What Inspires Me? The Freedom (and Space) to Do Me.


I was walking to the library the other day and realized that I haven’t written a “What Inspires Me” post in a minute.  Funny how time flies when you’re having fun.

I’ve been really busy shooting, editing, networking and trying to move my photography practice forward that I haven’t taken the time out to jot down some of my thoughts and reflections on this blog. For that, I should be taken out and flogged.  But before you pull out the rods, switches, the cat o’ nine tails and the sjambok (whatever that is), please indulge me for a few minutes.

I think it’s important for artists to take time for self-reflection and all that.  But I have to be honest with you.  Because I’ve been so busy with various projects and assignments, I’ve found it really, really hard to find the right words to describe what and how I’m feeling about my work and which direction I’m thinking about taking my photography in the coming year.

I feel like it’s too soon to really talk about it in a way that other people will understand and relate to.  Hell, it’s even hard for me to wrap my mind around.    And sometimes, I’m just plain tired.

It’s akin to making bread:  You knead and roll and stretch the dough for what seems like an eternity.  Then you sit it aside in a bowl, and cover it, to let it rise…you can’t rush the process or else the final product doesn’t turn out quite right.  When the time is right, I will find the right words to say to express my fully formed thoughts.  Until that time, I will let my photos speak for me.

But anyway, I was walking down the street, thinking about what to write, and being mindful of the fact that I can’t do both simultaneously for too long (without tripping over my feet).

And, since we’re heading into the season for giving thanks and counting our blessings, I want to pause and give thanks to all of those people who have played a role in giving me the freedom and the space to do me, the real me.  You all know who you are.

What does the “freedom and space to do me” mean?  I can get up when I want, work when I want, work on what I want, go where my curiosity takes me and tell assholes to kiss off when I feel like it and not live in fear of someone retaliating or doling out severe repercussions for speaking my mind or daring to disagree.  There is nothing more heady or intoxicating or more inspiring than knowing that I have complete autonomy over my life.   I love the fact that no one else is responsible for my failure or success but me.  This means that I can take all the credit for if this thing works, but most importantly, I can (and will) take the fall if  this thing swirls down the toilet bowl.

Besides.  I think I’ve paid my dues.  Lord knows, I’ve paid my dues and earned the right to do me.  So, let me tighten up my head wrap and keep this thing moving.

And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate!

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