So I got the results from the San Francisco Bay show … and …

Here we go.  Competition Season 2018 results.

Earlier this year, I entered ten images – some classics, some new pictures – in the San Francisco Bay Month of Photography “Call for Art” event.  Four years ago, my image of a stretched-out pitcher, The Three-Two Pitch, claimed a silver award in the show.

Here’s the ten images I submitted.

But now I wait.  The images have to be judged and examined.  There isn’t any guarantee that I’ll make the cut.  Not any.  All I can do is hope.

What’s the worst that can happen?  My stuff doesn’t get selected?  Like that hasn’t happened to me in the past in other competitions.

So as long as I’m prepared for the worst … I shouldn’t be disappointed. 😀

Meanwhile, I’m checking the internet like a day trader after three cans of Red Bull.  Has there been any announcements?  Any posted list of winners?  Any salon des refuses for the non-winners?  Anything?

I’m refreshing my e-mails over and over.  I check the spam filter, just in case any results may have landed there by accident.  Nothing yet.

I look through Facebook.  Some other photographers have received notice of silver status for their pictures, meaning digital copies will appear on the show’s website.  No news for me just yet.

Man oh man… when it comes to results, the waiting is the hardest part.

Dang it, I forgot I left my “song quote links to YouTube” feature on.  My bad.

Still no news.

So I went to bed.

Around 1:15 in the morning, I woke up.  I don’t know if it was a bad dream or bad dinner.  But as is my normal habit when insomnia shakes me from my slumber … I check my cell phone for e-mail and Facebook messages.

And that’s when I saw the winners’ list in my e-mail.

Okay, Chuck.  Open the e-mail and see what happened.

There’s a list of “Gold Status” winners – their works will be showcased in San Franciscan galleries throughout September.  There’s a Miller on that list.  There’s a Chuck on that list.  Unfortunately, there’s no Chuck Miller on that list.

There’s a list of “Silver Status” winners – those quality photos will appear online during the gallery event.  My name is not listed there, either.

In other words ….

My photos did not make the cut this year.

Remember that part about preparing for the worst possible scenario and you won’t be disappointed?

Yeah, that.  It happened.

The San Francisco show is biannual, so I have until 2020 to create future images and hope for success.

And I still have several competitions for this year.

But there’s still that nagging, lingering, self-doubting feeling.  I have to work through that.

I was competing against photographers from nearly three dozen countries.  Thousands of entries worldwide.  I gave it my best shot.

I dunno… I could argue that my photos were good, but not good enough for international competition.  Not yet.

But that can’t be true.  Four years ago, I did get a Silver Award in this show.   Maybe that was the exception that proved the rule.  If exceptions can really “prove” a rule.

I just have to remind myself.  When it comes to Competition Season, whether it’s this year or next year or ten years down the line …

As long as I realize that the worst thing that can happen is that none of my entries are accepted, and if that’s the worst that can happen, then I won’t be disappointed in the results.

You do know what I’m doing right now, don’t you?

I’m trying to convince myself – through these words – that things will get better.  I lost a contest.  It’s not like I lost a kidney.

I don’t know if my self-motivation post-entry is working or not.

So here’s the deal.

I’ll take my emotional lumps today.  Maybe tomorrow as well.

But by the end of the week … I’ll try another competition.  Somewhere.  Anywhere.

And we’ll go from there.

And for now … I’ll just listen to some Garfunkel and Oates to help get through this moment of personal disappointment.

I’ll be fine after that.

I’ll be fine after that.