Being Myself

Do you ever wonder if who you are is really who you are or is it just a conglomeration of a bunch of people you wish you could be like?

I struggle with this a lot. I come across to people very confident, out going and somewhat intimidating. In a way I think it's just a way of putting up a wall so people don't see the real me.

I find myself as I surf the blogosphere often comparing myself to my other bloggy gals. I see those who are artistic and confident in who they are as an artist, as a crafty mama, as a baker, etc. and they don't seem to question who they are or what their style is.

Over the years my photography style has changed a million times, because I will see another photographer's style that I like and want to duplicate it. I see those who can create their own notecards and sell them by the dozens and I think, why can't I do something like that? I see ladies whose homes are decorated with things that they have created or ideas off of pinterest that they were able to duplicate and I feel like the most creatively-challenged individual on the planet. I read blogs where women have such a way with words that it sucks you into their post making you feel like you are there in that moment with them.

I often think, maybe I should do more posts on being a mom. Maybe I should do more tutorial posts. Those ladies get asked to guest post all the time. Maybe I should write more about my family. Maybe I should start posting recipes or crafty how-to's like how to make a bedspread out of curtains and leftover tree skirt from last years Christmas tree.

I'm not at all hating on those who do that. I think it's awesome to be that creative, but it's just not me. As much as I try to tap into a creative side of myself, it's just not there. I'm pretty plane Jane.

You know what's funny is as I write this post, I know that there are those that will take the time to read it and leave sincere comments, but if it was me coming across a post this long, I'd skim through it to see if anything peaked my interest and then click on to the next blog, because I am just not one to sit and read long blog posts. I am usually just looking for pictures that wow me or an easy how-to edit.

I read a post a couple of weeks ago by a blogger who finally came to the realization that they no longer wanted to try to be a professional photographer because it took all the joy out of photography for them.  That post really hit home for me and I haven't stopped thinking about it since I read it. I've struggled for a while now to get a photography business up and running. I have talked to other successful photogs trying to get tips on how to get my business to grow. I honestly don't know what the problem is. Do I just lack the passion? Do I lack the confidence in myself that I know what I am doing? Are my motives wrong? To be honest, I really don't know the answer to those questions. I'm still trying to search deep within myself and asking the Lord to give me clarity.

For now though, I have stopped pursuing a career in full time photography. I have that faint doubt though wondering if some day I may regret giving it up. When I think of giving it up all together, I then feel like I am left with nothing. No passion. No drive.

Yes, I have my husband. I have my baby girl.  But I think every woman wants something that gives her an identity. Not just so-and-so's mom or so-and-so's wife. Something that is just mine. All mine. That I thrive at. That I excel in. That I am successful at.

At 30 years old I still don't have it figured out and I wonder if I ever will.  I just need to hang a sign around my neck that says "Under Construction" and just strive to be more and more like Christ and not like everyone else. In eternity that's all that will matter anyway...

20 comments:

MG Atwood said...

Very thought provoking. Your photography is so lovely, seriously. It's hard to be all things to all. Try loving your family, keep doing some photography, but at 30, there's a whole world left to conquer! Kids grow so quickly, you will see that. Enjoy the present and let the future unfold. Hey, I'm 58 & still wonder what I'll be when I grow up.

jj_mom said...

Misty - you comments really hit home for me. (And that is why I read every word of your post) I had a similar realization about my job about two years ago. Work simply wasn't fun. And I can totally understand the trauma. It isn't as if we set out to hate our job!

You are doing the right thing by listening to your heart. Keep following whatever brings you energy on any particular day. It may take a while, but you will rekindle your joy in life!

Amy said...

This really touched my heart. I too have wondered about those moms who seem to have it all together, have more then one kid, and just seem to find time to sell things on top of it all.. I recently gave up my big push in the photog biz too... because it was just too much! it had become "routine" not a passion. I had to take a few steps back... take in LESS photoshoots... and get outside with my camera and just start shooting what i saw through my lens... and there in the midst of my 300 mm lens.. I found my passion again... but i still rather photograph weeds/wildflowers then nething else now! :o) you already have such an amazing purpose!

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

After 2 years of photography, At 48, i am thinking i could have been a good photographer if i have started it earlier in my life! So, you are young, continue doing what you like, part time or full time does not matter !

Anne U said...

I say do whatever you want to do, if you want to go full-time in the future, then do it. If not, then don't. But don't stop taking photos, you are awesome. My husband wants me to start a business, and I do to, but it's definitely easier said than done.

Lisa said...

I am now 42 and I still don't have it figured out! I need that "Under Construction" sign as well!

Thank you for sharing your heart.

Pieces of Sunshine said...

True identity and value are found in your relationship with God, as you concluded. He sets passions and abilities within us, some are life-long, others for a season. Sometimes it's only in hindsight that we can tell which is which. In the end I believe it's who we are that matters, not so much what we do.

karren said...

Your photography is beautiful. You will find your niche. If i have learned anything in this life, it is that I should not compare myself with anyone else. BTW...30 is really young, there is lots of time ahead of you. Give yourslef a pat on the back for all you do well.

DaenelT said...

You spoke from your heart to mine. Don't give up. Take a break. Find your joy again.

Carrie said...

A beautiful reflection that I think several of us can identify with! I certainly don't intend to make light, but wouldn't hanging a small sign around your neck like a necklace that says "under construction" be a cute picture.

Eve Stein said...

You are NOT alone. I have those very same thoughts/doubts/questions. I don't have passion for what I do... not in the way that others in the same field seem to. But I do love my husband and my life, and I'm happy. No answers yet. Maybe someday I'll figure it all out... or not.

Shoni said...

I understand. Completely.

ju-north said...

Don't beat yourself up! Just do what you enjoy doing and enjoy the journey!

Nicky @ Awesomeville.co.uk said...

I've reflected on this very thing many times. The thing is, if you want to do something, TRULY WANT to do it more than anything, you will move mountains to make it happen. I WANTED to be with the man who is now my husband, so I did the long and very difficult slog of immigration and adjusting to life in the UK as an American. But did I WANT to REALLY have a photography business? Well, no. I didn't have that burning desire, that drive that would've said "learning how to make this happen is more important than sleep."

On the blog front, I say make your blog a creative and virtual extension of YOU. Yes, you do that with your photography, but what about your family? Your other interests? Books you love and moments you savor? The thing is, you gotta blog for YOU, and once you do that people will naturally gravitate to you, read your blog, follow your posts... because you will have made it about being YOU and had the confidence to do so, and to be honest that's kinda rare.

Personally, I don't tend to respect bloggers who play to an audience. I don't want to come to a blog and read a generic tutorial or see yet another "this is what I'm wearing, isn't it lovely and vintage???? teehee!" post. I want to come to a blog and feel like I can connect to WHO THAT PERSON IS rather than WHO THAT PERSON IS TRYING TO BE. And that means a myriad of content, photography and family and kids and hobbies and life... raw, beautiful life.

I know that, due to the blog cicles I mix in, that a lot of people who read my blog are other expats and moms. But I don't hesitate to gush about a comic book I love or a video game that captured my imagination because I ultimately blog for myself, and these are things I will enjoy reading years down the line (and hopefully Maddie will too!). But I know before I post it that a post on video games will be lost on the vast majority of mom bloggers. and that's OKAY. Because I know the people who will return time and time again and leave me sweet little comments are people who are genuinely interested in this small window into my being, and not looking to snag a follower for their own blog or, as you said, skimming something before declaring it too long to read (and I'm thinking this comment is longer than the post now LOL.)

Give it some thought, you'll figure it out. And trust me, when you start making it about YOU I think you'll find you start learning a little about yourself, and perhaps you'll find what you're looking for.

-Nicky

Leah said...

I love this post. I am almost 29 and don't know if I will ever figure out what it is that I want. I love the "under construction" comment! It was great meeting you today!

Nadege, said...

At 58, I'm still finding my way. As a wife, mother and daughter you are pulled in so many directions. Maybe you need to take time out and discover what makes you really happy and follow that path.

Dorian Susan said...

I read and heard you.
The comic Paula Poundstone has a bit I like to remember and quote...."Do you know why grown ups are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up? They're looking for ideas!"
I totally hear you on the wanting to be something for yourself. I think figuring out for now you don't want to be a full-time photog allows space to see what door/opportunity might saunter along. One always does. I could use something to saunter by myself.
Don't be too tough on yourself...You can defitinely write-maybe that will come in handy.

Jamie said...

I think you wrote what was in my mind. I sometimes find myself saying I really don't know what I want to do in life. Your pics are amazing and you should never doubt your talent.

Amy said...

I could have written this, almost word for word. I struggle with the same things and have the same thoughts. I still don't know either. I'm really not sure I ever will. {hugs}

kelly said...

To be a photographer is to be creative. Your photos are lovely.

Kelly