I follow those photographers. Those photographers who never post a bad photo while at the same time never post a struggle or difficult time for them personally or within their business. And I love them, follow them and appreciate their positive words. However, I also follow photographers, Jasmine Star in particular, who share, encourage and are real. Comparing her to a couple others in mind, I feel like she is so much more desirable for me to follow than others who come across as...
perfect. I discovered her last winter break and love to follow her, because she is not afraid to blog about past or recent struggles and tell you how it is. I find that so incredibly attractive and find myself wanting to read more and more of her posts. I automatically feel more comfortable around her (okay, haven't met her yet, but if I do, I'd feel totally comfortable!), know how real she is and not feel judged.
This brings me to my recent semester that I have been oh-so-reflective on. I suppose I naturally desire to be perfect. Or at least my flesh does. I desire to be perfect in graduate school. I desire to be perfect in photography- keep learning, keep growing and please every single client. Wow. Poor me. What a setup for failure, no!? I truly had the best intentions to make time for my faith, friends, family, photography and graduate school all in perfect harmony. However, when busy season mixed with your last classes of grad school is combined into one recipe, you've got to pick and choose. Unfortunately, in hindsight, my priorities were all out of whack. In my mind I knew what I should be doing, but in the amount of hours left in my day, I just couldn't do it.
I felt like the end of my graduate classes with my cohort just crept up on us while at the same time, took so long to get here. I regret so much not getting to know some of them as well as I should have and being real with them. Because remember? Perfect sometimes isn't attractive. If there's one thing I didn't want to miss out on with them and you is my heart through the process. This busy time in my life definitely stripped away many of my comforts and left me falling back on my idols. I totally admit that I spent way too much timing putting my identity in some things that are not lasting: photography and grad school. I put too much pressure on myself to maintain certain grades, be the best photographer and be...well, perfect. It's too much. I can't handle that. What's relieving is understanding and accepting the fact that I will always fail. Always fall short. But personally, I can rest in knowing that my identity is notin my grades, the clients I satisfied or didn't or what I accomplished. My identity is in Jesus. That sentence is alone is hard to grasp but is so unbelievably relieving at the same time. I'm made perfect in Him.
So if there's anything I took away from this past semester, it's that perfect is always attractive. I'm going to fail, because I'm human. I can fall in areas that I can also fly in. Be real with others, because it's more genuine and attractive than coming across as perfect. It might just show them Jesus. And rest in knowing that if you have Jesus, you're made new, whole and perfect in His sight. Can I can a sigh of relief anyone? I sure can.
I want to be a photographer and person who can be encouraging and uplifting but at the same time real with those around me, because let's face it: perfect isn't always attractive. To me at least!
I hope this can sound with at least one other person who struggles to continually place their identity in something lasting, who needs to know they aren't alone, and those who seemingly think Christians are "perfect".