Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mixed Emotions

I don't want this to become my complaining blog and I don't want to blog just to blog. I keep hoping I will have something of substance to offer and I don't know that I have much of that going on right now. So here is a little something that has been on my mind for quite some time and I need to just get it out.

I struggle, yes I struggle lots, mostly internally because I hate burdening others with things that are just momentarily hard or things that I might feel because I haven't had enough sleep! I would say that overall my difficulties are in trying to find where I fit in this world, I know I'm a wife/mother/daughter/sister blah blah blah, all the titles we take on either by being born or growing up. They are all important rolls and much of the time I am satisfied in them but then I have times when I want to get out there and try new things and explore the interests that I have in the creative fields!! I LOVE being creative, weather the medium be photography, sewing, singing, decorating, cooking or writing I love to express myself through these outlets! It gives me release and fulfillment at the same time, the hardest part about being creative is how subjective it is. One person might think you are the "most amazing" and someone else might think you should quit all together. As humans I think we look for approval in the things we work hard on, as in "Have the efforts I made today been noticed, and are they appreciated?"

I don't believe that my life's' mission is to be a famous singer/photographer/writer/seamstress/decorator, it would be fun, but I don't assume that just because I have interest in them that it means I will be the next HGTV star, American Idol, Paula Dean or Annie Leibovitz, but it would feel wonderful to feel like my talents or passions are effecting others in a positive way. I really want to serve others, I want my gifts to not just be mine, but to be instruments in helping those around me. I am not talking about joining the Peace Core or the Red Cross, while those are noble causes, I want to serve my friends, family, neighbors, anyone who might stand in need in the simplest form, giving of my time and talent. I am not a saint but rather a sinner trying to compensate for my mistakes with a little goodwill. It's a challenge being the creative type because there are soooo many that share the same interests and in a world of competition and cut throat business the little guy just out to enjoy themselves feels pressure to belong! I am that "little guy" trying to belong, let me share some examples.

I have had a deep interest in photography for many many years, I have always had a camera in my hands, they might not be the best cameras out there, but I have always had one or two near by. In high school I would take my little film camera and drive to the edge of town, climb up a mountain side and take pictures of the city below, broken glass, or sunsets, I would sit alone just thinking and taking pictures. I never had the money to buy expensive equipment or take classes to pursue something that was viewed as just a hobby. The same thing can be applied to all the things I enjoy investing my time in, but see this is where it gets complicated, when I look around it feels like EVERYONE and their Mother has the SAME exact interests and they have the time and money to just dive right in, taking classes, buying equipment, creating websites and the balls to advertise themselves as professionals, something I lack. That is where the debilitating self doubt seeps in, if there are so many others (for example) taking pictures I will NEVER stand out so why try?

I once had a wise friend say to me when I was really starting to explore more into the photography world, "There will always be someone with better equipment, more time, and more talent than you, but the main thing is to focus on developing your own style and taking good pictures." At the time I felt discouraged, like it was an uphill battle and then one day I realized that all I wanted to do was take pictures so I could show a little bit of my perspective, to the world through my lens.

I often offer my services for free just so I can be out there doing what I really enjoy doing, do I feel insecure at times, yes, but I just keep doing my thing. I guess I try to have the perspective that one day all these talents might come to good use for something and if I just sit on them and worry about not being good enough then what is the point in having them?? I don't think I will ever be the "Best" at anything, but why stop finding joy in sewing/photography/writing/singing/cooking!?? Again it's all subjective and there has to be at least one person out there that thinks I don't stink, even if that's me, I suppose!!


Mandi said...

I found your blog, I hope it's ok i comment. I feel the same way with so many of my talents and with life's stuggles. I feel i will never measure up to be half as good. I think you take wonderful pictures. Keep at it and have the confidence in yourself. I think you are wonderful and keep serving and it may just be what someone needs out there. I can totally relate. email me if you want to chat somemore.

Millisa said...

M, i am going to say this, not out of duty or anything else but my true heartfelt feelings...i beleive that everything i have seen you do; photog, sewing, being a mommy, a friend, a writer; you do with true love, skill and talent. i look at your sewing, and tbh, i feel like quiting b/c i know i will never be that good. i look @ your photog and feel like, "man, i wish i could do that.." are such a beautiful woman in many, many ways and i KNOW that you have blessed people's lives; day in and day out. don't you ever stop what you are doing. we ALL have times (some are often) where we think, "what in the heck am i good at; REALLY good at?" i actually have an entire journal entry from a couple years ago that echo the same sentiments you have expressed. you keep doing what you are doing. because, well, you rock! plain and simple.

Rachel B. said...

I agree with Mandi...I think we can all totally relate. Similar to what you said in this post, I remember my mom always telling me when I would get frustrated with comparisons, "There's always going to be somebody smarter, prettier,...etc." BUT the the opposite is true too. You will be stronger in certain area where others are not. For what it's worth, I think you're a VERY talented and creative lady in many respects!

Jack & Ashley said...

I am absolutely amazed at how beautiful and vibrant the colors are in that photo. I think it needs to be framed.

Marylin said...

Thanks for the support you will never know how much it really means to me for all of you to say such great things! I am really really struggling right now and it is a blessing to know that I have some "life cheerleaders" out there!! Thanks Ash that picture was taken at Womens Conf! :)

Liz - Jess said...

Oh you have described my thought process to a T! I've always been a jack of all trades, master of none. And yes, it is incredibly frustrating and also great. I get to enjoy and love so many things. But then when my competitive side starts to kick in, (the dark side) suddenly I am not good enough at anything and I start wondering why I even bother. And guess who that could be speaking to me??
Jess taught me something very early on in our marriage. He said, "No matter what you do, there will always be somebody faster, stronger, smarter, etc. But, there will also be somebody that you are faster, stronger, or smarter than." This is just the way it is. Realizing that the person I love most supports and appreciates me in everything I do, makes it easier on me when I feel less than adequate.
Now, with that being sad.... You are amazing at all of those things! I love your pictures, your voice, your sewing. All of it!! You CAN claim to be all of those things. And your writing is great! You word everything in a way that others respond to and understand. Obviously! I can't even count how many times I have read one of your blogs and felt like you were reading my mind. You ARE helping others.
When you are getting criticism from others, 95% of the time, I am willing to bet that it is jealousy. Pure jealousy. Whether from those that are frustrated that they aren't out there pursuing the things that they love or whether it be that your stuff is just so good they find a way to pick it a part.
You know what YOU like and it is okay if not everyone else likes it. Yes, Annie Leibovitz is a known photography. But me, I don't personally think her stuff is any better than stuff I've seen other smaller photographers do. It IS all in the eye of the beholder and we are all different. We can't please everyone. Too bad. :-)
Okay, I don't know why I've been on such a rant. Probably because I was lecturing myself. Great post!!

Jessi McCall said...

Oh, I SO agree with the comments above. I struggle in a different way. I am a woman who HATES cooking. I can't sew a button on a shirt, and just the word "scrapping" makes me a bit nauseated. I always wondered WHY most girls enjoy these things, and then there's me, the wierdo that can't sing or do anything girly! I just finally accepted in the past few years that my strengths come in athletics, and it makes me happy to participate in most sports! It just is who I am. I KNOW I will NEVER win a marathon, NEVER play pro soccer, or be the BEST on a softball team, but I WILL play and have fun for as long as my body will allow me to. Unfortunately, I won't be able to teach my daughter to sew a dress or play the piano, but she'll know how to slide tackle by the time she's five. ;)
Do what you love always, to the best of your ability, and be grateful for your talents. And, screw the critical haters...your work is AMAZING!! Love ya.