What do you want to be when you grow up?

-What do you want to be when you grow up?

A doctor, a lawyer, an engineer?

-No mum,  I want to be a photographer

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And there you are 12 years  old waiting the reaction while hanging your grandpa’s old camera around your neck and holding proud some old rolls of film.You are only 12  and all you know by life and future is defined by possibilities and freshness of choices, the  excitement is the paramount, the first rule in control of  any ‘virtuosi’, genius ,  gift  hints and traces, the time you’re more sincere to yourself  than you will predictably ever remember later on (you listened this before and I got to cede to the cliché once I’m 30 at present time and a living proof )  The glorious days close to a refugee of memories where all the choices are moderated by joy, by pleasure, anything out this equation is just waste of energy and whatever matters to drag your attention in a unfertile ground of doomed youth.
 There your mum is, smiling as considerate and supportive mums are expected to be, and as an impending plot, the suspending  time when her eyes are processing the question in silence.
 There’s nothing to due with happiness (she’s undoubtedly happy)  the anticipated proud with the realization of an artist in family . It’s nothing to do either with some twisted inducted implication that  it’s a shame , a sin to be  a photographer, an artist. That’s only the price of  my confusing strong hyperbolic way to get your attention for the central thought.  For those who doesnt know me, I walk far from this mediocre premises. Check it out…I’m still Roberta Tavares the in love- lover- loving devotee photography maniac , who ellects as home  a place called Photo Junkie Club. ID confirmed, nice to meet you, and no assumptions on crossing sensitive lines and I’m back to the mindset that intrigued my point of view:
You  won’t understand most of her reaction because you can fight the statement but  the verdict is  one: you don’t know  what  she already knows and what a world overestimated by stability, security, power comes proving to her , please use and abuse of  the power of understanding if  all she’s in position to predict while  looking for you and that  rolleiflex  searching for the rainbow of fortune, it is the realistic concern that it isn’t only raised by the satisfaction of her role  preparing walls and frames on the piano, at some stage,  it’s a whole different  psyche emotional preparation more than a celebration.  A fear basic reaction: “And if he’s serious? Is she ready to the doors that can be opened in this path; broken dreams, insecurities and failures battles, hard work returned in  frustrations, money issue rising times from times, and  to remediate as a handful precaution matters in a turmoil of  constant problems solving . .. is he/she ready for the weights of what a real job means instead of a  real hobby? Is he aware what it takes… creativity?
 You can count on something: somehow, where there is creativity is likely to have suffering somewhere someway, like they are linked instances with this purpose to feed these artistic  rooms with all the dramatic intense experiences coming from self knowledge, self questioning, the weakness’ face to face avoided moment , moral dilemmas and survival mode, sleep deprived nights in self evaluations,  like a common plot that tends to carry the anguish, the frightening, some torment hammered by  endless self charges. Definitely, look around…it isn’t only photography meeting  this fleeting voice you cant get rid in your mind for more you learned to keep it  tamed “ Will  it work out?  Will it be worth? What I fuck am I doing?” Any creative career will find this crossroad. Many coming from the same standpoint and ‘what determines the best ?” who can judge the best and assure me I can sleep in peace knowing that  the best always wins?” and if there’s justice to the theory and I’m safe ..there’s a guardian,  divinity, spirit looking for me and when time is right ..I’ll be the chosen one because I’m the best… What and who can I trust ?
 Creative career is an unplanned life of excitement, frustrations and disappointments tendencies  that not a doctor , engineer or a  lawyer  will probably experiment . Excuse me doctors, engineers and lawyers I’m not underestimating the kind of struggle meeting those occupations  and what takes to get  there. I’m being realistic about the emotional commitment. The emotional risks arrive to them (artists) in a different way and intensity, not in this raw increasing comfortable way academics are used to, because the truth is they are expecting mostly providences from outside in an old manual destined  to succeed , they  played their parts, sit in a  room, they make the tests, they police and work hard on grades  and there will be always a place or guarantee that will be a “yes” , just following the manual as an universal rule, the nature’s course, to follow that rainbow and the awareness of what it will  get you in the end…Not so far, the outcome, the stable job, the monthly security payment.
 Artists, they will go for the same proccess, ooms, tests, grades, study, but specially  photographers will be forever facing  this individual personal battle and to overmatch anxiety looking for the golden ”yes”, to  count on luck, to go for the jungle without any certainty, besides ‘be strong , trust yourself, your guts, your gift  and fight’.  Somehow your mum will have all  those orientated clouds coming in mind and validating her rights to be prepared but like I mentioned I’m sure she will be the one proud hanging your first photo, stepping in your first exhibit , when  you proved yourself not for the world but to yourself…you brave, ambitious, you getting outside building character the hardest way possible; a  passion devotee. 
 And for the ones who survive the pressure of their gifts, standing, smiling and walking ahead, strong, confident …When you believe it’s worth no matter what , when you believe that there wouldn’t be another choice, if you can  be happy saying repeating and explaining ‘why I m a photographer’, you are safe because the epiphany trick is exactly that: there’s nothing to explain. There’s no self-justification. 
 Nevertheless, congrats to you  . That’s a journey worth living , to be encouraged , to be celebrated the fact that  there  aren’t guarantees, not certainty and a place booked for you, there are no fairies, guardians or photography gods opening your ways, even  that,  you don’t fear what you love to do, what you were put in earth to do. Then, it isn’t me in  this rebel speech telling , but the self satisfaction  proving that you have what it takes, what it needs :  talent , passion and a hell of a good fight that will  never be over independent how  famous or successful you think you are.  The best of the package: you have soldiers stannding by you, who will trust and be relentless prepared for this trust display.
 So, are you ready? What do you want to be when you grow up? Take your camera and see you in the street, because that’s the real rainbow of fortune…just follow it.  I know some who did it and  never met regret. So, what’s gonna be?

One response to “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

  1. Akaky says :

    What do I want to be when I grow up? I want a job where I don’t have to find dead people in the men’s room, don’t have to deal with the rude, the crude, and the professionally stupid, don’t have to worry about what’s living in the air that I breathe, don’t have to see furnaces glowing bright red in the darkness, don’t have to listen to crazy people tell me about their sex lives or have to interrupt them while they are indulging in their sex lives, and don’t have to worry about fresh piles of human waste in places where such piles are not supposed to be. Other than that I am pretty flexible.

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