The Decisive Moment
You know how when you get sick and sometimes, it feels like you’re dying? And then you start thinking about what you would do if you weren’t sick or knew you didn’t have much time left on earth? Can you tell I watched a lot of Grey’s Anatomy while ill’in? I know that was a bit dramatic, but let me explain:
The last month or so had been go, go, go. I was working tirelessly to get my website going, tirelessly re-vamping things with personal career goals, and tirelessly adult-ing in general. Then, last week everything kind of fizzled out- which is fine, we all need some down time. Meanwhile, complacency started to creep in. As I settled into the monotony of daily, uninspired life that thing in the back of my throat began like a ticking clock. Drip, drip, drip. So I took my claritin everyday and continued to go about my business. By mid-week, I’d signed up for some (free) online courses and I can’t stress enough, continued to settle into complacency.[I’m defining complacency as knowing there are bigger and better things you want to be doing but, you allow yourself to think and feel that everything is okay as it is- even though history and patterns have identified otherwise].
So anyway, it was no surprise that on Thursday the complacency was shattered. I won’t get into how, I’ll just say there were multiple posts to Facebook regarding incompetency and even a Glassdoor review that hasn’t been posted- yet! But as the former First Lady said, “When they go low, we go high.” In spite of the tomFOOLery, I had an awesome day. On Friday, I was all-out sick. I’m talking fever, chills, congestion, long periods of just laying in the shower, (don’t judge me, it’s incredibly soothing). This continued through the weekend. Today, I’m back in the office only because I felt I am no longer a danger to those around me and I was tired of sitting at home, binging on Grey’s. Upon exiting the elevator, the first person I see is the source of my non-posted Glassdoor review. For whatever reason, my immediate thought was, “What have I got to lose?”
Being sick, and in silence, definitely highlighted some things about myself. Not in a negative way, but in one of those, “Do something about it, be the change you want to see,” kind of ways. For instance, I re-realized that I’m an artist. I am interested in crafting images that speak to people so much that they want to hang it on their wall or prop up on their desk; I create visual reminders. Furthermore, I was reminded that while you should treat people the way you want to be treated, people will treat you how you allow them to treat you. In my case, I’ve allowed way too much to pass through these golden gates. That stopped last Thursday. Most of all, I learned that being sick is out of your control, but being a prisoner to your own thoughts and inaction is within your control. Henri Cartier-Bresson, the god-father of street photography, pioneered the notion of the decisive moment. In Cartier-Bresson’s own words, the decisive moment is:
“Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera.”
When we apply that to our lives as a principle, you don’t need to wait until you’ve got a cold or cardiomyopathy. You can start living your life by just deciding you want to. And from there, you can be a little more decisive about how.