Sometime in 2012, on a beautiful sunny day in the golden state; San Francisco, California, the internet in my building chose not to commit to its duty, forcing its work from home residents, like myself, out of the building and into over-filled coffee shops.
Having entered and exited Starbucks in under five minutes due to overcrowding and reduced internet speed, Peet's; the locally grown alternative and local favorite, seemed like the better option. Hands opened the doors to this temporary workspace, clothing patted the sweat off an upper lip, and a body glided over to the cashier station to purchase something - an appropriate gesture of appreciation for the rent-free workspace and free internet. With a croissant and peppermint tea in hand, feet clumsily shuffled over to the single seating section; hands popped open a laptop and eyes surfed the web for upcoming auditions and photo shoots. After scrolling through all manner of websites, a simple but honest casting call, that a friend posted for another friend, seeking out a performance artist for a conceptual photoshoot at the photographer's home in Burlingame, California, seemed quite promising. Enticed by reasonable pay and preponderant opportunity, fingers typed up a generous response, then clicked send. Not too long after, a booking confirmation jumped into sight, and the internal exhilaration felt was enough to fill the empty spots at the coffee shop.
Call time was rather early, and Ella; the photographer flashed a smile as I disembarked the San Francisco Caltrain at the Burlingame stop. Upon entering her Land Rover, there was a quick exchange of pleasantries and an expeditious get to know each other session, as she speedily drove to her abode, nestled atop the hill of a narrow but winding road, with a view that invoked an immediate desire for such delectations of life. There was a placidity about her personal space, something which made settling in, without worry or skeptical thinking, simple. This feeling of comfort urged the internal wanderer to walk around and ogle the fabulous selection of mounted paintings and sculptures like a patron at an art museum. Shortly after, some more wandering and light conversation, myself, Ella and her husband who doubled as her assistant for that day, shuffled our feet down a few flights of stairs to begin our days' work in their in-home photo studio. Fancy!
At the time, Ella was a student of photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, and this particular photography project was a school assignment, the focal point being - complementary colors. So, as Ella and her husband fussed around with lighting and other technical aspects of the shoot, I prepped for the first look.
Once that shoot concluded, it was back to the changing area and onto look number two.
Then look number three.
These images and exploration of the past, encourage thoughts of consequence and the mental asking of serendipitous questions - each begging for more in-depth research of the moments that contributed to this experience. As a result, time bears significance, but more importantly, one word now comes to mind, suitability. This word renders every other philosophical analogy useless. Why? Simply because of Ella. Ella chose the most suitable person for this project - me. Perhaps the opportunity avoided the negative outcome of all the illimitable variables existing in the past, variables such as timing, the other applicants or different choices like a walk around the city or relaxation at the park and not a trip to Peet's. So then, is it safe to say, all the stars aligned? Perhaps! Alternatively, it could be, regardless of time or variables, that I was best suited for the role and nothing more than that.
Moreover, every decision, in a way, relies on suitability. Why in a way? Well, simply because some people make decisions, even if it goes against the choice, while others make them, regardless.
Nevertheless, in the working world, it plays an essential role in the hiring process. That is why booking gigs or landing a job is a universally gratifying feeling to which many would agree. On a broader spectrum, landing that job is, at the end of the day, premised on suitability. It merely denotes that a person is the right fit. In life, fitting in holds utmost importance. Many avoid being the stranger, the discarded, or even the peculiar. Many want to belong, in some way or the other. Whether they fit into their role as an employee or a partner in a romantic relationship, as a teammate on a sports team or a babysitter in someone's home - suitability is the determinant. One can slightly add to this by saying, it is also associated with some modest assumption of a person. People decide if someone is suitable for them or a job based on things like experience, physical appearance, knowledge, skills, and quite possibly how "one" presents oneself. It goes hand in hand with general opinion, and so, it may then be safe to say that it all heavily relies on subjectivity on both ends of the spectrum.
Personally, suitability made the following possible, working with a beautiful and talented photographer with these images as a tangible outcome of that experience. It is also responsible for personal choices on that day of the initial booking - choices such as leaving Starbucks and heading to Peet's, taking the time to read Ella's casting call and determining if the role was fitting.
So you see it works both ways. In this case, it helped Ella select a model, and it encouraged interest in the role. It aided the decision-making process - ultimately resulting in the most appropriate choice by all parties involved.
When applied to everyday life, suitability lacks the presence it deserves. Many make choices without seeking out the advice of appropriateness, or maybe, without considering it. In certain circumstances, it is pertinent and effortless, for example; when applying for a job, or making decisions about food and drink consumption, particularly for those with allergies or specific dietary needs. However, sometimes, in other aspects of life, suitability is forgotten, as different factors take higher precedence, and so, it stands little chance of being noticed and unfortunately, only comes to mind after mistakes present themselves.
Additionally, the conscious application of this type of thinking may encourage the nurturing of a healthier, and more consequentially mapped out mind - one that positively impacts society and fosters more personal accountability in a world where fingers point at others before ourselves.