The Challenge Ahead

I tweet, a lot. I have done for a pretty long time now. I first joined Twitter in 2010, but that account got hacked and the good ole folks at Twitter never responded or helped me get it back. I had a bad password for all of my services at the time, and it could have been much worse. You live, you learn. Why am I rambling about this? I think I have hit a wall with Twitter. I just RT things, lash out favourites and it becomes this clusterfuck of information and links. I don't use it to its full potential and I really ought to do so. I have also realised that I tend to tweet meandering thoughts far too liberally. Simple ideas that just float into my head, yet instead of processing them and resolving many of them, I toss it onto an ever growing list of non-sensical 140-character long blips. That has to change. I have to change. Randomly tweeting young, non-sensical thoughts that are often far from logical just isn't a good idea. In a sense it's reflective of life, of late. 

What Next?

Honestly, it's started to get the better of me in certain respects, and has given me a little bit of an ass kicking. This is me acknowledging the fact. I'm on an internship at the moment with a startup specialising in aerial photography and video. I wrote about it all a while back. It's going, okay, I guess. There are many things I would change but, I could say that about a lot of things in my life over the past 23 and a bit years. What's the point? One thing I have tried to do is look at returning to college to undertake a masters over the coming year.I've been mulling over the prospect of returning to college. There's a Masters program that is pretty intriguing to me in the college here. At the moment, a massive wall formed entirely from bureaucracy, stands in the way. Currently, I receive a social welfare payment each week. 

As a result, this plan is at the discretion of the Department of Social Protection. Unfortunately, it would seem many in the department don't fully understand the schemes available. So far I have spoken to 4 people, each with a different answer to my questions. It becomes disheartening after a while - to not be helped despite a near constant plea for information and support. It's beyond frustrating. Truthfully, I don't know where this will lead. All I know is I have to be ready for all eventualities, which, is much easier said than done. I'm trying my best to figure out what the best path is, and I can only hope that transition goes as smoothly as it can in my head. 

Like all ventures in life, it takes time and effort to make something work. I've learned this the hard way with my attempts at losing weight over the years. The only times I have made decent progress have been when I focused on doing it because it would make me happy. I have a long way to go, but progress has been made and there's adequate room for more to follow suit. Time harbours great promise. Effort releases it. 

“We improve ourselves by victory over our self. There must be contests, and you must win.” - Edward Gibbon

If the college plan fails, I'll take it as a sign. A sign that I need to give it my all to forge my own path, and to do so because it is what's meant to be for me. In my mind I know what that direction could be like. I know that I could be very happy, that I'll be really challenged, and that it will only work if I really work. That's a challenge that I'm happy to tackle head on. 

Ah, the semi-broken promise...

That title pretty much sums up what this blog has been about, to date. 

Truthfully, blogging kind of fell off the list of things that I found engaging, for a while. It's funny, but during my last burst of writing I actually felt like I had something important to say and to share. Something endearing. What followed was a little bit of a reality check, and an acceptance that I am 23. I stopped writing. 

The week before last, my iPhone4S succumbed to about 3 and a half years worth of abuse. It felt odd. For the first time in about 6 years, I had no smartphone. I decided to blog about it. The intention was to create a daily blogging series on my Medium account. It lasted for about 3 days - I'll republish them right here, sequentially. After 4 days I decided to put end to the series, due to work/personal commitment. I felt indifferent. 

A trusty ole '4S snap. 

A trusty ole '4S snap. 

The biggest surprise throughout the 3-day blogging experience has to be the response I received to the posts. Nothing over the top, but there was an actual response, which surprised me quite a bit. Maybe I do have some interesting thoughts to share? 

For now, all I can do is give you my word that there will be more content here on my journal. I made the decision to kill thirdandlake.com a couple of days ago, as I felt it was also grossly under-utilised. I don't exactly have a plan, but honestly, that's solely because I am busy in my personal and work life. There will be time. 

Oooh, a little update! 

Recently, I have made the somewhat bold decision to pursue work as a freelancer. I am currently in the midst of creating a business plan, and I can't wait to go head on into this! So much time spent strategising now, and looking at what others are doing in my area. The work has to be great, and I'm a stickler for setting standards for myself. The marketing also has to be great, and that's going to take a little more time and effort to get to grips with.

If you have any thoughts or advice you think worth sharing, please drop me a comment below, or get in touch with me on Twitter at @jerrylane_. As always, thanks for taking the time to pop by and follow my meandering thoughts (also known as "Word Vomit"). I really do appreciate it.

Have a great day! 

Jerry 

Steady, steady, steady... Do!

“Steady, steady, steady…” 

I love and loathe the act of thinking. As someone that has lived with anxiety for a few years now, I find it a blessing and a curse to hold the ability to critically think about situations. At times with anxiety that critical, focused thinking can suffer due to thoughts that roll more from the heart than the head. Thoughts that are shrouded in hypothetical notions, each one with its own thread, and all connected into one giant web that at times is so very difficult to break free from. 

Enter YouTube and the work and ideas of one filmmaker. 

At this point you might be wondering: “where the hell is he going with this?” And, you’d be right to wonder. See, I’m a huge fan of people that can tell a story with very little, or those that can take the most mundane of objects and turn them into a wonderful image. Over the past 6 months or so I have grown to become a big fan of the work of Mr. Casey Neistat - a filmmaker living in New York. Casey has a great style in his work, and it always strikes me that he’s more capable at executing on telling a story than many ‘critically acclaimed’ filmmakers. There’s a sort of no frills thinking to some of his work and he’s a firm believer in the idea of getting shit done. 

A while back I watched a video of Casey presenting a keynote about the pursuit of perfection and how it can affect the humanity in work. It hit home for me. As a creative person that’s gone through college, I’ve found myself under this constant notion that everything needs to be so technically perfect, so tack sharp, so 4K and perfectly mixed in 5.1 or 7.1… That’s well and good, but the story has to come first. There are so many capable tools that are at our disposal everyday through which we can tell stories and while it’s nice to have all the gear in the world, sometimes that can cause more trouble than its worth. 

In some respects, that whole idea is why I haven’t blogged a whole pile of late. In the past I spent so much time thinking about doing shit, and so much less on executing those ideas, that I just found myself bouncing back over the same ideas again and again, feeling more anxious, and really getting nowhere with anything! Don’t get me wrong - critical thinking and refinement of an idea has its place, 100%, but it’s not the be all. If an idea only exists in your head, it’s wasted. It’s taken me a little while to realise and accept that, but I’m doing it now and it feels great. 

Execution of an idea is always more productive than thinking about how you’re going to execute the idea. We all have to find that balance, to learn and grow as best we can, by doing.

I've been doing much more lately, both in my work capacity through my internship with Octofly, and on a personal level with shooting more photographs, trying to execute more on new ideas before I begin to overthink them, and in getting focused on losing weight by exercising more - an act that has perhaps had the greatest positive impact on my anxiety thus far. 

Do. Don't overthink. 


The link above is to one of my favourite albums of the year - If I Was by the fantastic trio of The Staves. I can't recommend this album enough. 

If you enjoyed this piece please feel free to give it a share, or to share your thoughts by dropping a comment below, or drop me a tweet to @jerrylane_ 

 


Oh new beginnings...

 This year has been so life changing in so many ways. One year ago I was finishing up my time at college, I was unhappy, anxious, and heading down a really negative path. That path continued until the turn of the year. At that point, I was struggling every day with anxiety, being hugely overweight, and struggling to get through each day. Following a meeting with my doctor, I decided to get further help through a counsellor. That was my turning point. 

It's now been over 4 months since that date, i'm happy, pretty much free of anxiety, and for the first time in my life I'm focused on 'me', on losing weight, getting healthy and (finally) pursuing the things in life that I'm most passionate about. In just a few months time i'll be investing in a camera and some lenses to push myself out as a freelance photographer and videographer. I know I have an eye for it, combined with a passion and ambition to excel at it, and now I feel i'm ready to do it! 

It's funny in a way that it took getting to a really point for things to turn around. I couldn't have imagined just 4 months ago that i'd be where I am, but thanks to the support from my friends and family, combined with the support of my counsellor and a realisation that I want to be healthier, to be more productive, and ultimately to try and be happy in who I am, I've gotten to where I am. It's the realisation that if I want to feel better, I truly have to want be better. 

I started working with a startup company here in Tralee a week or two ago, called Octofly LTD. We specialise in aerial photography and videography for a whole host of areas. 

Here's a shot we got while out training yesterday, near Ballyduff, Co. Kerry. 

Sineater heads for Cannes!

Quick little update tonight! 

The short film, Sineater, that I worked on as production stills photographer just before Christmas, has been selected for the Cannes Film Festival, 2015. The film, written and directed by Bertie Brosnan and produced by Brian O Connor will be appearing in the Short Film Corner at Cannes 2015. The film was an interesting project to work on and had a pretty great crew built around it. You can check out some of the production stills I took by heading here

If you're feeling extra generous, you can help Brian and Bertie to take the film to more festivals by supporting them on their IndieGoGo campaign

Talk

Over the past twelve months or so I've found it more and more common to see or hear about friends and acquaintances that are going through difficult times in their lives, about people that have lost their way, and about so many that are struggling to get to the end of the day. At the same time, there's still an ignorance towards mental health in numerous parts of our society, and it's something that really must change. There are a great many things in life that can get to you. As someone that's dealt with depression and anxiety on a personal level in numerous instances over the last 5 or so years, it's from that personal experience that I can say knowing that it's okay to not feel okay is a huge step to take when dealing with your own mental health. Knowing when something isn't okay and ACCEPTING that is vital to begin addressing the problem.

As someone suffering you may look to others for support, and yet sometimes all you can think is "I'm going to be annoying them or bringing them down if I say how I'm feeling", so you bottle it. It builds up and you feel worse. The cycle repeats. But the reality is, you won't bring them down, and your friends are your friends because they care about you. They want to see you happy. At worst they may be a little taken aback initially, but they'll do what they can because that's what friends do. Family are the same.

As the friend or family member you may not know what to do or what to say if someone comes to you about their struggles. You might find yourself unable to muster up solutions to their problems, but that's okay, you're still there and you're still supporting them. That in itself can be huge for someone that's struggling. You can also help by supporting them should they seek professional help, which is always a perfectly fine thing to do.

The taboo and shame that hangs over mental health is purely nonsensical. It's like we're living in the past and that asking for help is a sign of weakness. It's not. It never was (regardless of what any horribly misinformed folk said), and it never will be.

Knowing that life is best lived in appreciating more the everyday things most of us take for granted - your friends, your families, the silly jokes and moments that only you and your wonderfully strange group of friends get, whatever these tiny moments are - these are the things to place your happiness in. Forget the gadgets, the fancy outfits, the latest celebrity magazines and gossip, and all these other material possessions. They come and go with the seasons and their value is short lived. Take strength in the ones you get out of bed to get to see and talk to every day. When all's said and done the memories you have will be with the people you've shared your life with, and the places you experienced together.

If you're struggling, don't be afraid to talk. If you're approached by someone that's struggling, don't be afraid to listen. Life is complicated, finding happiness in the simple things will make it a joyful one.