Dope, Soap, & Hope :: Teachers Are Everywhere.
Yesterday’s blog post was the most rewarding, challenging, and thought provoking post I’ve had on this blog yet and it had nothing to do with me. It had everything to do with all of you. At the time of posting this entry there have been 180 comments in response to an email I received from a photographer named B.
The outpouring of response has been amazing to watch and had me calling my web host at one point yesterday so that we could allocate some more bandwidth to handle the traffic. All of you who have joined in on the discussion here and on Facebook have been amazing. You have brought so much heart and soul to the issue at hand. Thank you. You all make this blog what it is.
Meg and I spent the majority of our day yesterday managing the blog and reading all the replies that were coming in. So many of you are standing on that metaphorical dock wondering if you should jump and/or wondering when you will make that jump. There’s a big risk ahead of many of you and anxiety seems to be cornerstone on which we all build things in our life. Meg and I felt some need to do “something” in response. How could we help? How can we be of service? We are blessed and grateful for our ship that we have at sea. We know the thrills. We know the storms as well but we keep charging ahead. I seem to have stirred something up that needs a response. How do we respond?
Gracie started barking and our door bell rang and God showed up on our front door in the form of a soap salesman. I opened the door and was bombarded by a well crafted 100 MPH sales pitch and I knew immediately that he was the response to many of our thoughts and questions.
This goes out to everyone who fears your past. For everyone who wonders if you can make it. For everyone who hates your poor, lush, desk job that seems to suck the life out of you. Do you fear rejection? Make sure you watch the video above.
B. had quite a day yesterday. He wasn’t expecting a response to his email and he sure as heck wasn’t expecting it publicly. He made it through all of the comments last night and left one of his own. I’ll copy it here…
Firstly, thank you all. When I pressed ’send’ I imagined the most that would happen was that the e-mail would get glanced at, added to the pile of responses, and/or deleted. When I woke this morning to see a response I was hesitant. I did my morning things, saw the wife out the door and checked to see what the response was.
When I saw the words, “I’ve kind of replied here…” with a link to the blog I panicked. Really. All of the issues surrounding years of anxiety that I wrote, re-wrote, and parsed down to a few paragraphs reflected my current state of mind as it relates to my creativity and getting things done was now out there. I’d effectively been called out. I’m grateful.
I think there were 17 comments when I first checked, and I’d gotten through about half of them when I started to tear up. It got very real, and it got personal. I’d always taken an outside view of my anxiety, watching it from a distance. I’m now staring myself in the eyes and it’s harder than ever to keep from looking away. For the first time, though, I think I’m ready to dig deep and find that thing I thought I was missing.
I couldn’t keep up with the comments at work. It was too much and I didn’t want to have a repeat performance from the morning. It was eating me alive to know people were talking about my words, and my emotions, and I had to wait until I got home.
Well when I got home, and settled, I not only sat down to read every single comment, but visit every one of your blogs, websites, and portfolios if you happened to link them. I owe you all at least that much for your words, your solidarity, and your encouragement. Thank you all, so very much. I wish I could respond to every comment, but there were some specific ones I’d like to address.
H: Make that call. I’m positive I’m not the only one who would be happy to hear you did it.
Jaxun: I can say that in my case this has less to do with making money doing photography than it does with achieving some very specific goals. I have yet to move towards making them real. If I can make a living creating images, I’d be glad to do that too.
Ed: You have no idea how right you could be. Anxiety’s a b*%ch, and I’ve been escaping so much for so long I sometimes have trouble putting my finger on who I am anymore. This day’s given me a bit of courage to stop running and face the things I’ve been trying to get away from. It sounds sentimental and kind of lame, sure. It’s also the truth. The truth has a right to be kind of lame every once in a while. I think. It may not be photography (though I’d really like it to be) in the end, but I am ready to grind my teeth and do SOMETHING now.
So here I am at close to 3am and it’s been a long, surreal day. If I’m a wise person I’ll wake up tomorrow with some motivation to work towards my goals.
Thank you Zack. Thank you everyone who commented. It means a lot.
Thank you B. for having the courage to put it out there. And thanks to everyone who reads this blog and jumped into the conversation. All of you brought the goods for sure!So… What is Derrick saying to you? Let us know and let him know. Derrick and his family are signing on and reading the replies.ETA – Also let us know how we can serve you.
PS – On a technical note about the video :: As much as I love my D3, I sure as heck can’t snatch it out of the bag and grab an HD video with it. My video rig (tripod, mic, scrims, etc) was not all here at my house so this was just shot with a 5d MkII, 50mm lens (which kept fogging up in the humidity), and the on board mic. Not too shabby huh? It’s a great camera!
ETA – So many folks have expressed an interest to buy a bottle of soap from Derrick! We can’t get into the business of shipping soap and Derrick doesn’t so much as have an email address but I am in contact with him. If his story has inspired you then buy a “virtual” bottle of soap from him by making a donation! $1, $20, whatever. Let the door he knocked on here be the biggest sell he’s ever made!