Who am I? That’s really an age-old question, isn’t it? One’s self is not easily defined, nor is it readily understood. And to make things even more difficult (as things often are), self-definition and self-discovery must occur not once or twice, but many times throughout one’s life.
Take junior high, for example. Yeah, I know…do we really want to go back there?? I don’t know about you, but for me, it was one of the most pivotal times in my life. After a satisfying summer vacation, I arrived at the first day of 7th grade thinking I was pretty hot stuff. (Okay, nerdy hot stuff, but who’s really into details these days?) After all, elementary school was a cakewalk. But to my surprise, there were hundreds of other kids my age looking for the same thing: searching for love, for acceptance and just wanting to be noticed by somebody. And so began my first sojourn to find myself. My awkward, nerdy self. Sans the glasses, thank goodness.
My personal journey in high school offered a much more positive experience overall. As much as I dislike existing in the past, I often find myself jealous of, well, my past self, really. Outgoing, self-assured and confident in both who I was in Christ and what I wanted out of life. Passionate to the core and not caring much about what other people thought.
College. Marriage. Getting my first job. Leaving my first job. Experiencing loss. Each of these represent moments in my life when I’ve had to reevaluate priorities and really ask myself (and God) some hard questions to figure out which road to travel. I think I’m just at a point in my life (yes, at the old age of 25) where I’m trying to once again figure out who I’m meant to be and what I’m meant to do. It’s not that I’m dissatisfied with my life – quite the contrary, actually – I just can’t shake the nagging feeling that I’m missing something. I love my husband and I love my life, but with marriage (sorry, babe), work, managing the household and the other things clamoring for my attention these days, I can’t help but feel as if I’ve lost a bit of myself along the way.
It’s one of the reasons I love photography. Photography is one of those things that challenges you to find what makes you unique. It requires you to be confident, yet vulnerable; it asks you to share pieces of yourself as you experience moments in other peoples’ lives. Sure, I can take a pretty picture, but I want it to be so much more than that. I want my photography to be reflection of who I am while showing off the beauty that God made in each of His creations. That’s why I’m so excited about the For the Love Workshop this fall. I have a feeling that it will be a great opportunity for some deep soul-searching while fellowshipping with my brothers and sisters in Christ and getting poured into by some of the photographers I most admire.
At this moment, I am crossing my fingers and praying there’s a spot with my name on it. I’d love to be there.