Like many others, I’ve upped my connection on Facebook, Instagram, what-have-you to feel more connected to those people who I love. That said, part of this participation is adding more of those “Day 1 of 987..post a picture of…X”….this week has me posting about motherhood and owning dogs. I’m sure next week will be “whatever crazy side dish you literally Top-Cheffed (that’s a word shush) out of your fridge”
Either way, I’m trying to remember to take photos.
I’m a photographer in my “spare time” – senior photos, family stuff, and then travel and art photos when I can find something that hits me right. For me, it’s great to post all those perfect images on Facebook, stand back and have friends coo about your cute kid (and he is!) or ogle at the sites you saw on your European vacation.
But I love the outtakes. I love the real ones. I love babies crying with Santa. (see that photo there?) and I love when kids are “just not gonna”. I love seeing Pinterest fails and I love seeing when – despite all your best efforts – we become human.
I bond more when I know you aren’t perfect. I can’t stand when life looks like a brochure. Because that’s not what life is. I find myself making sure to take “real life” – not just those moments I’m “supposed to” record.
I took pictures when our neighborhood’s flood waters rose because of Harvey. I also the iconic image of my kid blowing the candles on his cake. I have my kid sprawled out on the floor with crayons inches behind my husband who is teaching his classes from a distance because of this quarantine. I took a picture as that same man crossed the finish line of his half marathon. Life is balance, and I think if we gave ourselves the permission to enjoy the moment – perfect or otherwise – rather than editing ourselves down to the idyllic, we’d find that we could forgive ourselves and others much more easily.
Demanding perfection from ourselves isn’t the worst thing in the world – to excel and achieve is great. But striking a balance in the breadth of things we try to perfect and being easier on ourselves – especially in times like these – are imperative to survival of our mental health. We cannot be great at everything, and it even helps us connect better with others when we aren’t.
Quarantine on everyone. Come out being yourself.