Friday, December 31, 2010

One Little Word.

(It's nice to see that even after having a baby, I still have the knack for taking cheesy self portraits, ha!)

Warning: This post is long and rambling, but I've been wanting to say all of this for awhile, so it cannot be shortened.

I have decided to have a 'one little word' for 2011.  This is based on Ali Edward's concept of having a word to focus on and inspire you over the year.  I've never done it before and wasn't planning on participating, but over the past month or so, a word kept creeping into my mind, nagging at me...it was a case where the word found me, not the other way around.

My word for 2011 is RISK(s).  More specifically, taking them, embracing them and learning from them.

The definition of the word risk is pretty simple:
risk  (rsk)
n.
1. The possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger.
2. A factor, thing, element, or course involving uncertain danger; a hazard.

Now, of course, I won't be taking any physical risks or putting myself into any 'real' danger over the next 12 months, but I've been inspired and motivated to take risks of a different kind instead.

Risks with my mind,
my heart,
my family,
my image,
myself, and
my future.

I'm basically looking at the word in two ways:

Taking risks with the little things.  This is how I plan to 'get my feet wet' with taking risks.  You see, I'm pretty afraid of taking chances.  I've lived a very safe life nearly my whole life, mostly because of an intense fear of rejection, confrontation, embarrassment, and failure.  I'm definitely one of those people who stays away from the ledge, makes the easy choices, doesn't like to gamble, and cringes when watching people who obviously can't sing try out for American Idol.  I feel the failure for them, how crazy is that?  But now that I have dreams that are somewhat outside of the 'safe' zone, I've realized that taking risks is something that I can no longer avoid, and so I'm going to try and face the fear and embrace the risks I need to take.  

Of course, there are 'risks' that involve very little...well, risk.  Foolish things that may seem easy to others, but for me, would be considered a step outside of my comfort zone.  Things like:

*Dyeing my hair a different colour and/or cutting it short 
*Wearing clothes that I don't normally wear and may not consider 'flattering'
*Looking people in the eye when talking to them
*Painting my rooms a crazy colour when everyone else is doing white
*Eating out or seeing a movie alone 
*Calling my friends instead of emaling them
*Talking honestly about my successes and failures on this blog

These are all small things that I plan on doing more in the New Year, because they are relatively easy and pain-free.  It's a step in learning not to care so much of what others think of me and doing what I WANT to do, not what I think would be safe to do (meaning no one will laugh at/judge me).

But then, there's the more serious side of the word...

Taking risks with the big things.  Honestly, this part scares the shit out of me.  There's one risk in particular that I will be taking in 2011 that basically prompted this whole personal revolution of mine and drilled the word 'risk' into my head...

I want to work full-time as a photographer. 

...

My word, even writing it down has me all trembly.

Why is this so hard for me to declare?  Because I'm afraid. I'm afraid of what people will say and think, especially in this big, bad, anonymous Internet world.  I'm afraid that I'm not talented enough, that I'm stealing other people's jobs (in Sussex, NB, no less! [insert sarcasm here]), that I'm not educated enough, that I'm just a poseur 'mamarazzi', and that I will FAIL.

I do not like to fail.

This past year I've been extremely fortunate in having so many wonderful people allow me to capture their memories for them.  I did 30 sessions in 8 months, some paid, some not, but all incredibly satisfying and rewarding.  I learned a lot and discovered a type of work that I really enjoyed.  Loved, even.  I received a lot of praise, but was also personally challenged.  Everyone kept asking me 'will you be doing this once your maternity leave is up?'  I wish I had been confident enough to say 'yes, I am', but I always brushed the question off, saying instead 'oh, I hope so', or 'we'll see'.  I was afraid risking the answer. But it's what I want, and so this year, I'm taking the plunge.

I don't have a job lined up for when my maternity leave is up in March.  I don't plan on looking for one.  I will be applying for a government grant that will help me financially for the first year as I get my business up and running.  If I don't get it, I will try to do it on my own.  I am working on a business plan.  I am considering getting a business loan (or at least borrowing some money from a very supportive father).  I am investing in new gear.  I am working on a website and blog.  I am posting photos on Facebook and asking for attention. I want to take a few courses in photography, editing and accounting. I am going to learn to say "I am a photographer" with confidence and not be afraid of the response.

I'm taking the risk. 

(There are other 'big' risks that I want to take this year, but I'll probably include them in my "Goals for 2011" post, since this has already become quite novel-esque...) 

So there you have it, my one [big] little word for 2011.  I plan on placing this word, and the quote above, somewhere prominent in my home/office so that I can reminded of it whenever I get off path or become complacent.  I'm not sure if I will do anything crafty to go along with it, like Ali's class, but we shall see.  It's not about the crafts, or completing a project.  It's about the word and honouring it.

2011, I can't wait for you to start.

G.

1 comment:

marit said...

Happy New Year Genevieve! May all your dreams come true in 2011... with a little RISK, changes are good!!!