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Lighten Up: Photography, Feelings and You.

This Thursday’s Lighten Up Discusses Feelings (And no I’m not a Therapist)

Feelings are infinite. We forget that sometimes. like, you don’t want feelings for your ex anymore, why? They’re there. They’ve been there. They’re always there like relatives you never speak to but still send you generic poorly written wall posts on Facebook sometimes. [My Personal Blog]

The Story

Here’s a word that I don’t use to describe myself often: envious. Yes, I said it. It isn’t because I’m angry, and definitely not because I’m jealous but at a certain point in time as a photographer, I paused and felt envy at all the others around me. “This person has the camera I want,” and “This person achieved the exact editing style I did in my head.” A few weeks ago, I talked about success is a building and you have many bricks, but that definitely doesn’t mean that sometimes, you don’t admire other architecture. Immediately after envying the photographers around me, I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. Why do I feel this way? I’m not supposed to. Gah.

So, I quickly began to bottle it up because I wanted to be like my father… always happy. My dad was a giving man. He made brownies, he bought clothes for his friends, he made music for people to jam to at weddings. He gave his all. I don’t remember my dad going a day without smiling. It’s the thing everyone who knew him well enough associates me with. The thing about my dad was that even though he gave his everything, he never ran out of smiles. Even when I stepped out of line, he’d yell at me as any parent would but afterwards he’d smile. He’d make me brownies. He’d hug me and tell me that he was sorry and that he loved me. I understood discipline so well because of the way he raised me.

That’s what I wanted to be. Always giving and always happy. It didn’t surprise me that the more I began to give, the more the people around me would begin reaping benefits that I had wanted my whole life, and suddenly… I was envious all over again. Why couldn’t I get it right? I’ll tell you why.

Feelings

Someone who hates someone but won’t mention it to them is what is most commonly known as a fake person. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve smiled in someone’s face to avoid conflict in the past and how BAD that turned out. I always assumed it was because of my smiles, when in reality… It was the opposite. It was the avoidance of conflict. Why not speak my mind? Why not tell people what bothers me? Was I afraid I was going to lose my friends who constantly made me miserable? Was it because I was scared to explore the truth?

It’s beyond okay to feel. Sometimes we let this fear of the outcome make us want to bury ourselves. When something is buried upon a mountain of more things, it eventually stacks up and overflows. Well, my envy? It got so bad that everyone knew the persons I was envious of and were all kind of embarrassed of me. So, I sat down and explored my feelings.

The Exploration of Envy. [A Timeline of My Demise.]

I wanted recognition for my work.

I wanted to be able to progress on my own personal scale, and because I wasn’t moving.. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything. As I continuously helped teach others what I already knew, I began to feel inferior in my own field.

As a result of my feeling useless, I became hard on myself and when I constantly witnessed the person I was envious of taking steps I wanted to, it just made me more hard on myself.

Stress became a huge defining factor and I began to lack sleep. Less sleep meant more frustrating outbursts.

A simple face was made at me when one of those outbursts occurred and suddenly, I began to look deep within myself.

My envy had nothing to do with the other person. When I finally got my head out of my rear end and stopped pretending as though I was emotionless, I realized where it was stemming from. Where was my drive to overcome the middle rock of my career? I had lost the will to progress and became satisfied with being at a standstill. It was because of that “envious rage” that I realized that I’d been missing out on chances to better myself and to get the next level.

I thought to myself, I’m okay to feel but I’m drowning in this self-pity instead of using the emotion to drive myself further. Next thing you know, I was back on my A game. Photographing everyday, and I could see the emotion and life coming back into my portraits. It wasn’t just this dull, stoic “I have to do this,” it was the creative composition and drive that I’d seen in my fellow brethren of the photo world!

So I extend to you the same hand I pulled myself out of the crunches with and I challenge you to Lighten Up!

Hit up that “relative” you’ve been abandoning because you’re ashamed to face it head on. Let your feelings be your guide and remind yourself through the journey that you are someone. Develop mantras to remind yourself that this “Exploration of Emotion” isn’t meant to get you stranded there. I mean, how would you really like to be stranded in one set of feels forever? Find a way to grow from it!

What was my mantra during my Envious Expedition? I learned them from a very profound and infamous international wedding photographer:

But I’ve come to a point in my career where I know who I am. I know what I shoot, and if, after explaining my vision to others, they want to see their lives documented through my lens, I’m honored. I believe we’re all capable of the same thing. – Jasmine Star

Photography to me is an honor, not a competition. Somewhere deep inside, I’d lost sight of that and in turn lost sight of myself. Once I found that, it was beyond easy to remember who I am and what I shoot. 

 What Have I Been Up To?

 

I just got back from Anime Central not too long ago and although I was like “Yay home!” I’m on my way back out the door in a week or so for Lansing! Yeah, it’s like that! 😀

In the meantime in between time, I’m working on a huge gallery to showcase both the A and B sides of Anime Central. Every year my roommates and I throw this huge party and we all hang out and reminisce on memories, and this year you will too!

If you’re subscribed to the email list, you’ll be getting the first exclusive peek, otherwise you’ll have to wait until official link is released!

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