I got dumped this week. Someone I considered a very dear friend did not care for how I perceived that she had offended me and in no uncertain terms decided that we were no longer friends.
Wow. Full on slug to the gut.
“Ok, so what’s the deal, Cat? Why are you posting about this?”
Because it absolutely relates to WHY I do what I do. My grievances were centered around the fact that I wasn’t being “seen” by someone close to me; in work situations, and in personal. That my presence and understanding were being discounted for no understandable reason and it pissed me off.
And then I heard this voice this morning: “It only hurts if there is truth to it, Cat.”
I do what I do because I spent much of my life in the shadow of my own self-hate. I’ve worked through a lot of that over the past year or so, and most of it within the last six months. How could I possibly offer anyone the opportunity to BE SEEN through my own photography if I refused to see and value my own self? And then my friend decided that she didn’t want to be my friend anymore and that seven-year old little girl inside of me thought “Of course! Why would anyone want to be your friend anyway, Cat? You’re pushy, you’re bold, you’re dumb, you’re…” And then the seventeen year old version of me immediately started looking around for cigarettes because she knew the seven-year old girl was right on the money.
Wait. Breathe. No.
I was upset because I wasn’t being seen by someone I held in friendship but, whatever the issue is simply a reflection, isn’t it? Was I not “seeing” her? I certainly was quick to blame her and only take responsibility for the martyred reasons…Ahhh, yeah, I might break up with me too.
I really work to “see” the people in front of me, really see them. It is how I develop connection with my clients, with my family, and with my friends. It also requires that in order to see them, first I have to see myself. I have to care for myself. I have to look in the mirror and ask my conscience if she is proud to be a part of me today. Today, tomorrow, and the next day.
My portraiture would be nothing without that conscience or that connection. That means that I have to own my own choices. It means I have to look every person in the eye and see them, the real them and if I can’t do that, then I’m off. Off by a long shot.