Some Soul Searching...

I don't usually bare my heart here, but that's probably to my detriment. I'm not a very transparent person. I'm pretty real, but only when I feel that it doesn't display any of my weaknesses or insecurities. But guess what, I'm human...I do have a few! And one of those has kind of been pushing it's way to the surface lately, and it's going to have a bit of a ripple effect.

Tonight I grabbed my hubby by the hand and dragged him out to the park for a "Walkie Talkie." This involves, as you might have guessed, walking...and talking. Thankfully my wonderful husband is more a fan of time with me than the football game he was watching! I posed the question, "Who am I...without my camera?" I don't know that I was really expecting an answer, which was good because although we walked for over an hour, he never really answered that question. Not his fault, I didn't really let him get a word in edgewise. You see, picture taking has kind of taken over my life. It's gotten so bad that every social function I go to, I feel like work is so much at the forefront of my mind that the only thing I can think of to talk about is pictures, my work, and how busy I am. I open my mouth and out comes photo jabber. Other people don't know what to talk to me about's so much a part of me that people look at me and I think they see a camera instead of my face (after all, that's how I look most of the time). And what's worse, all I see everywhere I go is pictures, pictures, pictures. Thanks to facebook, I've reconnected with tons of people from school who I hadn't talked to in years, or didn't really know as well as I would have liked, which is super cool, but on what basis? Pictures. Photography. I'm introduced to new people as "that girl I told you about who does the cool pictures." You might be looking at me right now like a model who says, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!" Gag me, right? But really, when it comes down to it, sometimes I feel as if I have very little else to offer and so many of my friendships have remained way too shallow because of it. If I put my camera down and retired my little business (which I have no intention of doing, nobody throw yourselves out of 3rd story who would I still talk to, who would still talk to me, and more importantly, WHAT WOULD WE TALK ABOUT?

James did tell me this, and it hit me kind of like a two ton 24-300 1.4 lens (AS IF! HA!): "I don't think anyone really knows who you are outside of your photography." WOW.

This thought left me feeling kind of empty and unbalanced, as you can imagine. How can I be a good wife, mother, teacher, friend, servant of God or even photographer if my life is so consumed with ONE. THING.???

Part of my problem is that I love the way I see people and I want to share that with everyone that I love. It's my way of expressing myself, my best and most effective means of communication. I've found over the years that I usually see people differently than they see themselves. I have optimistic eyes and I take pictures the same way that I see. I love showing someone how beautiful they are to me! My pictures have become a very precise way of communicating to people how I see them, and you know how good it feels to pay someone a genuine compliment and see them smile? That's how it feels! I love it! I'd do it for free, if I could and if it weren't so terribly unfair to my family! But I've found things kind of snowballing lately and instead of photography enriching the relationships in my life, it has just spread me so thin that I can't have any deep relationships at all. Not even with my own family, which is the hardest truth to swallow.

Time for some things to change.

I've tried fixing this problem before, when it was a little smaller. But I think I need to recruit some help in cementing it this time. This does NOT mean that any of you need to go canceling your appointments or anything...HA! I don't need THAT much help! I've already announced my intention to take November and December off (except for current Baby Steps Program customers, who already know who they are and are already scheduled). But I'm putting this public committment out there, a kind of early New Year's Resolution, if you will...I'm only going to be taking a maximum of two photo shoots per week, including weddings, starting in January. Hold me to it! I need some accountability! If you see more than two customers blog posts in one week, you call me out on it! I need to diversify my time, focus on enjoying my entire family, homeschooling Corban, and living some life with both eyes wide open and bare (no lenses!).

Carpe Momento!
Seize the Moment.

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