I was outside this morning, looking for things to photograph.
At first glance, I discarded the idea that I’d take any pictures of these roses.
After all, it’s the middle of June & roses are in bloom, but these roses are on their way out. They’re imperfect. It made me sad to look at them. Once fresh & bright, now dying. Withered. Is it just me, or is there something a little tragic about this dying rose?
After looking through the lens however, my perspective changed a bit.
I love how the color fades a the tip of the rose petals. You get the feeling the rose earned that. Kind of made me think about how as people, it’s our experiences that give us color & depth. Authenticity & a lot of beautiful imperfection.
It’s got me thinking. What makes us unique? What sets us apart. You know, the age-old questions that never let up: what’s my purpose in life? Why am I here? What do I, little old me, have to contribute?
If you get thinking too much about it, like I do sometimes, you’re apt to get overwhelmed. Like, “who cares what I do?” I’ve often fallen into the trap of thinking, “If I don’t do ____, it’s okay, there are so many other people out there who will.” It’s easy to focus on flaws or have-nots or to assume we don’t matter enough to count.
The truth is, you do. I do.
What is it that makes you, you?
I don’t know if I know how to answer to this fully myself, but I can give you some ideas.
Are you the kind of person who loves a challenge? Do you like people or would you rather go solo? What gets you excited to get up in the morning? What surprises you about being a friend, spouse, parent?
For me, I love the idea of a new day. I love early mornings & the sense of a fresh start. Optimism, or the belief that this day will be better than yesterday, is at the core of these joyful mornings. I do like challenges. In fact, if I’m not challenged enough I get depressed.
I love to connect with others, but at the end of the day, I want it to be just me & Joseph. I never knew what kind of mom I’d be before kids, but now that I am a mom, I’ve pleasantly surprised myself with the unexpected joys of holding a little person close & teaching them how to do things I myself, once thought were impossible. These emotions, experiences, & qualities are a unique combination that make up who I am & why I’m significant.
You know, I guess photography is a lot like life.
Sometimes you see a rose, or a person, or yourself, & think, “eh, that’s a withered piece of work.”
But then you put on your lens, start shooting, & you realize, “Hey, that’s beautiful. I kinda like it.”
Have you ever looked at someone or something (maybe yourself) & discounted it at first glance because of appearance or sterotypes?
What is it that makes YOU unique?
Do tell, I can’t wait to hear.