Tenacity, Diligence, Persistence, Patient: Nobody uses these words to describe me. I’m your original poster child for ADD. I’m pretty sure I actually have ADD. I read an article once years ago that described the symptoms. I had every single one. I literally never took a nap when I was a child. My mother gave up trying to force me, said I could play with my cars and cowboys under the covers, but had to be quiet and stay in bed. Still, doctors have no real method of diagnosing ADD, so maybe I don’t have it. Anyone can get “distracted.” Anyone can lose “patience.” Anyone can “fidget.” Anyone can “forget” shit.
When someone asks “what sign are you,” most people know enough about astrology to answer Libra or Pisces, or whatever you are. But do you know your “Enneagram of Personality” numbers? Enneagrams describe nine personality types. I’m a “4” with a “5” wing. A wing is like a sub-type personality, which also describes you, similar to the way an astrological sign on the “cusp” unites the combination of two signs, perhaps.
I’m a Libra, and despite their concept of a scale for balancing, most Libras are not balanced. Libras may be the most unbalanced people because they are always “weighing” both sides of everything. Need to make a quick decision—don’t ask a Libra for help. An Enneagram 4-type personality is called an “Individualist.” I can relate. Their “ego fixation” is “fantasizing.” Their “basic fear” is to be “insignificant.” Their “basic desire” is to be “uniquely themselves.” Their “vice” is “envy.” The Enneagram chart explains way more to me than being a Libra ever did. But in neither of these systems am I described as someone who persists with something until it’s completed, or who works at something long enough to become a true master of it. Jack of all trades, master of…well…not quite.
Take photography for instance: I learned enough about f-stops and depth of field (until someone decided to change the name to bokeh) and shutter speeds and lighting to capture one good shot out of 50 or so. I learned enough about writing to know the five basic proper uses of a comma and what a subordinating conjunction is. But I simply stopped learning about…well, everything, after a certain point. I don’t know how to post edit a photograph, never used Light Room. Bought a book to learn Photoshop, never even opened it, and it was not cheap. Now the version of PS in that book is old and doesn’t match the version I have on my computer (which I’ve also never even opened).
For a very long time now, I’ve been telling people, and myself, that I am writing a book. I have the beginnings of at least four different books right here on this MacBook Pro. Various sections all neatly organized under different titles. But I simply will not sit down and finish one. ADD? Fear of failure? DNA?
For years, I resisted social media and writing a blog, because at first I thought it was unprofessional, perhaps even childish. I still think (no matter its power) that Face Book is childish, but I do now understand the allure. I wanted a publisher to like my work, and buy it as a book. But first, you have to write a book. I haven’t. You want to see all my notes and notebooks, all my sections and chapters—that, I can show you. One completed piece of work, no.
Then, I decided I would write a blog (took me two years to finally do it, couldn’t decide on a theme, or a name). I created my blog sitting near a rice paddy in Bali, wrote my first post (to see if it worked), and the next day I began Word Press’ Blogging 101 course. I did everything asked in the 101 course in a timely, and disciplined, manner. I was hot: I wrote, I photographed, I changed my About Page, added a widget. And yet the part of me that never finishes things has not allowed me to understand a number of things about the blog, and blogging. I don’t get the “List” in the Reader. I don’t get the Reader. I don’t get how to search for people. I’m not even sure I understand the difference between tagging a post and categorizing it. Does a “category” work like a tag in the cyber realm, and bring searchers to your site? SEO…really? And jwtf is the difference between a pingback and adding a link to a blog?
So I’m now finished with the Blogging 101 course, and I’m still posting on a fairly regular basis. I’m entering photo challenges, and writing a post to accompany them. I’m freaking blogging, man. Even if I am no expert on the how’s and why’s of all things bloggy. I’m blogging, and I’m not only clicking the “Like” button, I’m actually liking other people’s blogs, photos, words. And telling them so in comments. I’m even making cyber friends, which—I’m going to be brutally honest here—not long ago, I believed was unbelievably lame. Six months ago, I could not have imagined I’d be writing a post telling you this stuff. Things change. People grow. Perception is never static.
If you’ve read this far, you might be wondering what my reward might be. My reward is my new logo. Created, or rather remodeled, by a blogger I recently met while commenting. I can’t really call her a friend, but it sort of feels that way. Her site is Quantum Hermit (how cool is that), and her name is Fimnora (even cooler) and her About Page is called Fim Noir (even more cooler!). My site, as you know or can see, is called Badfish Out of Water. My logo is that goofy clownfish with sunglasses, “bad” enough for government work. But I wanted something…a tad badder. But not like a shark. Not that kind of bad. Rhythm and blues bad, not killer whale bad. In a series of comments with Fim, we joked about adding a stash and soul patch and tattoos or earring. Turns out, Fim can do all that. And so she did. And now my logo is one badass fish you just might not want to mess with…unless you’re carrying a tambourine.
I’m not sure I deserve this reward. But I did do everything required in blogging to make it happen. And I’m almost ashamed to say, I have not been this psyched (dating myself?) about writing in a very long time. And I’m actually finishing pieces, not just revising the living crap out of one until it’s sterile. And I’ve even learned to slightly post edit a photo in a very basic way. So thank you, God and Word Press Happiness Engineers. And especially thank you…all you bloggers, who now motivate me. Wait a minute…F-ing-A…is that a light at the end of that tunnel?
Find other challengers and information here: Reward