Throughout my life I’ve always wanted to try new things such as hobbies. In grade school I wanted to join the sketching club, I didn’t think of myself as a bad artist and I thought this could be MY thing. I remember walking into the sketching club, run by my art teacher, and seeing all of these awesome drawings my classmates were hanging on the wall. I sat down, opened my notebook and started to sketch flowers, the kid next to me scrunched up his face and sneered, “That’s not how you hold a pencil when you sketch…” he laughed, and then walked away. I looked at my photo, the lines were harsh, not blended, and I always tend to grip my pens and pencils very tight so, the lines were intense compared to the sketches of my other classmates. I was so embarrassed, I went home and never went back to the sketching club because I just knew it wasn’t MY talent, even though I’m not half bad at drawing and with practice I bet it could have been something I loved to do, but my anxiety and embarrassment stopped me from pursing it.
Then in middle school I wanted to play soccer, I had played when I was about seven when every child on the field runs after the ball rather than having offense and defense players, kids at that age are too young to understand strategy such as that. So, I thought, I know how to play soccer this will be easy, well, with my bum ankle that I broke when I was younger and never healed right I got discouraged, but I knew I could work around it. However, I then saw at practice all the girls who have been playing consistently for years, they had a groove, a natural talent, and here is me, the duck among the beautiful swans, kicking the ball in every wrong direction possible and making a COMPLETE fool of myself, hearing the laughs from my teammates completely broke me so, I went home, quit the soccer team, and never tried out for sports again.
When I want to try something new, or try to find my “special talent” I try too hard, go too fast, and I give up because I don’t want to be judged or laughed at, I want to be praised and feel like this is something I am good at. My whole life I have been surrounded by people who were good at SOMETHING whether it was drawing, soccer, or what have you, I was always that person just hanging out. I know I’m good at things like singing (in the shower), cooking, I’m pretty knowledgeable in reference to the gym and nutrition, and I’m a half decent writer. I just, I don’t know, every time I wanted to put myself out there it ended with being laughed at and being put down by myself. I know a lot of this anguish is due to my history of being bullied and my own self doubt, but in my defense, it is also intimidating when you pick up something new and meet someone who is literally a genius in that subject or hobby and you are the newbie, the person who has yet to discover much about the said hobby and it is overwhelming, at least for me. But my new “hobby” is more than a hobby, much more than that, I think that is why I am terrified of falling short because it is something I love to do.
With photography I am determined, yes, it has definitely overwhelmed me but, it is interesting how you can almost paint a beautiful piece of art through a lens. I love how the camera feels in my hands and how empowered I feel, so in control, it is like I am the artist and anything I see through the lens is my canvas and how I create the picture and capture the moment is the paint that puts it all together. Although I won’t be a pro overnight, I am motivated to learn because I’ve never felt this connected towards something, it is like an addiction, holding the camera, thinking of different pictures I can take, and putting it all together just makes me feel so fulfilled and happy. It probably sounds crazy, but when I think to myself, “OH! I can go here and take a picture of this really cool thing, no wait! I can go to the beach and take pictures of the sunset, etc…” that in itself gives me great happiness, I get to stimulate my brain and put together these pieces of a puzzle, I get to challenge myself and push my mind to ideas that I may have never thought of before and I dig that, a lot. I’m just always nervous of falling short or making myself look like a fool, I’m trying to stay positive and hopeful but it is easy to let the past creep up on you and influence your mind set. Moving forward I’m just going to keep going through the motions, I know there will be times where I feel discouraged, but there will also be those moments where I take a great picture and I can be proud of myself for that. Either way, I know I’m moving in the right direction, as long as I continue to be motivated and eager to learn, I know I will be okay.