perfectly imperfect

feb 2011February 2011

It was the beginning of 2011 and it was in this year I had begun to form relationships with like-minded photographers on a site called Flickr. I joined Flickr in 2009. I actually “stalked” Flickr for an entire year before I decided to join. I would log on and just browse the main stream. It was so inspiring to see what this world was about. I was totally captivated by Shutter Sisters and the women contributors to this group.

When I finally got the courage to join Flickr I started slow. I would just post things like what I was eating and I was as usual and probably forever will be striving for a healthier life style and so I posted lots of pictures of post work out and my kids of course. I posted lots of pictures of my kids. I would see what other people were posting and I began to see people were not just posting pictures but actually forming relationships? I would see that someone would post an image and receive tons of comments and likes. I have to be honest. It had me feeling as though I was not worthy to even be posting on Flickr. I was lucky to receive one comment or three views. It felt like work. I wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be noticed. And I had such low self-esteem and self-worth (still a work in progress) that I felt not even worthy to ever place an image in the Shutter Sisters group, the one group I most admired. Looking back I realize this was the one safe group of total acceptance but I was too afraid to even participate.

I ended up posting a picture or two in the group but it was always far and few between. As I wrote before, things really changed when I decided to participate in a group called BAM, created by Tiff. This is when I began to really participate in the art of self-portraits. Yes art, not like “oh look at me” it was more like, “I do exist.” I formed friendships. They were real friendships, not make-believe. Emails would be exchanged, blogs would be shared. I began to get to know these women and realized, they were just like me. They had insecurities and fears too.

Holly for instance picked up on my “I have to do everything, I have to do everything just right and if I don’t I’m a loser attitude” So she recommended a book called “The Gifts of Imperfection” Holly, she seemed like she had been on her journey longer and she seemed secure and she was for sure a good listener and had insight. So I took her advice and ordered the book. I read the book. I loved the book. And now a few years later, I have forgotten this book, the words in the book. Someone will say “I’m taking Brene Browns class” and I will say “Oh, I read her book, the Gifts of Imperfection” like this is some amazing bit to add to their comment. When I have forgotten the words, I have forgotten the practice.  I have decided to re-visit the book because I’m not exactly sure why it’s taking me so long to calm down, to realize I don’t need to do everything, I don’t need to be perfect and to be just exactly “right” to begin my journey. I just need to begin ready or not and mostly NOT because I can’t grow if I don’t try. So that’s all. Just reading this book again and felt like revisiting how it all came about. I also want to say, I’m happy to be a part of this community and if there is anyone out there who just looks and doesn’t feel worthy, please know you are.  You are completely worthy, you are worthy to contribute, you are worthy to show your art, you are worthy to speak your mind.  You just have to begin.

5 thoughts on “perfectly imperfect

  1. What you have shared about flickr, is my experience too. I have been back and forth with it… I know exactly what you are saying. I get uncomfortable when something feels like a clique, a reminder of horrible high school years. Anyway we fall down but we get up and keep on keeping on doing what will bring us peace and joy on this planet earth.. With God all things are possible…

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