“Sometimes you cannot see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.” – Ellen DeGeneres
I struggle to express how uncomfortable this images makes me feel, but I will give it the good’ole college try. I have never had my photo taken by a professional photographer (minus Sears & school photos). This my friends, was a weird and eye opening experience for me. Let’s start this off with, this is a great photo (props to @LaurenScotti)! The person behind the lens, who is creating around you, absolutely matters. Their experience, understanding of subject matter, composition and lighting makes a world of difference. A great photographer even knows how to make your awkward work for you (case in point). What makes me uncomfortable with this image specifically is the subject. It makes me want to run and hide under a table. It is way to vulnerable for my taste. I like to stand back stage, wear all black, and bring the least amount of attention to myself as possible. In this freaking photo, I am looking directly into the camera and it’s just…me. Through this process, I have learned that me, makes me uncomfortable. Sure, I am confident in who I am, but there is no need to be seen. Right?
Wrong? We get one shot at this life thing and we don’t get a do over. At least not one that I am aware of. We want to see you! I want to be seen, whether I accept it or not. So why do we accept ourselves as unworthy of being noticed? Unlovable?
The honest answer, because we are scared shitless. The fear of judgement out ways the need to be realized as a worthy contestant. Isolation. Loneliness. It takes the drivers seat sometimes. Our once valiant curiosity for self-discovery diminishes as we loose faith. One of my favorite poems addressed this very struggle. It’s called O me! Oh Life! by Walt Whitman.
O Me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish; Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d; Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me; Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined; The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here—that life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
So often we think that our verse doesn’t matter, but what a lie. Your verse matters. My verse matters. Because without them, the play is not the same. This year, I want to find my voice, write my verse with purpose and remind myself that I am freaking worth it. We need to love whatever makes us different and use it to stand out. Support one another and remind each other that the individual matters.
\\ You were not made on accident, you were made for a purpose. As an artist, I love each and everyone of my creations. They are part of me. Expressions of me. I am His creation and that is enough for me.
We should not stand in the shadows because we have accepted that we are undeserving of the light. Shine bright, be weird, be you!
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” R. W. Emerson