Who do you think you are?
This blogpost is not a easy one. It have been on my mind for a while, bugging me and poking me saying ” You don’t do enough. Why don’t you give up? Who do you think you are for having those big dreams!? ”
I have not yet been able to work as a full-time photographer, after 11 years of being active. And somedays I feel like a failure.
I’m working as much as I can, when I come directly from work I go to my computer. I will be sitting editing or I will do some work on my website. There is always so much to do and so little time. Thoughts and ideas is running through my mind. I have exactly 1,5 hour to get something done before I need to go to bed to do the exact same thing over and over again.
But then I rethink and remember all those things I have been through. My life have not been easy. I will not go through my whole life and past in this blog post. But I will share with you guys something that still affects me.
Time after time again there have been moments that I have to choose to be brave. To do those dreams that I have always had but didn’t dare to 100% believe in that I can do.
I know that I have a voice. I know that I can do typos or pronounce words wrong. I know that I can’t be perfect. The old fear that a dyslectic person can’t type or say anything – not having a voice because everyone else will point it out and say that is not good enough. Or even worse, people laughing at you and making jokes about you. Today I can laugh at it when I say or type something wrong. In the past, it almost made me not blog or write anything or for that matter put my hand up in school to answer a question. I’m doing my best, I’m learning and I try to find ways to be even more direct when I speak and type.
Growing up, learning to read and spell was not easy for me. One of my most painful memories when it comes to read out loud happened when I was 9 years old. Everyone in the class, one by one, stand or sit infront of the class reading a chapter in a book. Then the teacher gave us feedback and then let the students get their saying too. Being dyslectic, feeling stupid 99% of the time in school and have problems with spelling and pronounce words – you can imagine that was a pure nightmare.
When it was my turn, I lost all my self confidence, I started to stutter, got all red in my face. Knowing that again, I didn’t made it. Again I failed.
The feedback from the teacher was not good or kind nor was it from my classmates. Kids being kids. Some meaner than others told me what they thought about my performance. I today I can’t believe that the teacher let those kids say those mean things. It would be a different story if they said something that could actually help me or gave me encouragement. And sometimes still today I can feel how my self confidence just goes away and I feel rejected.
So in the age of 10 years old, I got burned out. The doctors asked me if I was stressed and I didn’t know what that was so I said no. I had stomach pains all the time. It was not only for what happened in school but of a trauma that happened when I was 8 years old. Still to this day I wonder what the lack of sleep did to my learning ability in school. I change to a different school and things got better. I had a lot of other stuff going on in my life during the same time as all of this but again that is a different story.
I really liked do things well, the best I can do it. So when school was hard and when I need to learn new things was really frustrating, not to understand and desperately wanted to! I felt it didn’t matter how hard I tried I would not be able to do well in school and unfortunately that attitude spred in some areas in my life.
Years have passed and I have learned to give myself enough love when I learn new things. I try to improve everywhere I go and keep on pushing with my dreams. It’s okay to fail but never to give up. I have the guts to face the reality of my short comings and try to improve them now. Most of all I try to improve my strengths. And today I love to learn, I love growing as a person, as a photographer, as a sister, aunt, daughter, friend or stranger.
Because just as I’m, everyone else have their own stories and experiences. I never ever want someone to feel stupid or less than anyone else. Sometimes I get setbacks and start doubting myself and what I can do or learn. But it doesn’t take long until I’m back on track not caring what other people think or say. A stupid person in my eyes is someone that judge other people without knowing anything about them! Everyone has their own battles and struggles. I feel sad for those people that think everything is so black and white. How we grow up, what we have been done to us or said to us – it effects how we are behaving and thinking today.
I want to be the best photographer that I can possible be. I want to have my own studio. I want to people to feel that I care about them, I care what they want and that they know that I love shooting their pictures. Because I love my job and I love being a photographer! And of course I want them to love their picture as much as I do.
Through photography I found my voice and I found a way to express myself without have to explain it or overthink it. Photography is not just my business, it is my passion and I care deeply about it.
And do you know what the best thing is?! When I was 15 years old, I studied really hard to get into Photography school in Gymnasiet (Swedish High school) and came in and then 4 months before graduation I had to quit because I got slipped disc in two places in my back. I could not sit or sleep and I had constant pain in my back. Pain shooting down to my arms and legs, making them tingle and hurt all the time. Did you think I would stop studying? Nope! I went to study again and then had another setback because they change the rules so I had to restudy the same subjects again and THEN it was another setbeck where I had to work 100% and study 170% to be able to go to my dream school!
And I did it! I got my grades, I studied and didn’t give up or stopped at all. I went to my Photography School in Gamleby – Advertising and magazine and I did my internship in New York for 6 months.
I’m so proud of myself for not giving up. I’m so stunned that I did it. I hated school for so many years and still because I have a will of iron, I was able to think about the bigger picture (no pun intended).
You can bet your sweet apple pie that I’m going to achieve my dreams. They might change to be bigger or smaller but I will never stop working as a photographer because I want to be that old lady with her camera, taking pictures of her grandchildren’s wedding day, capture those family moments and being able to save those memories forever.
My faith is in all of those obstacles, fears and life situations. And it have changed my life over and over again. I will never stop loving people and their life stories. They are beautiful just as they are. I can’t get enough of that love.
I want to do the very best of everything that have been given to me. And I will love every single day for the rest of my life. Even the bad ones.
How to be brave
August 27, 2017