Why I am Here

So, Gene Bowker had a post a few days ago about #WhyIAmHere  and I thought I would reshare the lollipop moments image/post to go in tandem with these thoughts since they sort of relate.  On a side note, I urge you to read that post and watch the video since it has a great message.

Okay, on to the being here (on G+) part:

So……

I was originally a fine artist in my youth.  For some, my youth wasn’t that long ago, but to me it can feel like almost a lifetime.  I used to love charcoals, paints (oil, water, and acrylic), doodling, creating antique jewelry, and making mixed media abstracts in 2D and 3D (installations).

Then, well like life sometimes does, I was thrown a couple of curve balls and I put that part of me on hold to become an adult with responsibility and logic as my tools.  These served me well in becoming a bank employee, a payroll coordinator, a network engineer, and a project manager, but they never really felt like a passion – they felt like work to pay the bills, which is fine because I do like to have a roof over my head and food on our plates! =)

However, with my daughter, she has always loved my art and creativity, and I knew that I had to continue to help her cultivate her own by encouraging it in the house.  This meant I had to begin anew.  With the world going digital, I wanted to get into the whole “computer arts”, but felt like a fish out of water.  So, her and I began with painting, and I went back into creative writing and trying to teach myself image manipulation with Elements and Paint (very tricky, let me tell you).

This went on for a few years, picking up sketching drills when I had time or painting when a canvas would dry, but I still felt like I was missing something….

When G+ began, I was pretty ill with an unknown vertigo problem that had me on dozens of prescriptions and working from home when someone on Facebook sent me an invitation to try it out.  I didn’t have anything else to do in July of 2011 besides work, movies, pills, appointments with specialists, and sleep so I thought I would give it a try.

To be honest, I had no idea where to start.  I began like most and saw the “Hot” people to follow, I began posting similarly to a cross between FB and a blog, and continued to just glance around at all these new people and what they had to say/show.

This is when I saw it.  I saw fantastic images from people that used cameras as their paintbrush and they certainly made amazing art.  At the time, I only had a little point and shoot, but I was determined to figure it out.  I read countless blogs and forums beyond that of Google Plus and began practicing.  The best advice I received was in the form of a bulletin board where a master explained that you “should push the boundaries and reach the full limit of your camera’s capabilities before upgrading”, and I did just that.  I pushed that lil thing until it was near death, but that is when I knew I needed to step up.

My first, true, dSLR was my  #canon  rebel T2i.  This little guy got me through a 365 and nearly all of a 52-selfy project before I decided to upgrade to the #canon  60D.

But, I am getting a little ahead of myself here; it isn’t really a story about gear upgrades, so I digress.

As I pushed through with that point and shoot, I began creating images and art that I felt good and passionate about.  However, the whole photo theme curating thing scared the poop out of me and most of my early shots fell into obscurity.

I kept going though and finally began creating circles and interacting with more artists and photographers.  I kept learning.  I got better (even with the point and shoot) and gained self confidence, which made me braver.  I began sharing to themes and people began to see my work and me as I evolved.

I began to teach myself the Adobe products for more than just work-related web design.  This started as an exercise in futility, but as I kept at it, things began to click.  This helped my confidence grow and I finally took a plunge to go back to school for digital design – I am one term from graduation as well.

One of the things I have found that I have honed into, which is not surprising since I mostly drew people and comics in my younger years, is portraiture.  Mostly conceptual self-portraiture, but also the portraits of others.  I hope to continue expanding my style outwards, but I think I will always have a keen affection for eyes and faces.

So, why I am here?

I am here because I found a place, a passion, and a voice inside this Google-sphere.  I became more whole and because of the amazing support and friendships I have made, I am constantly learning and helping others learn within this community and that is worth more than any price tag I could apply to it.

That is why I am here! ♥ xoxo

#canonusers   #canonphotography   #canonphotographers   #whyiamhere   #lollipopmoments   #inspiration   #emotionalintelligence   #selfconfidence   #thegooglesphereofsupport   #goals2014

Initial Lollipop Moments Posting from May of 2013:

Lollipop Moments In Life

If you have never heard Drew Dudley talk about everyday leadership, I urge you to watch this video from TEDxToronto to understand the post fully:

Drew Dudley “Everyday Leadership” – TED Talks

Okay, hopefully you have watched it and I can begin…

“It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

~Marianne Williamson~

Since becoming a part of this amazing G+ community, I don’t think I ever thought much about lollipop moments, leadership, or inspiration.  I was in one of those conflicted places where I had been brow-beaten to believe I was just a smudge in the world and of no real importance.

Of course, this goes against the fundamental principles and core values of my being, but it is amazing how negativity and silence can help you recede into your darkness.

With baby steps, confidence, self-reassurance, an amazing network of friends and family, and people providing me with lollipop moments, I have evolved into a bright color – a white hot light – that cannot be muted or shaded to a gray ever again.

Watching this video over again today while at work, I felt an increased need to let each and every one of you know that over these last few years, you have given me those lollipop moments that have allowed me to shed fear and gain strength enough to continue growing and learning in so many ways.

Each one of you, in some form, have handed me that lollipop and provided me that peace – that calm – in my heart and mind to keep going – no matter how tough things seemed to be.

I can only hope, in return, that I have handed out a few lollipops along the way to each of you!

Happy Wednesday! ♥ ♥ ♥

#selfportrait   #lollipopmoments

colorme-05222013

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