I just had one of those moments. I’m sure everyone’s had one. That moment where you suddenly realise that for all your complaints about the world around you…you’re pretty much a failure at noticing what’s right in front of your nose anyway. Just goes to show how much escapes your notice even through day to day life.
I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly open person with my hobbies – too many fearful years of suppression have left me far too happy to express my passions, much to people’s amusement and/or consternation. Doubt anyone who has met me more than twice couldn’t give a fairly accurate account of my hobbies, passions and dreams quite easily. But tonight was a pretty big reminder that the people around me aren’t always that open. There are things people don’t always tell you, for no other reason than they never saw the need.
What happened? I basically got a friend request on Facebook. It threw me for a loop at the person had no mutual friends; the profile photo was a stock photo of a statue, and the name foreign. It sounded familiar, but I didn’t recognise it. I mulled around for a good five minutes before looking at the person’s page. It was all photography – good photography and photojournalism, but couldn’t find anything to explain why this stranger wanted to be friends with me, couldn’t even find a photo of the man in question.
Then, I spotted on his profile. He lived in Aberdeen, and with far too much epiphany, I realised where I knew the name.
It was my roommates. The man who lives quiet literally one wall away from me. Who I’d spoken to not 30 minutes ago.
So I’m feeling just a little pathetic and ridiculous about it all. Admittedly I never really bothered to ask what said roommate’s last name was, but that I couldn’t but 2 and 2 together considering the uniqueness of the name seems to give a depressing conclusion of my minds state. But what makes it really hurt and hit deep? Up until 5 minutes ago I would have honestly said that my roommate had no interest in photography whatsoever.
It honestly came out of left field. I have never seen him with a camera – whenever we go out it’s always someone else taking shots. He’s taken albums of photos of places I had no idea he’d even been – despite talking about travel with him regularly, even has a diploma in photojournalism…and I had no idea.
How did this skip my attention? I’m no photographer but I have (multiple) friends who love the hobby with a passion, and I adore photos of people’s experiences. We regularly talk about holidays and travel, I always ask him where he’s gone – but somehow his talent and experiences have gone unmentioned. Perhaps he wanted to keep them secret? But then why add me as a friend to a page devoted to this part of his life?
So I confronted him about it tonight. Apparently he fell in love with photojournalism some years ago, and while he was travelling threw himself into it…but discovered, much like my brother and his cameraman dreams, that photography is not conductive to making money. So the passion was put to the side in exchange for making good money. As such, since he moved to the city (and I should add, the only person in the flat who hates the granite city more than myself is him), he hasn’t had the drive to take photos the way he used to. Hopes to one day take it up again, even here, if just so he can continue to tell stories through photography.
It makes me wonder what secrets my other roommates and work colleagues have tucked away…