Before I go further, I’ve got to tell you what an inspiration Amina is to me. She’s a strong but gentle woman, self-proclaimed feminist, someone who has faced life’s challenges head on and has come out stronger and better because of them. She’s taught me a lot about owning my own business, living unapologetically and understanding my value as an artist, individual and small-business owner.
Her blog post spoke to me. Even though it focuses on being enough as artists, the message touched me on a deeper level. “I am enough” has become a daily mantra for me.
You see, I have anxiety. It’s not something I’ve talked about before publicly. But I was again inspired to do so by another creative and friend, Nate Fischer, who spoke so candidly about his own battle with depression in this interview. At times, my anxiety can be debilitating, but thanks to a lot of practice, self care and help from coaches, it’s mostly just something I live with. That said, it still affects me daily.
This list perfectly describes life for me on a daily basis, up to and including the fact that I constantly put myself and my work down, seek perfection that I’m never actually able to achieve and therefore beat myself up for tiny mistakes. It means that no matter how much beauty my photos hold or how well I connect with a client during a shoot, what I see and, most of the time, what I focus on are the imperfections. The thought process goes something like this: This photo is good, but it could be better. I should have done this... Or, I captured photos from this angle. Why didn’t I capture photos from that angle? Or OMG. Why did I say that? I'm so awkward and embarrassing.
The same is true in my work as a communications professional and activist in the labor movement. My day job is challenging. I knew that going into it, and, most of the time, I accept and embrace the challenge. But I also work in a culture where praise for things done right is often lacking, and criticism for errors – even tiny ones – is not. As someone who is acutely aware of her own downfalls and flaws, external forces reminding me of my shortfalls can sometimes feel overwhelming.
That’s why Amina’s post means so much to me.
It is a refreshing reminder that I am strong. I am powerful. And while I am not perfect, the effort I give is worth something. The work I produce is worth something. The art I make is worth something. Why? Because I am enough.
It’s a beautiful reminder to stop, think about and really acknowledge all of the things about myself and my work that are good and right and wonderful. After all, I have an incredibly strong relationship with a man I’m deeply in love with. At 30, I became a home owner. I built, from the ground up, a business that brings me joy, allows me create art and spread joy. And, I do a damn fine job balancing all of these things. That's a lot to be proud of.
Amina’s post is also a testament of the power of a positive attitude and how sharing positivity, even in little ways, can have a profound impact on someone’s life. We are all deserving of love, praise and positivity. And we all deserve to feel, believe and know that we are enough.