Dead fish go with the flow

I am a dead fish.

Being 22, with no particular achievement aside from being employed as a resource in a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company and sometimes a contributor in a local magazine (which soon will be debunked) being a judge for a food photography presentation is something that is out of my wildest imagination. But it did unexpectedly happen.

One day I was invited by my former advertising professor to review the works of his students on food photography. Knowing my capabilities and little knowledge on the matter, I humbly declined. But due to modesty, I accepted his offer only to watch and observe the presentation.

However, when the event came, I found myself sitting in front holding a pen and paper listening to the presentation of each group. And I know, from here, there is no backing out. Good thing, I was with my friend (former classmate) and the pressure of being there has somehow lessened down.

The task was pretty easy. All I have to do is to share my thoughts on their respective projects. And since I don’t have enough knowledge on food styling or food photography, I have shared my thoughts on the point of view of a customer.

Being a judge is actually fun and exciting. But it was also not that easy considering that I am at the same age with some of the students. However, I still tried my best to be unbiased and give my honest opinion.

The students have potentials. Their outputs were really great. However, there are a lot of things that obviously needs improvement. But I don’t have the guts to tell these things to them. Who would listen to someone who does not have an idea about food photography? More so, to someone as the same age as them?  And so I was limited into saying good things to the students.

I felt really bad. It is as if I am telling a white lie to them or giving them false hopes. But I don’t want them to get the wrong idea that they are not good or something like that. I was at lost in properly explaining and conveying my thoughts.

After the whole presentation, we deliberated and decided the best output among the groups. Of course, I have my own favorites. But as much as I want to nominate my chosen group I was out of confidence to outright say it especially when my choice is not the same as the choice of that of the others.

But there is nothing wrong with the chosen group. I do agree that the group did a good job in the presentation and in their output. What bothers me is how uncertain and lost I am during the whole time.

Being an advertising graduate, I have been taught that we should always think outside the box, defy the status quo, and go against the current. Because that was what “creative” people must do, or usually do. But I am not at all creative. I am boxed. I always follow the traditional and conventional. Worse, I always agree with people. I lost my own voice. I already lost the argument even if it is not yet starting.

It sucks. Really sucks.

I acknowledge that I know nothing. I am aware that I cannot make my own voice. I have accepted that I only see the things that normal people see. And I have shut the voice up inside me who wanted to scream and be crazy. All because I am afraid. All because I don’t have the guts to take the risk. All because I am afraid of being embarrassed.

This is my life. This is my boring life. And even though I am aware of what is wrong, I still continue to live with it and be contented with it.

I know I am a hypocrite, a mediocre.

However, I am still hoping that one day, I may find that courage to go against the flow. And I am also hoping that one day I can follow what Mulan said that “my duty is always to my heart”.

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