This week I did something that scared the crap out of me. The kind of thing that has you awake in the middle of the night and hyperventilating into a paper bag. Before I tell you what it was, let me explain something about myself. I have always been "a good girl". I have always done what was expected of me. I have always tried to be the best version of myself in all my roles. Daughter. Mom. Wife. Friend. Employee. This often means not calling a lot of attention to myself. It means putting my needs aside so I can take care of someone else. It means putting my wants on a shelf because someone else's wants were more important. It means ignoring parts of myself because I am focusing my attention on being something for someone else, rather than simply being myself. Over time, I realized I was fading into the background of my own life. I know I'm not alone in this. I'm betting you have felt this same way. But what happens when that isn't enough for you anymore?
Honestly, there is a part of me that has always been perfectly fine with that reality. In fact, a part of me has truly enjoyed staying in the background. It's comfortable back there. It's easier. When no one is looking at you, you aren't risking anything. But it's not where you, or I, belong. You have gifts that are unique to you. Your talents, opinions, and personality are special, and the world needs them. The world is a little darker when you are not sharing them. Your soul gets a little darker, too, because you aren't giving it room to shine.
You deserve to set yourself free, to allow yourself to shine.
Does that sound as scary to you as it does to me? Because it is scary. It's terrifying, actually. What if people don't like what they see? What if they reject it? What if they disregard it? What if you show your heart and soul to the world, and they decide it's not important enough to even consider?
These are questions that have been going through my mind this week, as I put myself out there big-time. As I've spent the past few years learning more about myself, I have learned that there are roles in my life I have been ignoring. Roles that I need to pay a lot more attention to, because they are a part of me. They are not part of a title that someone else put on me, or something that society expects me to be, but something that my inner self needs me to be. One of those roles is that of photographer.
Absolutely no one in my life, including me, considered "photographer" as one of my roles until very recently. There are many people that are very close to my heart that don't know how much I love photography. They have never seen me that way before. It's not their fault. I am just learning to see myself that way. It's going to take time for my world to adjust. But photography is something that lights me up inside, so I'm going for it. We all deserve to do that thing that lights us up, even if we are the only ones basking in the glow.
So here's what I did, and I'm really excited about it: I created an online platform to share my photos with the world!
It's one of the goals I set for myself this year, and I've done it earlier that expected. I'm really proud of what I've done, but I'm nervous about the vulnerability involved. I want to share it with you, because since you're reading this I know you understand the need to declare to the universe that you are more than your relationship to someone else. That you exist and are of value all by yourself. Right here is the link to view my photos.
One more thing--thank you for sharing this journey with me. I appreciate each one of you. I would love to be part of your journey, as well. Email me or comment below and tell me where you are in your story. Where do you need to shine your light?
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. Look around and make yourself comfortable, because this is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty and authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.