Self-confidence Sunday #17

Last month, I agreed to do a sample shoot for the catalog of a company in which my freelance employer invests. The product, a line of collegiate-branded women’s sleepwear, seemed right up my alley (seriously, who doesn’t love pajamas??), though it had been a while since I’d done a shoot. Although it was fun (my photographer, Tara Arseven, was just wonderful: personable, intelligent, and funny), the experience was a good reminder that I simply am not keen on attempting to use my appearance to make a living when I could (less stressfully, and with fewer creepers) use my talents to do the same. If nothing else, some of the attire was just skimpier than I am comfortable being photographed: about the least I’m okay with wearing tends to be a sports bra and spandex shorts for a sports-related shoot.

He (my freelance boss) wanted to do a re-shoot with another photographer as well, and had talked about me rebuilding my portfolio, but it felt good to be able to say with certainty that I would prefer to focus on my writing/editing/marketing and that I’m not interested in any sort of modeling right now.

There were some nice images, including the ones I’ve posted here…but what I really liked about the shoot was the glimmer of my genuine smile coming back (not counting the one with the straddle hold below: my face was showing the strain of holding the position, but cool athletic things >>> being attractive). For me, this was evidence of the fact that hard times don’t last forever: I was bound to be back to my old self again, just better, stronger, wiser, and hopefully kinder than ever before. Hurt doesn’t have to last forever. Photoshoot Tara Arseven Laughter Pillowfight Joy Auburn - Copy Photoshoot by Tara Arseven Straddle Hold Yoga GymnasticsSample Photoshoot Tara Arseven Auburn University

Self-confidence Sunday #11

Courage is Like a MuscleToday hasn’t been altogether easy. I think I got so used to seeing him on Sundays that my heart is still in that routine. It’s the third one without him though, so maybe it will get easier soon. We talked a bit last night, and texted a little this morning. It’s always good to hear his voice.

And that’s great and all, but I think my next step needs to be to learn to bask in this pain, live in the Longing for a while, and then use those miseries to motivate myself to make my life one that I love, that I’m proud of. No matter what…even if it all starts off as a way to ease the agony of this loss.

Maybe things don’t need to be easy. Maybe I needed him to come into my life, make me happy, make me hope and dream and love and plan…and then leave me, making me feel so out of control that I am desperate to make needed changes to my life. Maybe someday, I will thank him for this.

Sometimes it feels impossible, but then I remember that I’ve done this before, it will get better, and that I won’t ever let myself be down for too long. I have books to write, a full-time job (in a new field) to find, abs to recover… You know. And just in my city, there are so many lovely restaurants and coffee shops and museums and attractions to visit! Let alone the fact that someday I want to travel the world.

I still have so, so much life left to live, with or without him; I just have to have the courage to try. And, as the meme above so eloquently reminds me: “Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it with use.”