As I write this, I wonder, how to start? Should I write something clever, something witty, humorous, or sentimental? I'm not sure. I have a tendency to over-share (something I am working on). Inevitably, I may say the wrong thing (most assuredly). I am not perfect, only human. I am ordinary, not extraordinary (though I admit, I do have those surreal moments with my children where I feel my life is in fact extraordinary). I find others, more often, are able to put more eloquently into words, my very own thoughts and feelings than myself. Which brings us to the pressing question at hand: Why should Santa leave a Christmas gift under my tree? That much being said...every year, I still search the tree in the hopes of finding a present that no one can attest to, that may have been left by the magic creature himself. That is just a reflection of the person that I am: Hopeful. This sprinkled with my resistance to not stop believing in the magic that surrounds the holiday of Christmas. Maybe it makes me a little naive as well; a little like a child, which I embrace all too often.
Too be quite honest, if you are referring to the gift of the incredible camera lenses that are being gifted December 23rd, I cannot think of a reason that I, myself, would be more deserving of them than any of the other hopeful photographers that are all wishing for the same thing as I this day. We are all here because of our love for photography and the artistic outlet that it allows us to create for just a moment in time. I have no story to tell. Just me and my little dream; that feels like an all encompassing, raging inferno inside. Just my little dream to create; to quiet and feed and free the ideas flooding, and bursting inside my small body. All I have is a dream. A dream that began small, and has grown into the all encompassing journey that has become my life's dream. A dream that surrounds me every minute of the day, as I breathe it in and out. It is the last thing I think about before I fall into slumber, and the first hopeful thought of the day that comes rushing over me in full force. Every day I wake up hopeful that today is the day all my dreams might come true. Each day is a new opportunity to becoming that much closer to my dream. A stream of endless possibilities that awaits me behind the lens.
I do have a story, one that is unique to me on my struggle to complete this dream. On my path I have come upon endless trials and tribulations; challenges on my path towards pursuing my dream, and bringing my dream to fruition. Everyday, I feel like another day has gone by. But I have told this story all too often. My husband keeps asking me why, I repeatedly enter these giveaways and contests. I put so much of myself into each one, expose so much of myself for all to bear witness. And my response to him is always the same: I simply have to. I have to keep trying. I cannot give up hope. I have to keep dreaming. I am not quite sure what would happen to me if I gave up. So much of myself is wrapped up in this dream, I am unable to separate myself from it. Which is why, evidently, when I envision a photograph in my mind, I have to recreate in, as soon as possible, or I feel I might burst inside. The same reason why when I pass a yard sale, that I have to slam on the brakes, and pull over (amid causing a collision) to snag that piece that I have been searching for to complete a photograph. It is the same reason that when I happen upon an open field that I have envisioned in a daydream, that I have to immediately turn around, take the kids home to change, grab my camera, and bring them back to complete the shot. It is what consumes me body and soul. I see something play out before me, children playing, and I see it frozen as a shot. I see an antique, and instantly envision it as a prop in a photograph. I drive past a field, and the scene before becomes a photo shoot I have to conquer immediately. I feel like I breathe photography.
Someday, I may be in the position to be able to make my own dreams come true, but I know if I don't try in the meantime, if I don't work towards doing everything to bring this dream to fruition that I could never forgive myself. I had pictures of these exact lenses and a camera body upgrade hanging on my cubicle wall at work for a very long time. A constant inspiration to me, a reminder, a talisman of sorts. I know the possibilities that lay beyond these lenses. I have seen the finished art that is created with lenses like these. Oh, the possibilities. Just within reach. The beauty. The art. That is what photography is to me. It is my art, my dance, my song, my exclamation of self. My inner self shouting to be heard and seen: see the beauty I can create, witness my design, the life that breathes here. And, I feel like I can create something beautiful. I can show others the beauty that is inherent within them. There are times, I admit, I have been afraid of my ability to succeed and be successful, as ridiculous as that seems. I know it will be hard work. I know there will be challenges that await me once I have opened that door. There are so many photographers, so many artists, what makes me different than them? What sets me apart? But, I realize they are no different than I. They are just trying to let go of those ideas, these visions, that flood their mind keeping them up at night, the same as I. Those creations they envision that they have to release before they burst. They are just trying to release themselves; to free themselves.
I could go on forever, I really could. I delayed posting this, because I felt there was no amount of words that I could place on paper, or rather on keys, that could encompass my passion and screaming desire to be so much more than I have been able to be up to this point. But, the truth is, I have to get something out there, now, before its too late. I don't know that I deserve this gift more than anyone else hoping for the same thing, but I do know that my stomach turns in knots, keeping me awake into the early morning hours, sick at the thought that maybe, just maybe, I could have a chance to be great. To be free to express my self, to free myself, through an even greater avenue possible than has been available to me up to this point. I feel like my soul will not rest until it has been given the opportunity to soar in this way. And, I have never felt so alive and so thankful for my little dream.
I recently sat on Santa's lap and wished for this. The REAL Santa at Macy's. And I won't ever stop believing. I never did. There is a little star inside of me shining so bright at this moment, and wishing that everyone could see it. I feel like my whole life has led to this point. I have been a little star all along, and when I first held that camera in my hands, I felt something inside of me change, and grow. That little star. And each time I capture that moment, or share a photograph, I can feel that little star shine a little brighter. I would love for that jolly elf, to fill his stomach with my mother's sugar cookies on Christmas Eve, and leave that gift under my tree, so that my little star might shine so bright that all the world could see. (heart)