Once upon a November in 2011, I was dating Syn Nik. No, that’s not the name on her birth certificate but one adopted to keep her true name employable as she embodies a dark duality.
On one side, she’s the remarkable makeup artist you want to hire for your wedding, corporate headshot, or mission critical editorial photoshoot. The other side revels in debauchery, appreciates the beauty in darkness, and is the alternative stylist you want to paint you as the envy of the next gothic ball.
Unfortunately, neither side can live in the same professional space. (I’m sure Hillary wouldn’t have hired “Syn” lol) Hence… the pseudonym. She taught me the value of a second identity… but I’m eternally stupid as this post reveals my alter in all his eyeliner glory.
When I met Syn, she was a makeup artist forcing herself to learn photography. I’m not saying her talent doesn’t lay there, but to me, it was clear she didn’t desire it. She didn’t have a passion for the form but forced herself to learn so she could elevate the capture of her makeup artistry. I respected that and this perceived gap sparked a desire in me to come out of my artistic coma.
I would have never bought a DSLR on my own. At the time, I was too locked into believing I didn’t have what it took to be an artist of any sort (I’m still not confident that negative voice is dead). I was better suited for marketing technology. But, she already had one. And, despite connecting with her “other half,” she also introduced me to the Nikon brand, which I still shoot today. (I still remember reading her D7000 manual cover-to-cover more than once.)
In addition to our makeup / photography synergy, we were both ex-theater geeks who fancied themselves capable of success in that space if we chose. I have no doubt she would have elevated herself in this realm if she desired but I was on a steep decline. Luckily, she encouraged me to produce a duet from the “Jekyll & Hyde” musical before I gave up.
This push later inspired a creative project that, hopefully one day, I’ll release to the public. Perhaps only significant to me, I still consider my interaction with Syn to be the second most significant push I’ve received to fulfill a piece of my life’s purpose. My high school music director is the first.
Why all of this now? I haven’t spoken to Syn for around 5 years!
It’s not what you’d think.
Yes, she’s found a wealth of success since we parted ways. The easy notion would be that I want to connect and try to cash in. If you believe that, you don’t know me, and I would greatly appreciate you stop or continue to never associate with me.
I actually don’t know why I’m writing this.
It all began with a question from my cousin at a playdate with his son and my daughter today. He asked, “Do you still talk to that girl you brought here to help with our photos?” It got my thinking. Thinking so much, I thought I’d explore my feelings through text.
Don’t misinterpret my intentions. This isn’t a proclamation that desires to rekindle a past romance. It has a more professional slant.
Though years ago, I’m still very proud of the work Syn and I did together and I wonder if such creative collaboration is possible in the future. Hopefully enough time has passed to fade the bad and emphasis the good.
So… here I sit… left only to interpret how appropriate the only duet we ever recorded includes lyrics like, “No one speaks. Not one word. Silence speaks. Loud and clear. All the words we don’t want to hear. Either way there’s no way to win. I am losing my mind. I am losing control. Fighting feeling feelings I can’t define. But it’s true all the same. It’s a dangerous game.”
Where’s Fiona Apple when you need her?