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.