A Note to Myself

I don’t know what I’m doing. And that’s hard for me to admit. I get angry when there’s nothing to be angry about. I get sad about the smallest things. My mind is convinced that I’m doing what I need and want to be doing, but when will I feel it in my heart?

Everything is a process and that’s what I struggle with – that’s what makes me feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I know where I want to be, and I just want to get there already. But that’s not possible, and even if it were possible, I know that deep down, I wouldn’t want it to be possible. I know the journey – the sweat, tears and hard work – is really where the growth is.

I’ve always strived to be perfect, even though perfection is impossible and overrated. I could never fill a journal because I would get caught up in the way the words looked. Was the sentence slanted on the page? Was the width of the letter different from the other letters? My thought process was insane, and not in a good way. I instead should have focused on the content of my words. These days, I should be focusing on the content of my photographs, rather than how the color scheme looks on the page or how long it’s been since I’ve posted.

I jumped in too quickly. I tried to swim before I knew how to tread water; I tried to take pretty photos before I knew the reason I was taking them. It was easy for me to pick up a camera and start shooting, but often I’d be left with a bunch of good looking photos yet no emotional connection to them. Often, the best photos I took were the ones when I wasn’t trying so hard.

So I need to try hard to try less. I need to try to represent the truth and not a color-corrected version. I need to focus on what’s important: the content of my photos instead of the color coordination. I need to be stronger, and I can’t run away from the mistakes I’ve made while trying to learn. I have to not shy away from who I was. I have to be patient and determined. And I have to give myself a break.

Growth doesn’t happen over night, and it usually feels invisible until one day you wake up and realize how much you’ve grown. They always say a watched pot never boils. Well, a watched feed never grows.

So now I’m back to where I’ve always been: trying to find joy in what I do without being my worst critic. Instagram is my journal now, and it’s as hard as ever to keep sharing photos because I always see flaws in them. But I’m learning to believe that it’s okay to have flaws, because flaws make things real. It’s more important to show all of my successes, “best effort” attempts, and my failures. It’s more important to truthfully reflect where I am starting out, in order to ultimately show where I end up.

As I write this I can feel my anger fading, but I know that the negative feelings I keep having will be back again, and probably sooner than I’d like. But I can only hope that with time and effort, it will get easier. One. Post. At. A. Time.

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