“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” –e.e. Cummings
Each week we share a piece of us on our photographic journey. We have titled this series, “Courage to Grow”. We hope that our own soul searching will inspire similar introspection in our readers and that together we can make our best art and live our best lives
It was an ordinary day. Well, in fact, it was quite busy. I started my day with the school run, and then went grocery shopping. On the way home, I went to pick up my eldest son from school who was in the middle of exams and not on a normal timetable. We went home, and I unpacked the groceries. It was lunchtime, and then I had to return to school for a presentation. It was then school pick-up, and afterwards I started preparing for dinner as our swimming lessons run late. Usually, my two little girls come with us and they play in the park while their sister has lessons. On this day, they decided they didn't want to play, and I was too weary to argue. I picked up my kindle as we ran out the door.
This was how I found myself, sitting in the car, and reading. I took this moment to breathe. I can't run on empty, and I need these brief moments to recharge. I needed quiet. I sat in the car, with the warm sun shining through the window. I was like a lizard basking in the sun.
I was reading "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown. Brene's books are soothing to me. I am always motivated by her words, and I feel like my compass is reset each time I read her books. I tell you all of this to set the scene because it was ordinary but momentous at the same time . It was then that I read this:
I now see that cultivating a Wholehearted life is not like trying to reach a destination. It's like walking toward a star in the sky. We never arrive, but we certainly know that we're heading in the right direction.
In that moment, I felt goosebumps. I re-read the page again, and again. I saw the connection with my photography journey. I visualized "walking towards a star in the sky" with my camera in hand. Oh, the view you would capture. I felt a huge weight lift from shoulders. I felt the timeframes that I had set for my business to be up and running burst into fairy dust. I felt the feelings of failure fly away as I realized the unneccesary stress I was placing on myself. I realized time was not an important factor in my journey. I cried.
This is not the first time I have heard this message. I have heard it a number of times. I have said "Yes, I get it". However, I kept placing an importance on time and I lived with feelings of failure for not achieving my goals in the time I had set. Maybe the previous times that I heard the message I wasn't ready to hear it. The message was sent again, and again, and again. Finally, I got the message. This was the first time that I believed it. It was the first time that I felt it in my core.
It has changed my perspective. Completely! I have released all the imaginary timeframes from my thoughts. I know that my business will happen if I continue to work at it. Time is not a factor. Maybe the picture that I had for my business wasn't quite right. I now see a new one forming. I have heard the message again since then. Each time I do, I feel a sense of calm. I am "walking toward a star in the sky" and my photography journey "will never end". I know it's all ok.
Note: Images captured at the swimming pool during another lesson. The window light bounced off the water to create this beautiful bokeh when I shot out of focus.
Cindy Cavanagh lives in Sydney. She is a Lifestyle photographer of real moments who chases light and bursts of colour. She is a storyteller, an artist and a photographer. Cindy is an adventurous person who takes her camera with her everywhere. She enjoys baking, a good coffee, and escaping with a good historical fiction novel.