Jon is a failure

by Jon Sullivan - 2023-10-11 - Jonism

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When I look back over my 60 years, the things that I remember most are my failures. And what I worry about most for the future.

I am very happy. I would say the last few years have opened up the way to more happiness then I knew was possible. After living a life where I pretended joy was delusional, I now swim in it. I see a massive wave of frightening joy coming at me and I just T-pose that fucker. So..... when I say I'm a failure, please don't assume that means I'm unhappy or depressed or even a failure.

But I fail so often. Even the last year in Oregon. I have lists of things I've failed at. And many days I'll think of some cool thing I should try or do or learn or visit, and the voice in my head says, "Oh. Awesome. Another thing to fail at. What a waste of time and money." That's the good voice btw. The bad voice is much more subtle and hurtful. And with some of the failures I carry them with me 24/7, and I can't even pretend they aren't bad - My shitty health and weight, my casual (lazy) approach to getting a job, playing video games inside with paradise just out the door. And all the hobbies that now sit in bins in my closet. I have the most expensive home dehydrator you can buy, but I never dehydrate anything. I've failed at dehydrating.

And yes, I get it. I overthink everything. But it's my brand. It's why you're here reading this. So let's just get past that.

I made mustard from scratch for the first time yesterday. Sort of a stone ground, Dijon, honey mustard kind of thing. It's delicious. Far from a failure. I'll post a recipe once I get it dialed in. But..... The reason I decided to make mustard for the first time is that I really wanted to make something else, knew it would be yet another Jon failure, and needed to distract myself. What I really wanted to do was start making my own cheese. This is very much in character for me. I am my parent's son. So the first 18 years of my life were 100% "make it from scratch". And when I do that I go big. Back when I was alcoholic I had a legit microbrewery in my apartment. Since moving to Oregon I've added growing my own mushrooms, making my own kombucha, fermenting more veggies. Cheese making would be a natural fermented food progression.

And it would also be yet another Jon failure. I can assure you right now that this thought would shut it down - "So this homemade gruyere took 6 months of babysitting, isn't as good as the real AOP stuff, took a ton of special equipment, and I don't even eat enough of it to keep up." And then I'll do the math and just buy it in the store. And I'll have a huge cheese cave that will sit unused. Thus...... yet another fail. It's what I do.

I'll spend the next few weeks talking myself out of it, before jumping in and building a dual-zone fridge with automated temp and humidity controls. I know I will. I won't be able to avoid it, no matter what the math says. And doing it half-assed is a no-no that my obsessive brain won't tolerate. It's what I do. I'm a mess. Too many blows to the head I'm sure. But mark your calendars, place your bets, six months from now I'll have you try my homemade gruyere, you'll say it's incredible, and I'll never make it again. It's what I do. Because I'm a failure.

At least I have this awesome mustard.

Today's photo - I wander through the world, looking at it through a rectangle the shape of my camera sensor. It's not dissimilar to - Pull out, track right. Stop. Track 45 right. Stop. Pan right and pull back. Stop. Enhance 34 to 46. Pull back. Wait a minute. Go right. Stop." Everywhere. Often I'll just stand and stare, knowing there is a great photo hiding somewhere right in front of me, not seeable but potentiated. I think this is a beautiful photo. But where is the beauty really? Not in what the eye saw, but in the artificial computer filters I applied? Does that mean the object was real, but the beauty was not?

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