Slowly Leaving the Cave

This COVID situation has lasted way too long, and I suspect it will last even longer. At first, I used to go out of my house without much fear, but as time went on the fear began to consume me. I remember getting anxiety attacks when I watched the news. The political climate here in the United States was and still is turbulent. So, watching the news was never a good thing for me. Since most news stations have an exaggerated rendition of what is really going on it is almost like a semi-truth plus sensationalism used in order to gain ratings. I guess a rational thing would be to watch two or three different versions of a news report and take what is in common and disregard what isn’t. Unfortunately, because of that very same news reporting my anxiety level didn’t allow for such analysis. I told myself I was going to watch the news once a week for a while, and let my family tell me if anything important happened so I could catch that extra portion.

I’ve written here on this blog how I’m not afraid of death, but with COVID death isn’t peaceful, and worse you can pass it to those you love, which drove me up a wall. I don’t care about dying, but I care about taking someone with me. Now with the boosters, the masks, and the social distancing returning to the world has been appealing to me more and more.

My therapist told me to pick a hobby which would give me motivation to leave my house or at least leave my room. I picked up photography. I bought an old SLR camera from the early 80’s and some beat up old lenses. An SLR camera is a 35mm film camera that has interchangeable lenses. For those of you reading that aren’t from the analog generations, this camera is a film camera, no screens or memory cards. I actually have to go somewhere and develop that film and pray that most of the photos didn’t end up blurry!

Since buying film and developing it is relatively expensive for me. My dad suggested I take pictures with my cell phone in the interim of the developing process. He was right on! I’ve never been a fan of taking pictures of events because I feel that I rather live the event than capture it. I find peace in going out to capture something beautiful that is outside of any event territory. It is a thrill trying to capture that special moment that you are experiencing in the way that you are experiencing it. In the case of the film camera, it is even more of a thrill because of the risks you take when trying to get the best shot you can get with a limited number of shots and an expensive development bill. Eventually I will upgrade to a digital SLR but for now, I’m having a blast with my film SLR.

I’m in the process of finding new hobbies. Filling my time and getting out of the house are the two main ways I stay calm and coherent during this epidemic. I’m learning Photoshop as I did Illustrator years back. Right now, getting and staying on my feet is the priority.