Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On becoming vulnerable

 Photo by Morgan Trinker. Because it is one of the few with a real smile on my face (read below for relevance) and because I hate posts without images.

Lately I've been having a lot of conversations about personal posts, how much to share of yourself in friendships, in acquaintanceships, as a photographer with a professional and personal blog (that conversation occurs mostly with myself). In this world we (our generation) has created, those of us who grew up asking ASL and those of us who learned html so that we could deck out our gurlpages website with gifs of dancing elephants... We created this monster and we happily feed it with our daily facebook updates, our instagrams, and our tweets, still fed by the comments and likes that had us blogging our tween drama in days of yore.

I am torn. We don't feel interesting unless others are interested in us. We should be interested in ourselves. We can create a life that we would envy if someone else was living it, why don't we? I'm slowly figuring out what parts of my Wes Anderson movie style dream life are things I really want (I lamented to my husband that smoking isn't cool anymore so there was no was I could become the cool girl that smokes. He argued that there was never a time that it was cool that everyone didn't do it. I still think I'd be smokin' hot. Ha. See, these puns are exactly why I can't be cool in real life).

I know that I want to push myself to do things when I really don't want to. Like photographing more personal projects, yes I have been busy the past few years but really I think I'm afraid of letting my photography exist as real, critique-able, subjective art. In my mind it's because I don't have enough model shaped besties, but really I need to push myself.

I've also joined the Y, thanks to my friend Lexie, who is in town the next few months. I had to drag myself to Zumba yesterday since she couldn't make it, I really wanted to be boring and read on the stationary bike. So I went to Zumba where I ended up in the front row (because everyone hides in the back) and spent the first several minutes with my mouth closed in a concerned frown (hating the possibility of catching myself flailing about in the mirror). I realized I've really trained myself not to smile, it takes serious effort to smile even when the teachers are grinning, shouting, and laughing as they zumba.

In this year of figuring myself out this came as a shock. Every now and them someone would describe me as peppy or spunky as a teenager and I laughed but I always thought I must be generally cheerful and how that was a good thing. Apparently I've suffocated all of that out and am slowly rebuilding the cheer that usually only manifests itself in the delirious moments after consuming a sonic ocean water post-wedding or when singing random song lyrics (humiliatingly similar to my dad, whose bursts into song always led to my sister and me rolling our eyes).

I'm also realizing some things about socializing that I never quite grasped. There's some quote on pinterest about making more friends in two months of being interested in people than years of trying to be interesting or something like that, and I'm beginning to realize how bad I am at seeming interested. Along the lines of the aforementioned privacy issues, I don't always feel like people want me prying. And I'm mildly interested in people's professions but I usually wish I could skip to the parts I really find interesting, their stories, the ones they wouldn't tell or write about or tell anyone who wasn't their best friend. I suppose I fear asking other people the kinds of questions I'm asked all the time as an event photographer, the "how many photos do you think you'll take tonight?" or "how many photos does that camera hold?" for their field.  And I really am interested, as I assume any of you reading this are. We are nosy nosy people, with our faces in blogs of people we want to get to know, where we can stay at arm's length. I think vulnerability is beautiful, but it takes a certain amount of confidence and strength to let that vulnerability exist. Here's to being vulnerable. Not exposed and not uninterestingly spilling everything out onto the internet, but to building a life I'm interested in and sharing it with the interesting people I meet along the way.


  1. It is hard, and I feel like it's easier to construct a persona who is everything I wish I was, than to actually be that person, whether it's in person or online. I've been working on making three goals to achieve in a month and then coming up with a new goal once one of those is reached, so I always have the three. We'll see how that goes.

    But your non-wedding photography has always been really interesting and creative and unique to me, so I wholeheartedly endorse your doing more of that.

  2. Such a great post! I think alot of people struggle with this push-pull of how much to share, how deep to go in this social media-driven world. I also struggle with being too inquisitive, I love asking people questions but I had a few friends in college who told me I asked too many!! I'm a curious person by nature so I just can't help it. :)

    BTW, I find you very interesting! Much love, xo

  3. I've never met a question I didn't want to ask. Seriously. I am so so nosy, but it's the kind of curiosity that allows me to live this life. If I hadn't of asked all of the questions last summer, I wouldn't have been able to wrap my mind around living in Ireland. You know? So from one nosy person to another, ask the questions. You never know where they'll lead you.


Related Posts with Thumbnails