Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"So What Do You Do?"

Whenever you meet new people the inevitable question is going to come up "So what do you do?" which translates to "What do you do to make money?".

From the time I was 18 up until two years ago that question never bothered me. I always had an answer to that question " I am a receptionist for a new home builder", "I am a data-entry clerk for a library furniture manufacturer", "I work in retail". People understood those answers.

Even the couple of years that I stayed home when Mallory was in elementary school, people understood being a stay at home mom.

But now...what do I say I do now?

Technically, I am a photographer. I do product photography for a furniture store for their website and Facebook page, and I do get paid for that, but what I do is so much bigger than that.

What caused me to start thinking on this subject is a statement from Stephanie Levy who is teaching the Wild Courage class I am taking. She says "I often wonder why it is so difficult for most artists and creative people to say - publicly and out loud - I am an artist or I am a writer or I am a photographer".

The answer for me is FEAR. The fear of explaining what I do, the fear of being misunderstood about what I do. The fear of not being good enough.

What tangible evidence is there of my work? I haven't won any prizes for my photography, I haven't written a book. I don't do portrait sessions. So how can I say that I am a photographer or a writer?

I am not doing what I do for the money, I am doing it because I love it. I have heard in a couple of different sermons this year something that really struck me. God is the master artist and creator, he gave me these gifts and passions that I have, to use and be proud of, not to hide under a bushel.

So I am going to look fear in the eye, gather my courage and start saying "I am a photographer, a writer and an explorer". Who knows what interesting conversations might come from that statement.

What are you afraid to say that you do?