All of my life I wanted to be accepted for who I really am, in business, in life, and in a relationship, you see, for a long time I was a bit of a star shaped peg trying to squeeze myself into a square hole, I would adapt to each situation I was in trying to be the person that the other person wanted me to be, after a while I really wasn't sure who I was anymore. I would go so far as to say that 10 years ago I really didn't have any idea who I was.
Now let me say that constantly trying to reinvent yourself might work for Madonna but I found the whole process exhausting, I would be one thing to the couples I would meet to try and book their weddings, another to my family portraiture clients, another at home, another online... you get the picture, it was I suppose that I found I was only really myself when I was alone with my thoughts or with my kids or my oldest friends who had known me through everything, people like Darren, Steve and Ron, people who've known me for nearly 20 years, friends I am truly thankful for.
Over the last 10 years I have bent and moulded and wavered and suffered many crises of confidence, I would get to parts of my life where I thought I was me and yet my anxiety would punch holes in my chest because I was still frightened of not being accepted and then one fateful day in 2014 when everything changed, perhaps before that, perhaps it caused the fateful event but I can't put my finger on it exactly, somewhere though I started to become me, I still have the anxiety but not that you would notice on most days, I guess I'm still blagging it just a little on those days where anxiousness gets me and confidence is not my friend but we'll not tell anyone, it's just between you and me.
If you meet me today, you can guarantee one thing, I will be the same in real life as I am online, I will be exactly the same in my business as I am with my friends because who doesn't love a whimsical photographer and really, I mainly photograph small people and their families, it's totally acceptable. The wedding clients I do book or who book me embrace the whimsy because they know it will lead to something special, a completely unique interpretation of their love, their day, their story, it's only a true romantic after all who can shoot a wedding with as much love as I do.
I'm lucky now, I have friends who embrace and encourage my whimsical side, they know it's the very best of me, I laugh a lot, sometimes until I fall over, I have magical adventures both in real life and inside my own head and I gallop, twirl, wander, and skip through the days with joy.
Most of all, though, I have met a man who accepts me just as I am, I'd even go so far as to say he thinks I'm pretty brilliant, yes, me, just me, it's very enlightening, and completely and utterly magical and I, in turn, think he's amazing just as he is, he said our motto should be "Just Us" and I wanted to write this down so it becomes my history, I've never been with someone like Mr F before, someone who just accepts all of the good bits as well as the not so good bits and you know what, this is what we should all do, we all need to find people who accept us just as we are and I know this might sound harsh but if you ever feel that you can't be yourself, then maybe it's a sign that those people are not your people, your tribe, your squad or even your other half.
Go find someone who will embrace your very essence and then promise that you will celebrate that every day because as I said just yesterday, finding the joy in the every day is almost certainly the path to true happiness.