I’ve worked slowly to get to the levels of photography I’m at today. Same with blogging. I could go faster, but the growth process often has been slowed by my own mindset.
I say this only to encourage those who read my posts and wonder if they can do the same. You can. I had to go through my slow journey to understand that I can as well.
Fortune would have it that I have had people who believed in me the whole way. Sometimes to the point of appearing quiet stubborn. Today, I pay a little tribute to a long time support of my work.
She’s always believed that one day I would realize I can do a lot more than I give myself credit for. Her message was super powerful to me for a few reasons. She’s that quiet avoid the spotlight type. Not that you won’t see her chatting about and having fun. She’s a different type of quiet.
She’s the type of lady who does not like drawing attention to herself and her beauty. She prefers to do the work and let the work speak for itself. She also seems to understand that very part of my introversion that loves avoiding extra attention.
For those who known me a long time or only in my public persona capabilities… this may sound a bit odd… that I’m an introvert who avoids attention…
I am not shy. That is not the case. However, I rather avoid the spot light if I can.
In the accompanying post (linked at the end) I talk about Queen May the way I do because she has seen through my armor and called me out a few times on my introversion. She has pushed me to keep going with my crafts on days when I was withdrawing from it. She sensed that I was struggling with balancing the spotlight and the need to practice the craft in such a public way.
Which crafts are we talking about? In the church where I met Sister Maygladia, I’ve allowed myself to show all my various creative sides in one sitting. Something that I’ve actively avoided doing for a long time. She saw the anxiety this was causing me and took the time to encourage me to push past the mental blocks I was having.
Most churches know me in one of three capacities. Most people, for that matter, only know one of the three capacities I showed in my formative years. There is the photographer, the speaker, and the musician. I almost never blended these together. Mainly because of personal identity issues. I didn’t believe that I could excel at all in a way that would have me admired (yes, very weird.. I know)
Queen May took some time to call me out on that very early on. She insisted I embrace my whole identity. This was at a time when I was pretty confident no one could read past my armor and see all my talents at once. She did. Not sure how. She’s not the only one either.
As I ventured into the very scary early days of showing people who I was as an artist, she gave me valuable feedback and asked me to do more of my art more openly. All while keeping pretty clear of my camera lens. That irony was not lost on me at all.
Over the years, I’ve gotten way more comfortable showing all my artistic sides at any given point in time. It’s made me a stronger artist and a better person. It was way to exhausting keeping “buckets” of content and keeping track of who knew what. Especially on social media. It was as if my worlds were now colliding.
It was super scary for me. Yet, Queen May and her sister Queen Carole stood by me and pushed me quietly and respectfully. They didn’t touch my introversion. They worked with it. They engaged it. Allowed it to be. Most people at the time insisted on treating me like the extrovert they assumed I was.
With that… my photography had a chance to grow at a faster rate. The tolerated all my fumbling and stumbling. They never got critical. In fact, the very first person to volunteer to be showcased on this blog was Sister Maygladia. Years before I even had a blog or knew how to start one.
Another day, another time, I will feature her sister.
The link provided at the very end will take you to the Project page that holds the complimentary post and photos. As I cultivate my writing abilities, keep in mind, for the sake of readability, I’ve taken the liberty to call these sisters Queens. I am fully aware that this will cause them to blush. I am fully aware that there is a small price to pay for that. I also know they’d prefer I not call them Queens but that they appreciate the honor it bestows on them. They’re very hard working moms who give sacrificially to help their own family as well as their community.
All hail the queen! (mom… you got your shout-out already… lol and so did you my sweet wife…lol)
Click below to read the full tribute from the Project area of the blog
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