Maintaining The Illusion | The Struggle Is Real

Rainbows, Butterflies and Unicorns…

I have been back and forth on this blog post for a year.  I start to write it and then I stop or I delete it all together.  Blogs are suppose to be happy happy happy.  It is puppies, kittens and perfection.  But is the illusion of happy worth sacrificing what is authentic?  Sometimes you just have to put it out there and be real.  Yes REAL. 

Show of hands…how many times have you wanted to share something in a Facebook group, etc. but held back because it doesn’t fit your ideal vision of perfection?  The something you wanted to share and garner advice about still goes unanswered and to save face you are shortchanged.

We spend countless hours working on our businesses.  Curating the perfect online presence.  Life is good.  We work hard to maintain that presence.  But lets get real here, it is not PERFECT.

That is the slippery slope we get into when blogging, utilizing social media and in general networking.  We are afraid to put our short comings out there.  Fear is rampant that other creatives will smell blood in the water and circle like sharks.  You know what?  Just because it could happen, does not mean it will and let’s all say this together now…Who cares?  At the end of the day, do those people who thrive on your shortcomings matter?

Why are we not being true to ourselves?  Why do we fear going into a facebook group community and saying “Hey I need help?”  or “I made some serious mistakes tonight while at a session and I want someone to help me” Why can’t we be 101% professionally real?  I promise you there are at least 10 other people in that group struggling on some level as you.  But they too will sit in silence as we continue to craft the best version of ourselves.  The lens we view perfection through.

I am here to say enough is enough.  2017 needs to be the year to be real.  Put yourself out there. Distance yourself from those that are negative and thrive on the drama.  Focus on you.  Ask for help.  Share your knowledge.  Be supportive.  Be part of the solution. Do not be scared to try.

It is ok to put it out there.  Let’s all make a conscious effort to be more accepting of BOTH the successes and failures of our businesses and of those around us.  By embracing and yes, sharing these instances, others can grow and learn and we can all support each other along the way.  Let’s take the negativity out of things that are not 1000% perfect and celebrate one another.

In the spirit of sharing, I will start.  Life is not perfect.  Mine is messy and I screw up.  Sometimes daily.  But I keep getting back up and trying.  I was looking for an image the other day and came across a folder of a teen spirit session.  I loved that session and to the casual observer it was perfect.  The behind the scenes show me laughing and posing with the teens.  The lens from which you were given to view this session points to nothing going awry.  If only that were the whole truth.

You see what you don’t see in that social media “presence” is someone who packed their reflector into the car, kissed her kids goodbye and drove 40 minutes to this shoot.  Someone who showed up 20 minutes early to check the location and opened her trunk to realize all she packed was her reflector!  I had left my camera bag at home because life happened.  Full disclosure:  I have had quite the year and that day was no different than the other 364 days of that year.  

I quickly went into panic mode (I typically only allow myself a few minutes to freak out), and then I picked up my phone and called a local photographer in that town and said “Look I left the house without my gear and have to shoot in ten minutes can I borrow yours please?”  And you know what happened?  They extended grace in the biggest way possible.  They handed over their gear.  Ever since that incident, I have had this blog post swirling in my head.  I can’t be the only person overwhelmed with life who happened to forget their gear.  Ok please please don’t let me be!  The client never knew there was an issue.  Her session turned out great.  I however, had a very humbling moment to say the least and I was forever grateful for that one gracious and kind photographer who saved me that night.

It wasn’t just that I had forgot my gear, it was that I learned even more humility and had to ask for help and in doing so, the world did not stop spinning.  Everything was ok. And my world broadened.  Trust me it will always be ok I am proof of that.  There is always a silver lining…as a community lets make a conscious effort to help others find their’s.