Today’s post has a bit of a twist. Instead of highlighting one of my daily acts, I actually want to share with you about how I was on the receiving end of an act of kindness.
I’ve always dabbled in photography and even had my own side business for a brief moment in time, taking photos of newborns (think Anne Geddes, minus the world-wide fame). As soon as I began making money off of it, it became overwhelming. Because I’ve never been formally trained as a photographer, I always get “impostor” syndrome and begin to doubt myself.
Two years ago my best friend and I did a cross-country Europe tour with a tour group (aka a party bus). Rather than joining in on the binge drinking and subsequent bus hangovers, I spent most of the trip wandering off and taking photos. There was another guy on the trip who had recently gotten his first DSLR camera, so we exchanged some tidbits and had some chats about photography.
After the trip was over, someone created a Facebook group for everyone to share their pictures. When I uploaded my photos, I recall people messaging me to tell me how good my photos were. Although flattered, I shrugged it off and thought nothing of it. My camera continued to collect dust on my shelf for the next two years.
I’ve had a few moments since where I’ve waffled around on the thought of picking it up again. I recently dated someone who was a big proponent of encouraging me to just give it a go – but even his encouragement wasn’t enough to get me over my mental hurdle. Every time I picked up my camera I was faced with the familiar taunting of the impostor syndrome.
Last week, during a particularly stressful gong show of a day at work, I received this Facebook message from the guy on the trip who I hadn’t spoken to since our time in Europe:
Hey! I hope all is well with you. I just wanted to thank you for inspiring me to get into photography. I became inspired after seeing the photos you took in Europe. Lol. It will sound weird, but I felt like I was supposed to tell you that.
It turns out that he’s been a busy bee, building his portfolio and becoming a photographer. How cool is that?! And he’s pretty fucking awesome at it too – it’s amazing to see how far he’s come over the last two years.
His message was totally unexpected and blew me away. I can’t help but think that this is the universe giving me my own little nudge. It is beyond comprehension that I inspired someone to pick up a camera and turn it into a passion; and that he decided to reach out and share that with me. It now feels silly that I gave up on something I loved because I compared myself to others. Who gives a shit!?
I’m over putting off doing the things I love; time to shut the impostor syndrome off for good. Stay tuned!
P.S. Some of my favourite shots from that trip:
Has anyone ever inspired you? Have you told them? Not to get preachy on you – but consider telling them! You could really make a difference in someone’s day…or life!
Total Kindness Cost: $0