Life isn't always razzle-dazzle and that's a-OK.
A little over a month ago I'd landed a professional piece to cover an art installation chalk full of selfie inspiring areas. These types of installations are all the hype currently and I have a dial on the pulse of knowing about all kinds of them with my connections to the art realm here in LA and my start to investigate those up North in my other pseudo residence of SF.
Today the piece was finally now reaching its 30-day mark. I'd actually gotten paid for it hitting that mark yesterday which was a massive relief given things I will not be disclosing here currently. It was also the day where I received notification that it was likely being killed despite the greenlit go ahead previously due to above editorial decisions to pivot their intended focus. The particular installation that I had covered had several elements (rubber ducks and other things that apparently could be viewed as more juvenile) which I could understand would possibly give the overhead pause as it was for an alcohol site which is pretty well known and established.
Now, don't get me wrong, I totally enjoyed writing the piece. There were several beautiful elements in it, that I'd highly recommend going to check out with one room, not in these pictures in particular that popped out a ton. I was and am bummed that it's very likely killed as of this moment unless some miracle happens. I am happy to continue to do them and am currently seeking further opportunities to do just that. These pieces and experiences are what I crave. The finished piece came out gorgeous. The photographer I collaborated with is really great. The editorial above me is a phenomenal woman and human being. I really wish it would have gone live. I firmly believe that many of you would have enjoyed it too. Perhaps even some of you that need content like it done for your projects.*
However, as fun and as in the element as these things are, I've got a lot on my plate with everything. Sometimes, even on days where I'm excited and pumped, I get introverted and nervous. People tend to believe on the surface that I'm an extrovert by default. It is accurate but it's also not.
I'm actually an ambivert.
Yes, my "Ramona Flowers" types of behaviors are very particular. They come out at times in subtle but sometimes noticeable ways. I've examined it afar in pictures. I've noticed it as it's happening at the moment.
Not sure what I mean? Look at how different I look in these two pictures.
I'll get quieter.
I tend to be a bit more trepidatious.
I won't "pop out" of pictures as I tend to on other days with ease.
I won't have...
It's totally about my comfort level.
At the installation I covered, I was meeting someone for the first time. He had been doing things a bit more recent and had just moved to LA from the East Coast. He's a pretty swell cat and a great professional photographer that has got a book out and has traveled the world.
At a different "selfie powered" installation previously like it in San Francisco called "The Museum of Ice Cream", I had gone with a long time Twitter friend and his family. I was extremely extroverted and comfortable and it came about in the pictures taken that day (which I haven't even uploaded all of yet and may just put on different posts another day) and then some. When people say that people can make or break experiences, it's really true. Especially for an ambivert like me. My ambivert self-was pretty non-existent during the time we walked around the exhibit happily galavanting abound through candy and ice cream oriented confectionary sweet photo-ops. It was.. dare I say, a picture perfect dose of experience.
That self is primarily my baseline. It's not completely dumbfounding why people are caught off guard when I'm not like that. It's a bit of a blessing as well as a curse. People expect me to be this vibrant shiny glittery thing all the time. I can't always be that way though. It gets frustrating sometimes and I tend to go through different phases of hibernation and pulling back before returning to my "normal" bouncy self. But such is life.
So there I was at this place with this name that screamed Happy explosion. I was pumped and set having landed the ability to write about a place I had already had on my radar. I was excited about sharing this with someone else I hadn't met yet. I was pumped about the collaboration and flow of the coming event. However... on the excursion to cover the aptly named "Happy Place", my ambivert self-decided to appear.
While there were some great moments captured on film, I also know how there were some less than ideal ones as I was trying to become comfortable. The temperament of the day was a bit off for some reason. Things just appeared that I didn't expect. I kept them quiet and pushed them down in the moments although they potentially could have been visible as I could identify them personally when examining the pictures and videos gathered from both the photographer and me of the show. I also noticed it in private conversation and tone. It continued with a domino effect in further subtle ways which I could identify personally afterward.
This was also present in a different conversation I had elsewhere, which is partially what held me back from publishing this earlier in the day.
My subsequent Tinder date from hell that I went on following the installation coverage* was something so jarring and dare I say triggering that it jolted me a bit harder than perhaps it might have if it had not been that day. And even though I had (*and still haven't just yet but will update this blog with the links when I do) not finished and published the piece I wrote about that, it was not exactly kept quiet that it'd been bad enough to frighten to those whom might have been affected.
Talking about it with friends would reassure me that my actions were in fact valid. If anything, it was reassuring to me that my ambiversion had been exactly what I needed to guard myself and for the right reasons. My vibed feelings lacking complete comfort were validated and ultimately ok. It was my body being aware and allowing myself the ability to be selective and guarded with whom I'm comfortable around.
Oftentimes I beat myself up about getting tilted to ambivert. It becomes cyclical. There are likely some whom would probably attempt to claim or foist assertations that this is a sign of some sort of dysfunction.
I wholeheartedly and respectfully disagree.
I think this is the best thing for me and am going to continue to do it. I'm not going to allow myself to further compound my already hard on myself to listen towards your guilt and press that your way is the end all be all of what matters, counts, or ultimately, is best for me.
This isn't your battle or your body.
This isn't your place to try and state is something "selfish."
This is a form of self-awareness and care.
It may still have the "self-involved" but that is ok.
That said, I also want to encourage others not to be afraid to embrace the signals your body tells you. From someone whom also simultaneously embraces the feelings of lacking comfort and uncertainty, it is also something valuable, from my personal experience to allow yourself the ability to follow your body signals.
It's ok not to always be happy.
It's ok not to always be shiny.
It doesn't matter if you're in front of the camera or on-stage or on a (what was thought of as at least) promising date or even in the most giant fucking confetti dome in Los Angeles.
Sometimes that shit just isn't going to surface and that's OK.
Self-reflection will sometimes appear at what you may think are inconvenient times at times. This is not a bad thing. This is a time to be thankful for.
Be well as you can regardless if someone is watching. It's ok to not be as shiny all the time. It's called reality after all.
Thank you for reading.