my forehead on the eye test machine I knew there was no possible way. Every line was a total blur. I couldn’t make out anything.

I’d lost my glasses at some point so I left the driver’s license place and went home to look for them. After they didn’t turn up, I decided to just bite the bullet and get a new pair. I went over to the optical center at Walmart to get an eye exam and a perscription, thinking I’d go to a one hour glasses place after that.

The eye exam didn’t go well.

My current normal video is 20/100, which means not good. How not good? It’s not legally blind but apparently I don’t have good enough vision to get a job doing government work. Ponder that.

In order to get a driver’s license, I’d need 20/40 and even with glasses, the best I was going to do was 20/50. This is all related to my diabetes and it’s gotten worse in the year since my last eye exam.

Worse, though, was the eye doctor saying, “You need medical help, not an eye exam at Walmart.” That little bit of concise brutality came from the eye doctor whose office was Walmart, remember.

This all has big implications, of course. I’m sorting those out now. I did 100% of the driving before for the family; Lauren never drove. When we went out yesterday, the kids expressed much confusion. “Ummmm — why is Mom driving?” I could also go into the ironies feeling like I’m going blind two of the most important things I do are photography and filmmaking.

But it seems like I have is diabetic retinopathy and that is treatable. I haven’t been getting treatment and with our health care system being what it is, now I have to figure out how I’m going to get that treatment.

And — I’ll need a ride there.