Everyone Falls Down: By Jennifer Mock

March 23, 2018 5 Comments

Disclaimer. This post is not about attention. I’m not seeking pity. Nor am I fishing for compliments. I’m not looking for any critiques on my photography. And lastly. For the love. I know the “failure” below isn’t a big deal compared to others and in the grand scheme of life isn’t the worst thing ever. But in this weird age where we are bombarded on social media with highlight reels of everyone’s lives…it’s important to share that everyone falls down.

Ok. So now that’s cleared up.
Why don’t we admit our failures more? And when people DO decide to talk about failure it’s always after they’ve somehow triumphed or overcome. Ever noticed that?
“Yeah sure, I failed, but then I pulled myself up by my boot straps and became the greatest whatchamacallit that ever existed!”
Um. I mean that’s nice and all. But what about when you’re in the trenches of a battle with a loss still lingering over you? When success is nowhere on the horizon?  What if the success you’re striving for never comes? Those feelings are hard man.

I’ve been relentlessly pursuing photography for about 3 years now. Shooting and editing almost daily. Many days for hours on end. On top of a having husband, kids, and fulltime office job. Stopping at nothing to pursue this “hobby.” Forsaking so many other things that are important to me, including at times, God and church. Needless to say, my priorities had gotten out of whack. I didn’t see it. Or maybe I pretended not to see it. I’m not sure. Photography feeds my creative soul and when combined with my drive and determination…nothing less than my best will do. This fall I had a bit of an epiphany, not sure what else to call it. But it resulted in the mirror being turned on me. I saw what I was doing through someone else’s eyes and it hurt me. Things were not coming together like I envisioned and the sacrifice was too much. It was a blow that way slowed my motivation, but didn’t fully bring me down.

Did you know you can make an idol out of just about anything? Even your talents and God-given abilities? I’ll just leave that question out there for you to ponder.

One of my photography goals (amongst many) was to make ClickPro with ClickinMoms. Even though I had slowed down on photography, I STILL wanted to prove that I was good enough. I’d been burning the candle at both ends for 3 years. I wanted some sort of recognition dammit. So in December I put together a set and after much encouragement and positive feedback from others, I submitted an application. I wouldn’t say I felt overly confident, but felt decent about it. Especially when you’ve got people whispering in your ear that there’s no way you won’t make it. (I’m not saying we shouldn’t encourage each other – we absolutely SHOULD.) Since this is a post about failure, you’ve probably already guessed I didn’t make it. For those who don’t know, you must achieve a minimum score of 32 and I got a 30.


This second blow put me nearly to a full stop. But I still had a glimmer of fight left. I regrouped. Put myself out there for harsh critique. Digested those words. Spent hours creating a new set. Culled everything again and again. Edited images over and over. And once again after much positive support, I submitted for a second time in February. I’d like to say this is where success came.

But it didn’t. I got a 31. Not. Good. Enough.
And that my friends is where I sit now. Discouraged and worn out. The stench of this failure looming over me. Wondering if I’ve gotten everything wrong (which I know there is a lot I’ve gotten wrong here priority wise). Wondering where to go from here. And wondering why in the heck I care so much what these other people think!! I’ve been trying really really really hard to fit my art in someone else’s box. If I dig deep…I’m kind of relieved to let go of this goal. I’m all for persevering. But I’m also for the preserving of my love for the art. I’m looking forward to healing and getting back to shooting for the love of it. Not for the perfection of it.

If you’re the ultra curious kind. My rejected set is linked here.

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Jennifer Mock is a wearer of many hats… wife, momma, corporate desk jobber, & photographer!  Her life is a crazy juggling act! Photography has been a passion for many years, but it got hot and heavy about 3 years ago. She loves capturing her girls and their family life. She tries to “keep it real” but also enjoy creative editing every now and then too. Her main goal right now is to stretch herself creatively and you know…keep all of the things balanced. You can follow her work on Instagram.

Katie Oblinger

5 Comments

  1. Reply

    Katie Oblinger

    March 23, 2018

    Jennifer, your heart and soul….oh my god, thank you for sharing everything I have felt for so long!! And know that you are not alone. I made two attemps at ClickPro as well…denied both times, second time by 1.0 alsol. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I brushed it off and moved on. We can’t let those moments dictate our happiness, our worth, our skills and they certainly will not define us or our art. Your talent is recognized, your amazing work is out there, and you will keep creating beautiful photographs for the world to love.

  2. Reply

    Emily Hamson

    March 23, 2018

    Jennifer, thank you so much for being so real! I can most definitely identify with failure…as I’ve done it a lot…but now I won’t be so share about sharing my failings in the midst of them. It’s hard to put oneself out there like that, and I’m so happy that you did! Thank you!

  3. Reply

    Iris

    March 24, 2018

    Thank you Jennifer for sharing about your failure. I have always been an open book about my failures. I am okay with that. I have failed to archive the same goal 3 times. I know I am crazy, but I put myself out there again and again. After I failed the 3rd time, I just starting shooting for myself and from my heart. My images are not everyone’s cup of tea, but they are my voice and vision of art. If no one likes it, that is okay, I am happy with my art. And I think that is the most important part. Thank you again for sharing.

  4. Reply

    Wendy

    March 25, 2018

    Quote: “Did you know you can make an idol out of just about anything? Even your talents and God-given abilities?”

    I totally agree with these thoughts. I have often wondered if perhaps this is why I strive so much in my own life, i.e. because I am spending too much time on things in my life (even good things such as photography) and such has superseded spending regular and quality time with God? I often wonder “Is it because my priorities are so unbalanced that I am so unbalanced in other areas of my life?” Now I’m definitely not saying photography is wrong – and nor is striving to be our best in this area – far from it…. just beginning to wonder that if I got my priorities in order, things would fall into place elsewhere perhaps? Deep down, I already know the answer to this.

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