Most times, I find myself using external sources to fill my cup. My validation and self worth has rarely come from inside of me. Photography has allowed me to hide, all these years, from what I think of myself, drowning out the screams for freedom from my soul, with vain laughter and praise from the outside. Don't get me wrong, part of me, part of my soul, will ALWAYS long to meet new people, diving into their psyche and historical makeup as fast as possible. The camera gives me this privilege.
Enough with the negative. I was recently part of a project that caused me to look a little more introspectively, and gave me a thirst and jealousy, that only self worth could quench. The project (Dear World) is part business/art project/social experiment, exploring stories of hope, stories of struggle, stories of a brighter day. I was asked to photograph people with part of their story or message written on their bodies. Well, it was mind-blowing for me. Firstly, I was so impressed that people from so many different walks of life, had something they felt worthy to share with the world. Maybe even something the world NEEDED to see/hear. Secondly, I was saddened a little as I realized that I didn't have a story to tell. I thought and I thought and I thought. The only message that came to mind was something about being yourself, fearless of other's opinions. THIS was a message for me. This started a path of self discovery for me. However, I did end up having someone take a photograph of me, hidden behind my wall. THIS picture perfectly portrays what my world has come to expect from me, the comedian. It's not me. Well, maybe sometimes. But it's not the me when I'm alone, or even when I'm with my closest peeps. I'm a thinker, and that's putting it lightly. I'm deep. I'm caring. I'm anxious and scared a lot of times. Fear takes over when huge opportunities come my way. I struggle with low self esteem. I'm black and white, pass or fail. And I'm a work in progress, ever evolving and changing, never giving to much power to who I am today, as excitement fills my veins for who I will be tomorrow. Meet......me.
What you think of yourself is so important. How you share that with others, in confidence, is equally as important. This next image is not how I am now, but how I truly WANT to be. Free. When I speak that word, the anvil of expectation is lifted from my chest, my soul exhales. I wish freedom for myself and for everyone else. Freedom to be who you are deep down inside. Freedom from opinions and judgments. Freedom to feel. Freedom to express.
"And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
And though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be."
Photography by yours truly