I apologize up front for being “all over the place” in this post. #1 I’m just a leeeeetle bit overwhelmed and #2 it’s how my brain works, I can’t help it and I hope that it makes sense. Everything makes sense in my head until I spit it out then I have that “foot in mouth” syndrome! None the less, just a few random thoughts about the recent “activity” and when I say RANDOM I mean RANDOM! 🙂 Please read my disclaimer that I have posted on my home page. It goes a little something like this:
My itty bitty disclaimer: I’m not a writer, I don’t claim to be, I don’t want to be. I have horrible spelling, awful grammar and down right nasty punctuation…but I do promise, I AM college ed-umacated! 🙂 Tee he he he. But on a serious note, this place is where none of that matters. This is my little piece of the inter-webber and I can say, spell and punctuate any way I want 🙂
I am completely overwhelmed, humbled and a bit taken back that so many of you took the time out of your day to repost, comment, email or just send some blog love my way. I honestly had no idea how powerful it would become but I have received emails from several of you, phone calls from local news stations, emails from reporters, requests to be featured on blogs. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t prepared for ALL of this, I was prepared for some harsh comments/criticism/feedback but not THIS kind of response. I have received emails from those of you from all over the world (literally) who mentioned how you were in your adult years and that the bullying still effects you. I’ve received emails from current high school students thanking me and calling me a their “hero”. I honestly don’t know how to process it all. I mean have you SEEN how many comments there were? Yesterday it was a full time job keeping up with everything. Some of your stories about bullying were just heartbreaking.
I’m not claiming to be an expert in bullying and as a matter of fact when asked by the few people that called, NO, I don’t have a first hand experience with bullying. Of course during my middle school/awkward years I’m sure there were some name calling but it was never really that bad that I didn’t want to go to school. And certainly not as bad as some of the individuals that emailed in. So I can’t stand up here and say I had been bullied, because I wasn’t. I liked to think I was friends with everyone. BUT I don’t think one has to have gone thru being bullied to stand up to it. I would like to hope that all of us could speak up if we ourselves witnessed it happening with our own eyes. And I guess that is where I find all the buzz hard to believe and process. All I did was say, no, I’m not going to take your picture because you were mean. Do I think that I’m the best photographer in the world…hahah..big fat N.O.! Do I know they could go out and easily find another photographer…Yes….but the point was, I didn’t want to spend time with them trying to make them look pretty when knew they were being ugly on the inside. Mean is ugly…and in my opinion they were making the CHOICE to be ugly.
Yesterday as everything was going viral, I was on a shoot with one of my clients. Then directly after, I went to one of my friend’s house to hang out with some good friends. I hadn’t seen the news clip yet and as I walked in someone said, “Here comes the saint!”. Keep in mind, they were saying it in a joking manner and I think he is a great guy, I didn’t take it the wrong way. He was just doing a friendly jab..it’s how my friends work and that’s why I love them! But it got me thinking, I hope all of you don’t think I’m a saint–for lack of a better word. I’m human, I’m certainly no Saint. I don’t claim to be perfect. For example, in admits the midst of yesterday’s chaos, I must admit, I am a bad mom…I forgot to feed my child. I came out to the studio early in the day when my phone was blowing up to see what everything was about and was caught up in keeping up with emails, phone calls, etc, that I forgot to feed my child! It wasn’t until she looks at me and goes, “Mom, when are you going to make breakfast?” It was 2:30pm! haha! Whoopsy, I’m glad to report, she still loves me and I fed her breakfast at promptly 7am this morning!! It just happens that in this particular instance, most of you think I did the “right” thing but trust me, there are probably a million things I’ve done wrong in my life time, I’m not perfect.
I wrote “Most” of you think I did the right thing.So you’ve seen all the awesome things people are saying but not everyone feels the same way, and I can respect that. I’m keeping an open mind and I’m going to assume that they had the best interest of those whom were being bullied. Some people feel very strongly that my opinions have no place in my business. I respect that, I really do, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with it.
If I’m going to keep it real, even with all the support that I’ve been receiving, I still have my insecurities too. Photographers and organizations, blogs and websites that I LOOK up to were sharing my link.I mean, photographers that I look up to and that are 1000x times better than I’ll EVER be were commenting and sharing my link. This lead to an influx of photographers to my “like” page (I’m going to call you “likers”) and so now, I’m thinking, Oh my gosh, with all these new likers I’m paranoid to post any of my future images because all of these critiques about my work will come pouring in. I mean here I am little bitty small town photographer having my website look my thousands of you and wandering if my work was “subpar” what would people think. We are human, I know I’m certainly not perfect and here I am worrying about what everyone will think and I’m not being bullied. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have that burden and knowing that people are ruthlessly saying mean and hurtful things.
I’m now under a microscope……..it’s here…and honestly, I don’t know what to do with it. I’m just going to resume as I always did and hope that someone else got the message…for those of you who don’t agree with me, I’m sorry you feel that way. I guess if you have your own business you can run it the way YOU see fit! If this hurts me..well fine, at least I know I failed at something I felt strongly about and I won’t be able to blame it on the economy. It will because of a decision I made…and I’m ok with that! At this point, I’m going to try to get things back to normal around here by editing yesterday’s session so I can share it on the blog just like I always do, going to an awesome ALUMNI football game (GO Bobcats) and by hanging out with one of my best friends over the weekend, she’s driving in from Michigan..yay!
Again guys…thank you!
PS: Mean is UGLY!