“You know, I didn’t realize creating something and sharing with others could make you feel so vulnerable,” he said. The anecdote was acknowledged by my half-paying-attention nod of agreement. He had been sharing about his experience being entrusted with a project that would be shared with a few hundred colleagues. Conversation changed to other topics and the evening went on. It resurfaced the next day as I went about my work, editing, exporting, making to-do lists and returning emails. I create for a living, but I seldom realize the implications.
Creating and sharing is just what we all do nowadays in 2017. We’re living in a “share everything–from your breakfast, along with any thought that comes to mind” era and no one thinks twice about it. And for as long as I have been a photographer, sharing has been in large part the propellant of business. But the creation–the amalgamation of choices and materialization of imagination–has a deeply personal essence to it that all too often goes without consideration. When we share something we’ve created, we’re opening up a part of ourselves for evaluation. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it beautiful? Does it suck? Does your opinion of my breakfast elevate your perception of me? Does my photo of this beautiful couple make me worthy of your admiration and valuable enough to hire me?
What a vulnerable place to be. No wonder I haven’t blogged much in the past few years. That sh*t is terrifying.
Terrifying, yes, but maybe it doesn’t have to be? Maybe sharing can be more an offering; something given without expectation. Maybe the stories I share will be the inciting waft of wind someone needs to fill their sails, or the littlest ray of light needed to change someone’s winter to spring. Maybe the purpose of sharing what we create, stories or photos or otherwise, is to draw us in closer as humans. Maybe sharing my stories will be the gift I need myself to be present to the ever evolving adventure this life is, letting my grasp on elusive perfection loosen. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” What I have feels small and not as cool as what other people have, but I’m offering it because I am in agreement with Ms. Brown when she said ” the two most powerful words when we’re in struggle [are]: me too.”
So here’s my “me too”, my offering of story–both mine and ones that touch my heart.
Thanks to my girl Ash for these photos of me from a recent work-cation to Palm Springs. You nailed all the feels, friend.