Check out my new site and my photography work. I finally got it up and running!
It’s really amazing to me how just a few little tweaks in the way you think can really have such a huge effect on your life. After a period of self doubt and negative feelings about myself, a couple pep talks from my husband really seemed to do the trick and turn my thinking around.
As I wrote previously, I was having trouble thinking of myself as a photographer and I felt like I had too much competition in town to ever really get started but I have since stopped feeling that way. I got up one morning at dawn to go take some nature shots and it kind of reignited (reaffirmed might be a better word for it) my passion and love for photography. I think I was spending too much time focusing on everyone else, and all the obstacles that I have instead of myself and what I can do. I have had numerous customers at this point so my work is obviously good enough for people to want to buy. I have gotten some new pieces of equipment and I have an appointment set up for mother’s day and I’m really excited to do it. I have a new plan as far as how to sell some extra prints and I’ve been getting my business cards out there more as well. I have been putting myself out there quite a bit lately and I’m hoping that it will pay off soon.
I have changed around my thinking and now I am going to say that I am a photographer. If even my 4 year old knows that’s what I do, then I must be a photographer. Nobody is ever going to believe it if I don’t believe in myself. It’s time I stop beating myself up for all the things I don’t (yet) know how to do, and praise myself for the amount that I have learned in a short amount of time and focus more on my abilities than my handicaps. Wallowing in self pity and loathing is not going to get anyone anywhere. Ugh, I’m actually pretty annoyed with myself for the way that I was thinking!
On top of changing my views about that kind of stuff, I also decided to stop trying to eat no meat and dairy. It was doing nothing for me but stressing me out and depressing me. I felt like I never had anything that I could eat and then when there was stuff I could eat, I wasn’t excited about eating it. Cooking and eating became a chore and not something I could take any pleasure in. I am Italian and that’s just not the way we do things. We enjoy cooking and eating and sitting with our families at dinner. So I told myself “This is not working for me, so why am I doing it? The extra stress and guilt and feelings of failure are not helping my moods and the way I feel about myself so I’m just going to relax, eat as healthy as possible and not worry so much.”
After making that decision, a bunch of the weight that I had on my shoulders stressing me out, seemed to disappear. I still need to eat as healthy as possible and include more fruits and veggies and less sugar, but I don’t need to be so strict about it.
Finally, I also starting reading a book about spirituality that may help as well. I’ve only gotten a few pages into it so far, but I am trying to work on all the aspects of my life that we not working for me. I’m trying to be calmer and nicer to my kids, stress less about everything, and focus on the positives about myself and realize that I am what I am and that is enough. Sure there is always room for improvement but I have to get back to liking myself like I always have. I don’t know how I got off that track but I feel like I’m starting to get back on it.
In other news, my BABY is going to be 2 years old tomorrow! I can’t believe it! She is such a joy, it feels like she’s been here longer than two years. She is the perfect completion to our family. I’m going to smoosh her with hugs and kisses all day tomorrow.
I have a serious problem. I have an addiction to articles about how to be and stay happy and healthy in life. What foods to eat, which foods to avoid, meditation, yoga, breathing techniques, habits to break, habits to form, and the list goes on and on. I am constantly on a quest to be better. It is confusing and exhausting though when one article says one thing is good for you and a week later I read something that says it’s not.
There are just so many conflicting articles and articles about foods that are supposed to be like a fountain of youth that I cannot pronounce, find, or have ever even heard of. It’s just exhausting. I can’t keep up with all of it. So instead I read about all the things I should be doing and eating and then I don’t do any of it and I feel guilty and bad about myself that I don’t have the ideal diet that these articles suggests I should have.
So I’m done. I haven’t enjoyed a meal in months because I’m either trying to eat vegan which leaves very little pleasure in my diet, or I’m feeling guilty because I’m not eating vegan. I have been just stressing myself out about this stuff and it’s ridiculous. As long as I get a variety of foods in my diet and make sure I limit sugar as much as possible and fit as much fruits and veggies in as I can, there’s nothing wrong with that. I can’t save the planet or animals by sacrificing my mental health and happiness. That may be selfish of me, but I just can’t be on some extreme diet all the time. I will eat much less meat and cheese than before I ever went vegan because I know I can now, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I want a turkey sandwich for lunch or something.
As my husband recently pointed out, I’m less than 120 lbs so I really don’t need to be driving myself nuts about my diet. So I’m not going to. Sure I’ll take a good tip here or there but I’m done trying to keep up with these crazy health fads and diets. I feel better already. I think my wellness will come from not stressing out about all the stuff I should be doing and just let things happen naturally. I’ll get exercise when I can and eat the best I can and not worry about it. I think the stress about this stuff is way worse than anything that comes from not following some regimen.
I want my life to be about enjoyment. I want to be able to enjoy my family, my health, and my food. I don’t want to dread cooking or eating because nothing sounds appetizing. I want to go back to my Italian roots where cooking and eating is a pleasure. I’ll be sure not to go to the extreme with that though because I don’t want to end up diabetic like all my other family members! I just want to really be able to be excited for my food and enjoy the act of being with my family eating something delicious. I feel better already!
This is going to be a little therapy session for me so please bear with me if it turns into a big, confusing, jumbled mess because that’s kind of how it feels in my brain right now.
I feel like something is missing in me and I’m not sure what it is. I don’t know if it’s spirituality, self-confidence, motivation, passion, drive or what. I wish I knew so that I could go about fixing it. I am just easily defeated, annoyed, and I lack persistence and follow through. I’m just not very happy with the person I am right now. I feel like I used to be so happy-go-lucky and that nothing ever really got me upset, but I don’t know if I am just remembering it wrong or I’ve changed. I get mad or annoyed or sad so easily now it seems and then I feel guilty about it because I have two amazing daughters, a great husband and a wonderful like so there’s really no reason I should feel that way. So I end up feeling even worse. I just don’t feel as exuberant as I once did. Maybe it’s because I’m getting old, maybe it’s because I have more responsibilities now as a mom, I don’t know, but I don’t like not having that lightness to me much anymore. I have no idea how to fix it either.
This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but the reason I got into such a funk today is because I went to this healthy baby expo we had in my town. I am a photographer and decided “oh, I should take some of my business cards with me since there will be lots of families there with kids and that’s what I take photos of.” but when I got there, the first thing I saw was a photographer’s table with huge prints (adorable prints by the way) set up on them with information about a grand opening of her new studio. Well that just sent me in a tailspin. I wasn’t smart enough to think of setting up a booth there, I didn’t have as good of pictures as her, my town has too many photographers and competition and I’m never going to get a strong enough foothold to make it a real business etc.
Why does my brain do that? Why doesn’t it just say “Oh, shoot. I didn’t think of doing this event, I will have to remember for next year. I’ll have to check and see what other kinds of events are coming up soon that I will be able to participate in.” etc. Which, it did, I guess, but only after I wasn’t all upset about it.
I just wonder sometimes if I am cut out for this job. It’s actually why I decided to change paths right after I got my degree because I couldn’t see myself running a business or getting out there all the time with my camera and taking shots. Which I don’t. I do not take nearly enough pictures. I feel like it’s hard to get out and take pictures with two kids running around all over the place. I could take thousands of pictures of them for practice, but I don’t. I could be listening to podcasts about photography, reading articles, networking with other photographers, but I don’t. I really love photography, but for some reason I don’t do what I should be doing to make myself successful.
Is it a fear of failure? I don’t think I’ll ever be good enough so I don’t even bother to try? Is it laziness? Is it that my passion is not great enough? Is it that my self confidence is so low that I feel like an idiot trying to sell myself? Did I inherit the no-motivation gene from my father and I can’t seem to overcome it? Do I need spiritual guidance that I can’t seem to find? I don’t know what it is. I wish I knew. Maybe it’s a combination of all those things. I just get frustrated with myself so much because I see other people really shooting for the stars and making their dreams come true and I can’t seem to do it. I will have short bursts of creativity, output, and sales, but it doesn’t ever last long and I can’t seem to keep it going.
It’s so bad that even though I have a degree in photography and an up and coming photography business, I still have a hard time calling myself a photographer. I don’t know why. People who have much less experience or worse images than me have no problem calling themselves a photographer, yet I, a third generation photographer have a hard time saying it. When will I ever get to the point that I consider myself a professional?
Well, I thought writing this all out would help me feel better, but I don’t. I’m just as mixed up and miserable as I was before I started writing. I wish I could fix me.
After years of just floating along and pretty much ignoring our mounting debt, my husband and I have finally gotten serious about doing something about it. We cut up all our credit cards and are on a plan to get out of the majority of our debt within 3-5 years. I am very excited to have a plan of action and actually be working towards a better life instead of just hoping and wishing that someday we might get there.
In order to do this, I am going to need to find a part time job so I can just dump everything I make into our debt. My husband can cover the bills but we need some extra income to really dig in and get stuff paid off. I just picked up about ten applications the other day and have one more to fill out and then I have to go submit them all. I am hoping that something will work out and I will be hired sometime soon. Graduation is coming up soon so there is a lot of people that should be leaving their jobs so hopefully there will be an opening somewhere for me. I hope they don’t mind that I haven’t worked in 7 years. I never had a hard time finding a job in my life so I really hope that I don’t have a hard time now when it is important.
In the meantime, I really have to get my school stuff done because once I have a job at night, it’s not going to be easy to get anything done. I have a test to take tonight and a research paper to finish and then I will be done for this term and only have 4 classes left. I cannot wait to finish with this degree and get working on this dumb private loan that is the majority of our debt.
So this summer is going to be filled with trips to the park, picnic lunches, arts and crafts, coupons, walking places and other free and cheap activities because we’re not spending any money. We each only have $10 a week to spend. This is going to be a challenge, but a fun one. There’s no better feeling than getting out of debt (or so I imagine) and making more money. I’m excited. I’m not looking forward to my social life going out the window though! I’m going to have to invite people over to my house for drinks or something.
Technology. It can be so wonderful and helpful to our lives, but it can also be a huge distraction and detriment to society. It’s a wonder that more people aren’t clubbed over the head and robbed because people constantly have their faces stuck in their phones. What is the big excitement? I really don’t get it. The internet bores me when I’m at home on the computer, I don’t see why it should all of a sudden become so super interesting that I have to have my face stuck in my phone when I’m out in the world doing something or visiting people. It is one of my biggest pet peeves and always has been since cell phones first started getting really popular.
Back then it was just the fact that I had to hear everyone’s annoying, loud conversations everywhere I went. I had to hear their stupid ringtones while I’m trying to order dinner or watch a movie. I had to listen to their boyfriend saga while trying on clothes in a dressing room. Yuck. I protested and fought with my husband that I didn’t want or need a cellphone, I’d lived perfectly fine for the first 21 years of my life without one. He managed to strong-arm me into it and I’ve had one ever since. We soon turned off the home phone and just used cell phones because it didn’t make sense to pay two different phone bills. I never cared for it though.
Up until the last time we bought a phone, I just stuck with the most basic, free phone I could find because I was not interested in texting or using the internet. Then somehow I got sucked into getting an iphone. I do admit that it comes in very handy on many occasions such as using it for GPS in the car and my favorite thing to do with it, which is use it as an iPod. I use it to text only about 3 people and only on occasion. I text my husband the most. I rarely talk on it unless it’s my husband or my mom. And I am very rarely ever just sitting there using the internet on it. Especially when I’m out in public.
I don’t know, I guess I’m just sick to death of looking at the top of everyone’s heads, getting grunts for responses if people hear you at all, and getting interrupted mid-conversation so someone can stop and text someone else. It feels like these phones are tearing down our ability to function as human beings in a real live society. It’s no wonder to me that people end up on rampages and losing their minds. People are not as socialized as they used to be.
I don’t know how kids ever survived. What did they do before they could play iphone games in the grocery cart, at the dinner table, at the doctor’s office and everywhere else where they may have to learn some patience? Oh yeah, maybe learned to have some patience. Maybe they learned how to make small talk with the waitress or cashier, maybe they learned how to pay attention to their surroundings so they don’t walk into people (or manholes or sign posts).
And cellphones are not the only evil. There are countless forms of technology out there, many in my own house. It is very hard to keep the kids wanting to do something that does not involve some kind of electronic. I myself have a hard time shutting off my computer even though I keep looking at the same things over and over again and get extremely bored within about 5 minutes. Yet somehow I can’t seem to shut it off. I don’t even know why. I don’t want to be sucked into it though. Wasting precious minutes of my life and moments with my kids. It is not worth it. I think if I had a desktop I would have a lot easier of a time of it because I wouldn’t want to sit at the desk. But with the laptop sitting right there on the couch, it’s hard to resist sometimes.
So, I am implementing a no tv week starting on Earth Day. I guess I should call it no technology week because I also want to not be using the computer or cellphone either. I want to spend as much time as I can paying attention to the kids and enjoying our time together and learning how to find ways to entertain them that don’t include watching tv. I want them to know that they are important and not have to wait for me to get off the phone or internet before they can have some attention. I want to get more in tune with myself and my kids and have some quiet around here instead of listening to annoying kids shows.
I’ll just pretend I’m back in high school and read a book. I could get so much more done around here if I gave up the technology. The house could be spotless, I could catch up on my reading, play with my girls, exercise, the list goes on and on. I am looking forward to the break. In fact, I might start today!