The force of social media is so relentless these days. It’s hard to scroll the feed and not want what someone else has. Or rather…..what someone else has staged. Does that mean that they don’t have that “thing” either? Or if they do, it’s only for a second, for a moment. Sometimes the truth of one of those images shines and you see that someone curates beauty that they see in the world around them.
But still, when we spend so much time, even the truth of those images is warped and we find ourselves longing for something someone else has. We find ourselves coping with the falsity that what we have isn’t good enough because it doesn’t fit the parameters of “trendy”.
It is truly relentless.
As of late, I have been exploring myself and tapping into my goals as a business owner, as well as seeking authenticity in my art. One of the ways I’ve been doing this is by revising my childlike nature. There were many things I loved and favored as a child, things that shaped who I am today.
I had a moment this afternoon. I was outside (with the animals, of course) in our breezeway working on a project. A breezeway does as it is named, which is provide a way for a breeze to blow through. In a moment, when a breeze came through, I was reminded of Fall over 15 years ago. My grandmother kept me for much of my early years while my mom went back to work, and I got off the school bus at her house when my school years started. Around age 6 or 7, I began piano lessons in the afternoon once a week at my grandmother’s house. She was to teach me.
One of my most favorite times of year was the fall season during which I would play outside in the afternoon while she taught piano lessons. The weather was cooling off and near November, it would be cool enough to wear a sweater or coat outside. On occasion, if it was too cool outside, I would be inside coloring, playing Sega Genesis or watching TV (The Wild Thornberry’s or Jumanji anyone?). The highlight was dinner on the stove and the sweet torture of it’s smell permeating every corner of the house. If I was outside, I could smell it out there too. If I was at the piano for my lesson, I could smell it.
Many of these moments became synesthesia for each other and today, when I experience one of these things, I am reminded of the other. So today, when the breeze drifted through the trees and through the breezeway, I threw on some classical piano to emulate the music that accompanied the smell of supper that floated wherever it pleased. Even though I was outside and no smell of supper drifted from our house (we eat dinner elsewhere on Wednesday nights), the smell of barbecue floated in on the breeze from the Woody’s that sits North of us not even a quarter of a mile away. I closed my eyes and breathed a prayer of thanksgiving.
I thanked God that He remembers us and grants us peace. In that moment, I also soaked up inspiration from truth and feeling of that moment. Peace. I gathered as much peace as I could and channeled it into some ideas that came shortly afterward. This is how The Feed is defeated. This is the moment where victory over the pressure is found.
I want to remember the authenticity and peace in that moment. During a time when technology has its hold over our minds even when we are mentally elsewhere, such moments are like gold.
Facebook was down today for about 20 minutes (for me) and made me think about my business without the influence and crutch of social media. How would I operate my business without social media? How would I go about creating and working if I didn’t have a website to post it to? What I found was beyond my wildest imagination. We would have to print our images instead of saving them to computers unseen for possibly the rest of our lives. The images do you have are more valuable because you can’t upload them by the droves to a virtual storage unit. Maybe we would be more careful with the moments we choose to capture since we wouldn’t be able to shoot tens of hundreds of photos at a time and passively post them. Perhaps we would slow down and think about what we choose to capture. And that’s just the beginning.
I am a big believer in savoring, slowing, being purposeful, and intentional. I hope to incorporate those valuable things into my work. SAVOR a moment in your love’s arms as I click the shutter. SLOWLY linger together as I capture a moment frozen in time. PURPOSEFULLY shoot film so the quality of the images is worth the wait. INTENTIONALLY choose a location and elements of a special wedding/photoshoot so it has more meaning in the future.
I pray that I will always strive to seek purpose and authenticity in my life and work. Because in a world where it seems like everyone seeks the exact same thing, purpose and authenticity are the only real glimpses we have of truth.