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This may seem like an odd juxtaposition between imagery and words to most people. But those that know me best may see where I'm about to go with tonight's message.
For years I lived bound by the strictures of my anxiety disorder. I was afraid of people, afraid of crowds, of events, of new places, new people, new experiences. I did nothing and went nowhere. Slowly but surely over the last few years I've broken free of that. And my camera had a lot to do with that. With my camera I started to see new things as opportunities. I saw them as photos, snapshots, practice for a talent that I'm passionate about. It's actually part of how I got involved in photographing Burlesque shows to begin with, despite my social-anxiety driven fears.
Sometimes though I feel like it's my camera that pulls me back to those moments. This week is a prime example. There's a show on Friday and my usual partner in crime can't make it. And I know I want to go to the show, I know I want to sit close to the stage, catch what photos I can, and be proud of what I capture. But doing it without someone there with me seems... scary for some reason. I don't want to draw attention to myself, sitting in the audience with my camera raised, snapping away. But I know it doesn't matter. No one's ever asked me to stop, some of the girls even know me, tag their own photos on facebook, ask for prints. The truth is, if I asked, I could probably stand up with the REAL photographers at the edge of the stage. (I'm sure Supertherapist and others are now saying, "You ARE a real photographer")
I won't ask though. Not yet anyway. I know a lot of this isn't my anxiety disorder anymore-- for the most part-- I have that pretty well managed these days. A lot of it is throwback from my body issues, from my self-esteem, from some of those still-whispering, "not enoughs." Even now, when I look at my work there is a part of me that still thinks, "this is good.... but what if it's not good ENOUGH?"
:sigh: I want so much to finish this conversion, the make the change from fearing the unknown to sheer, unadulterated, unfettered curiosity. To stop being afraid and forge into the unknown, camera at the ready to capture every last moment. Not just because I want to, but because I know I'm good enough to do it.
I suppose to start with, I need to go to this show alone. I need to take out my camera the way I always do. I need to know that I am talented enough to be there. I need to not be afraid just because I'm striking out alone.
I need to know and accept that I am good enough, talented enough. Just... enough. And I need to stop seeing newness and strangeness as something to be feared.
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