Sometimes I get really down on myself. You do too so I’m okay sharing this with you. I think I’m not pretty enough, not young enough, not thin enough, not business savvy enough and I get jealous of all the photos I see of photographers who get to photograph weddings with Giraffe’s in the south of France for Vogue magazine. And every time I walk this road, I come to the same end. I remind myself of how lucky I am.
Last year I was sitting in my grandmothers dining room, listening to her and my mom talk while I did my makeup. My grandmother looked at me for a minute, smiled and said “It’s so nice to be young.”
I have things right now that you cannot buy.
I have things some people see as a superpower.
I can run a mile.
I can lift a sofa into a truck bed.
I can paint a room, swim laps, jump rope and ride a bike. On top of that, I have found something I’m wildly passionate about and have spent years getting good at it and I have been given an opportunity to build an actual business from it. I’ve also been given a creative brain and an overactive imagination so I can problem solve my way around this life. After all this, I always arrive at the same word: Capable.
I am so capable. I have nothing to complain about. I do have limitations and shortcomings, but why focus on what I can’t do when there’s so much I can do?
These feelings and thoughts come and go. I’m not someone who is constantly super sure of myself, but I also feel like I’m getting there because yesterday, something wild happened.
So it’s Summer. Arizona summers are slow as heck for photographers so for four months, I’m pretty much moving at the speed of cash over here. Raffi and I were talking about going half in on a purchase and when I paused to think budget, my brain automatically said, “Do it, you’ll just make the money back.”
The thought took me by surprise. It had never happened before. It said, “You’re capable.” it said, “You know how to make money.” It said, “You got this, girl.”
A few weeks ago I was texting my friend about the fear of walking this path and she said, “You’re going to land on your feet because you don’t know any other way.” So far, she’s right. It might not look perfect, or even graceful for that matter. It might be incredibly messy and rough and weird, but in the end, you land on your feet, and you land on your feet because you’re so incredibly capable.
Do you want to do this with me? List ten things you have that other people only dream about. List ten things you have that you’re endlessly grateful for. Then, the next time you’re feeling self doubt or fear, think of these things and let them strengthen you. You will land on your feet. Because you don’t know any other way.
|Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris
Special thanks for Alexandre Tsuchiya for the ballet photo!
Hey. Do you mind if I tell you a story? One you might not have heard. All the elements in your body were forged many many millions of years ago in the heart of a faraway star that exploded and died. That explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of deep space. After so, so many millions of years, these elements came together to form new stars and new planets. And on and on it went. The elements came together and burst apart, forming shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. Until, eventually, they came together to make you. You are unique in the universe. There is only one of you. And there will never be another.