Discover more from The Ṣàlàyé Chronicles (of Tam Olobio)
or maybe Bruce Wayne, idk. I'm definitely a dark...nvm
When the trailer for The Batman dropped, I was ecstatic! But it’s been months since the movie’s release, and I still haven’t made plans to see it. I have heard much about it, though. Sources say it drew inspiration from Frank Miller‘s Batman: Year One. The comic is one I’m particularly fond of—because, for most of it, Bruce isn’t Batman. He’s a man, a very unsure one at that.
Like the Gotham series, the story doesn’t revolve around Bruce alone. It’s a James Gordon story too. Not a commissioner James Gordon, but detective Gordon.
The book starts with Bruce Wayne, the billionaire orphan returning from studies abroad *wink wink*. After 12 years abroad, he’s back to the city that gave his family their wealth—the city that took his parents from him, Gotham city.
In the course of the 138-page graphic novel, we see him get cornered, beaten, shot, and arrested. Bruce just isn’t Batman—not even when he dons the suit.
The story ends with Gordon catching Bruce without his mask. But since this isn’t a Spider-Man story, Batman’s homecoming doesn’t end that easily. You’d have to read the book or watch the movie to find out what I mean.
You’re probably reading this and wondering how any of this connects to the title of this newsletter. Well, maybe not, but that’s what I’m wondering as I write this.
I think it’s because I’m up worrying about my future again. Thanks to a lack of due diligence upon my transfer to Bowen University, I’m a final year student for the second year. This is the year I graduate, though.
Besides being a final year student, I’m a photographer, wannabe writer, and recipient of the #I4GZuri scholarship 2022 Cohort—which involves me taking the full-time product design course (for 25 hours+ a week). I’m also a bit of an obsessive perfectionist & chronic procrastinator sometimes, but I don’t know if this is the right list for that brag.
Odds are, if you’re reading this, you’re one of the 261 people who subscribed to this newsletter because I sent you the the About of this newsletter and asked for your thoughts on it. I wrote & rewrote that at least 43 times (not counting minor edits), and not just because of feedback. I was just obsessive.
My roommate can testify to how obsessive I can be when I’m stuck on stuff. Sometimes, I stay up too late or wake up too early—only to ‘finish’ and shelve what I’ve worked on. I’ll let you in on a secret: some of the newsletters I’ll be publishing in future were originally written in 2021.
Every once in a while, I announce things I’m working on but never get around to sharing them because I don’t think they’re good enough yet—that I’m good enough yet, and that eats me up. Sometimes, it makes me want to do that thing people do where they disappear for months at a time and reappear all levelled up.
Sometimes, I want to disappear for other reasons. The most recent of which is that I didn’t take criticism as well as I could, and it hurt an important friendship—and a very important friend.
I’ve been actively into photography since the last quarter of 2019, but I recently decided to get into commercial photography proper, and it’s forced me to learn a lot. Last December, I almost botched a gig because I panicked a lot and didn’t show confidence. The client mentioned that much to say when I sought feedback on what I could have done better.
My aforementioned friend is one of my best guys, and has likewise been a fan of my work since day 1. They were one of the first people to tell me they wanted to buy prints of my work, the first person to ask me for corporate headshots (despite me never having shot those before), and one of the people I reached out to for advice when I decided on commercial photography. However, we’ve had a falling out over my photography before.
Over the weekend, I shared some work I’ve been hoarding since January.
My friend reached out to ask if I edited the photos. I confirmed that I did not, as I was satisfied with the outcome. They attempted to make me see that would it have added the quality of work, stating that if they were coming in contact with my page for the first time and they saw those pictures, they “wouldn’t be encouraged to look at more, let alone book” me (sic).
My initial response was “got it”, but I knew I’d taken offence. I said nothing more, and I drifted into a different chat with a photographer about their work and why they’d been scarce lately. They told me they wished they could post like me and while talking, I picked up on the fact that they thought I was bold for posting my work. I didn’t feel bold—I’ve never felt like I needed to be bold to post my work, so I made a tweet about it.
In a series of now-deleted tweets, I referenced my friend’s words about how they wouldn’t feel encouraged to look at more or book me and I spoke about how those words would’ve broken me if I’d heard them just a month ago. Before that, I’d tweeted a reference to the falling out and how I'm not over it—even though they’ve apologized for it several times.
I was wrong. I didn’t handle the situation like a friend or a professional would—I didn’t give them the time & space to walk me through their thought process. I didn’t even take some time off to sort through my feelings. Instead, I went back to our chat: told them I hope I never work with them, brought up the falling out, admitted that I was furious and my judgement was clouded but told them to never comment on my work. It was after all that I told them I needed time to cool off.
Maybe if that was all I did, it would have been ok. But between that and the tweets, I’d managed to make them look and feel like a hater, and eventually, I got to know that I made them feel like a horrible friend and person.
If you’re reading this, I’m sorry. I know you need some space so I won’t text/call you, but I hope we can talk when you’re ready. I love you, my guy. I don’t want to lose you ❤️
So yeah, sometimes I want to find a rock with a secret password, speak the words, and disappear until I’m sure I’m stocked enough to come out richer, but we can’t all be Ali Baba, can we?
Earlier today, I came across a post by Elvis Okhifo, a photographer I’ve looked up to for a while. In the caption he discussed his photography business in 2018/2019; how he made mistakes, and wronged people, and how he has now built structures to help him do better. In his last paragraph, he mentioned starting a restoration journey for the relationships that his attitude affected and how he intended to keep himself accountable until it’s all made good.
It spoke to me. I’ve made a couple of rookie mistakes already and even if I don’t want to, I’m probably going to make more. There are people I owe proof of changed behaviour and apologies for wronging them as a person, friend, student, and professional. If I hope to do better, I can’t just disappear. I need to stay here and be accountable.
There’s a time to train and a time to be Batman. I’m not Batman, not yet—I’m Br…Tam. It’s true that I still need training, but I’m in Year One, and from what I gather, I could be for a while.
If you’d like to stick around with me in Year One, subscribe. You’ll be the first to know when it’s over
Are you in Year One too? Would you like to talk about it? If yes, tell me about it here in the comments or @ me on Twitter @TamOlobio and let’s talk.
If you’re not in Year One anymore, I’d love to hear your story and talk to you too. Maybe our conversations might even be the basis for my next round of B.S. (Banter & Soliloquy) or help me address the cited incidents in this one. Either way, thanks for going through my BS. I’ll see you in a bit.
Be kind to yourself, ok?