Friday, February 11, 2011

Over My Head

I am surrounded by people online who love me and care about me. I can't even describe what an awesome feeling that is.

I get support. I get encouragement. I get a pat on the back whenever I need it.

But I still doubt myself. And I can absolutely tell you why: I doubt you.

I know you love me but I doubt that y'all are able to be objective. Even with people that I love, I have a hard time telling them that, YES, they did a bad job or NO they aren't ready for that challenge quite yet or YES I think it would be a mistake to make that decision.

This past week, I've had some issues in my "photography business" (and I put that in quotes because when can I consider myself a business, exactly? I mean, I'm charging people but I'm not sure I'm really quite up to the standards I want to be yet). It has humbled me and taken me down a peg. It's nothing serious, but it's really opened my eyes to the fact that I didn't know as much as I thought I knew. And I never even thought I knew it all but now I know that I REALLY didn't know as much as I needed to know.

But now I know. And I know that I need to learn more. But I feel like I can't go backwards. I feel like I must press on, keep learning, keep making mistakes, keep apologizing, and keep working.

I guess I fear that I will get hung up on my stumbles and be unable to move forward. That the desire will be there but the ability will not.

And I want to say, it's not that I don't believe you when you've told me that you love my pictures and that you think I do a good job. But, like anything else, we (myself included) don't air our dirty laundry. I don't show you all my horrible outtakes. I don't publish the shots that are completely out of focus or grainy or without any color. Many days, I wonder, "Can I really do this because of my skills? Or is it basically just chance? By sheer statistics, I know that if I shoot enough photos, I'll get a few that turn out good. That doesn't make me a professional. That makes me lucky." On top of that, I feel like I'm losing the ability to just LIKE WHAT I DO and instead I'm comparing myself to other people's work. On one hand, that's destructive because I can't - and shouldn't - replicate what other people do. On the other hand, if I see other professionals' work, and I think they do a good job and their pictures are really great, I think it is smart to try to learn what they do and use those skills myself. Isn't that how we learn? By having someone who's already made the mistakes we're making tell us how to get past those mistakes and turn them into successes?

Anyway, yesterday at the camera shop, I had a very embarassing breakdown with a poor salesman who, I think, didn't know what to say. I was trying SO hard to keep the tears from flowing down my cheeks and he was awkwardly looking at the ceiling... yet he talked to me and helped me out. I think it helped me set some priorities straight in my mind.

I think. But I just don't know.

Advice from this friend. Suggestions from that person online. 2 cents from family. Everyone has my best interest at heart and all with good intentions of bolstering my confidence and supporting me to chase my dream. They all care about me and they all love me.

And it's at this point that I have no idea who's just trying to make me feel better (nothing wrong with that) and who is honestly giving me a compliment that my work is good.

I just feel like, maybe, I'm in over my head. I WANT to succeed SO BADLY. I DO! But I don't know what I don't know. I'm trying to read and search and surround myself with good people. (all while being a mother and a wife and a housekeeper and a chauffeur and a friend and a cook and a volunteer and an accountant and a personal shopper and short-order cook.)

I feel off-balance. But to tell you the truth, I can't remember when the last time was that I felt in-balance. Maybe that's what life will just be like from now on: a constantly changing balancing game, with new things added to the scale to throw me off.

And I know I can't control it. I get that. However, I can control my reaction to it all. I can make good or bad choices. Lately I find myself just making the easy choice because I'm so exhausted all the time. I don't to quit something I love just because it would be easier than pushing through the hard part. But I also have to wonder if it's worth it to be stressed out and bitchy to my family, which is what I've been like this entire last week.

Being humbled feels kinda crappy.

(comments closed - this wasn't a post to fish for compliments... just wanted to kinda fill everyone in on why I've been absent a lot lately. Trying to balance too many things lately and unfortunately blogging gets put last in line often. I really do love you all, and I'm sorry I've been a bit of a downer lately.)

Texan Mama